Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just a side note...

So this morning I had to get up at 6am. I woke Travis up a little later and he was like, "UGH! Why did you have to wake me up? I was having a really good dream."

I walked away to finish getting ready and I hear Travis talking... "I was hanging out with Heidi and Spencer and I was making fun of them soooo bad! We were going shopping or something and I just kept ripping on them..."

Really I was shocked. Travis hates The Hills. But I'm pretty sure after this incident that he secretly loves it.

I'm watching him sleep on the couch right now and can't help but wonder what is going on in that head. Maybe he and Lauren are having drinks at Les Deux...

Sorry Travis. You're too cute. XOXO

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays

Although the "holidays" are pretty much over, it's still appropriate. New Years Eve is tomorrow night and for the sake of nice wishes it will count as a Holiday.

Luckily (and uninterestingly) this year was void of drama. My family life is relatively drama-free, with exceptions here and there, but last Christmas was kind of ridic. Let's just say a member of not my family (or Travis's) decided to indulge their addiction in a suburban bathroom thus somewhat making Christmas dinner awkward for everyone. Not to mention the not-my-Uncle who made my whole evening awkward and sort of helped ruin the Christmas experience.

This Christmas was easy. We spend the Eve at Travis's parents' house which always holds the promise of delicious food, cute kids, and smiling faces. We also went to Bert's annual record store Christmas party, which always holds the promise of good beer and tasty Italian food. Not to mention wonderful music purchases.

The ride to my parents' house was filled with my drunken Christmas caroling and Travis joining in on the choruses. We did almost hit a deer (I think) but made it home safely. My Egyptian dad Zaki was waiting for me with open arms. My Dad was waiting for me with an open beer. They know me so well!

Christmas Day was business as usual. Opening wonderful gifts, including an iPod Touch from Travis to me. Besides my insanely luxorious new mattress that came from my parents, the Touch was my favorite present. Today when I got home from work I took an extra long nap in my bed then woke up and browsed Etsy on my iPod. Ahhh heaven.

I've been so tired lately. I feel like when I get a day off all I want to do is sleep. Luckily I have a new mattress and fabulous bed frame to indulge my greatest pleasure.

I have some cute pictures to randomly show you. My sister's pup Dolce just turned one and had a fabulous birthday party. All of her little dog friends came and they ate a special doggy carrot cake.

Dolce as a little foxy baby stealing treats

She's all grown up next her her little cake!

Stanley and Dolce are dating. She like to hump him and Stanley doesn't mind at all!

So tomorrow might actually be the best New Year's Eve I've ever had. I don't want to put too much pressure on it, but I'm pretty sure it can't fail. Travis and I are going to my friends Kim and Steve's apartment in Old City for dinner and drinking. AND my fav boss ever Lou (and I'm not just saying that because I know she's going to read this!) and her husband will be there. Plus maybe some others! I just know that I will not be in a shitty club, overcrowded bar, or feeling claustrophobic in Times Square. And I will sleep in my own amazing bed. Maybe I should think of a New Year's resolution... like running two miles a day. How long do you think that would last? haha I'll start taking bets.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rude awakenings

When I tell people that I live in an old factory that has been converted into a loft they think it's pretty cool. I thought it was cool until like the 3rd day. It's a huge space in a pretty nice neighborhood. Travis and I thought it was exactly what we were looking for. I still think Travis feels pretty good about it, but I am much more sensitive than he is. I hate hearing other people's noises (unless it's some sort of crazy, juicy conversation), smelling other people's smells, and dealing with other people's laziness (read: messes left in public places). I know this is all part of the apartment living experience, but in my last dwelling all of the people living in my "building" (a house converted into 3 apartments) were awesome.

I bring this up because I really hate my building this morning. I didn't go to bed until 2am. I had worked a late shift at the Retail Job, and I wasn't exactly tired when I came home. I didn't expect to be woken up at 8am by hammers and saws and workmen talking. But it happened. The apartment next to mine has been vacant for a while, so I guess they decided to move the door from one end of the apartment to the other (Travis later talked to the men and they're converting the apartment to a two bedroom). So instead of having my nice little lonely door at the end of the hall where I never have to talk to anyone and can just sneak in quickly before having to make conversation, I now have a door about 1 foot away from mine. So you can imagine the noise. My loft has 14 ft ceilings and no substantial furniture to absorb sound. Every little thing echos. So I had a nice time listening to echoing hammers and saws and the freight elevator going up and down.

Somehow I went back to sleep! I amazed myself. I must've been exhausted.

Well I was sleeping soundly until Stanley made a sneak attack on Miso, who had decided to cuddle with Travis at the computer desk. That woke me up, but I went back to sleep. Some Travis noises (computer, walking, shower, quiet music, etc.) made me stir, but I managed to sleep.

That is until I was abruptly woken up by the musical stylings of Bobby Vinton. WHAT?! At first I thought it was some cheesey old Christmas music, but then I listened a little harder. It was so loud and strange, so I just thought it was coming from the construction workers. I mean that would be weird, but whatever. And then I realized it was actually coming from my really strange upstairs neighbors. Oh boy.

I haven't had much luck with upstairs neighbors in this building. The first set decided it was cool if their dog peed all over their apartment, and it was even cooler that the pee dripped through their floor and into my apartment (no insulation or anything between their floor and my ceiling. Just wood floor boards and wood ceiling beams). They also thought it would be cool to blast kind of shitty R&B from 11pm to 3am. Whatever. They left at the end of July and we were ecstatic.

In comparison our new neighbors are great. They are pretty quiet most of the time. Their dog doesn't pee everywhere. But they listen to the most awful music. And they sing along. AND THEY CAN'T SING. Most of us can't, but I don't think most people crank up the Bobby Vinton at 10am on a Friday and really belt it out. Both the guy and the girl are equally awful singers and sing equally loud. Usually not together though (thank goodness). Now it only lasted about two hours, but still. Imagine living in a place where the music of your neighbors sounds like it's coming from your own stereo. And getting their lovely sing-a-long redition of top of it.

To add to their weirdness... Travis thinks that they are into acting. When he's working from home they like run lines and stuff. They also sing sans music, and then I kind of wish I were deaf. They also have these parties (I think it's a party) like once a month where a bunch of people come over, stay for an hour, leave for about 2 hours, and then come back for one or two more hours. And the whole time it sounds like they are walking around. I can hear them talk, but more than anything I can hear all of their footsteps. And it doesn't stop the whole time they're up there. What kind of party is this? Have you ever been to a party where you just walked around the whole time? I'm so confused.

But I really don't want to complain about them. I could still be living under the crazy lesbians with two bad dogs and a penchant for shitty R&B and using their crazy karate muscles to intimidate me.

Anyway. Here are some pictures of my loft because I forgot to post them before. It's so cute. I just wish I didn't have neighbors. And they put more money into nice fixtures.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Busy Beez.

Oh goodness. Things have been hectic again. A combination of work, home duties, and a new dog have totally wiped me out. Lately I've been feeling like I'm working every minute of the day. Although you probably couldn't tell yesterday as I decided to spend most of the day in bed. It was a treat I definitely earned.

Oh so yes. Travis and I adopted a pup a few weeks ago. His name is Stanley and he's a crazy bundle of energy. He'll be 3 years old in April. We think that he's a French Bulldog/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. But who really knows! He's cute either way.

That's him sleeping in Miso's chair. Lately the cats have been hanging out on top of the kitchen cabinets. They seem pretty happy up there, but I miss seeing them run around. I guess eventually everyone will get along ok and they can resume their romping. Miso and Nori actually kind of cuddle together. I guess Miso realized that Nori was the lesser of two evils and could tolerate her attention.

The recent cold weather has also kept me from doing anything too exciting. If I can walk there in 10 minutes, or if I can be driven there I will do it. Otherwise I've been pretty reluctant to go out. I really should be using all of this inside time for productive things, but old habits die hard.

Obviously things have been pretty boring around here. Maybe something more exciting will happen next week!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh My.

So you may notice by now the inconsistency of my nature. With all endeavors I take on there is this pattern I seem to follow: start strong and then kind of crap out. I've always known this about myself. In school I would start every semester saying, "I am going to re-read my notes every night, keep my papers organized, and finish every long-term assignment at least a week before it is due." Things would go this way for about 2 weeks, and then I would revert to my old ways. I guess it's a lack of discipline. But really, this is the story of my life.

I had a different blog a long time ago. I wrote in it pretty sporadically, so I decided to end it. I started this blog last winter because I felt like I would post regularly. I was busy, but felt compelled to document my experiences. It was (and still is) a very transitional time in my life.

So why has it been so difficult for me to keep up with my blog in the past few months? I am done school, I am not studying for anything (yet), and I don't bring my work home with me. I can't really answer that, but I have decided to make a concerted effort to post weekly. The end.


I started my second part-time job this month. It is in the emergency room of a South Jersey hospital. So far I really like it and pretty much wish it was a full-time job. I am responsible for registering patients, getting their demographic and insurance info, and getting them to sign some legal documents. It doesn't sound like a very exciting job, but it actually is. I get to see how the ER works and improve my patient care skills. Travis kind of teased me because I seem to have this affliction where the craziest person in the room will tell me their life story, and I will kindly listen to them no matter how much I wish I could blow them off and run away. It doesn't matter where I go. It's pretty much guaranteed that a crazy person, clueless person, old person, or all of the above will single me out. So you can only imagine what I hear on a daily basis in the hospital.

I am still working my retail job, but hoping to hear about a more full-time Monday-Friday 9-5 type of job. I have my resume out there and hoping for a nibble. Why is it so hard to find a job? I guess a lot of us are in the same boat. I am about ready to jump overboard.

One (positive?) development that has occurred over the past few weeks is my decision to re-apply to medical school. After I had that conversation with my mom I realized there must be a reason why I was so upset. No one can make you feel anything unless you believe what they're saying. My mom has called me a lot of things, but when she said I was a disappointment I really felt like I was. I disappointed (some of) my family, friends, mentors, and mostly myself. I didn't want to take my MCATs again this summer because I really couldn't deal with more disappointment. But once I realized that there was no rush and that I could take a few months to study and prepare, I probably wouldn't be disappointed. So beginning November 1st I will begin studying for the MCAT I intend to take in March. So yeah, I wouldn't be starting med school until 2010, but at least I would feel like I wasn't rushed and that I was pursuing my dream.

Wouldn't it be nice to clearly see the path you're meant to take? I've felt so many different things in the past 6 months, and hopefully this decision will be the right one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dear Diary,

Tonight Travis invented a new word. Quaple.

The end.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Some self indulgence

Should I really know what I want to do with my life at the age of 22? I ask myself every day. Right now I'm just happy to be making enough money to pay my rent and electric, eat, and buy a case of beer. I have lived about a quarter of my life so far (a little less). And about three quarters of that time has been spent in a learning institution. This is the first fall that I have not been in school. I don't exactly like it, but I'm happy to have a little time off. In fact, I really don't want to have anything to do with academics right now. I don't want to take a standardized test. I don't want to write an essay about my dreams and aspirations. I don't want to tell you what I did on my summer vacation.

This is all about applying to a graduate program for next fall. I have been feeling unsure of myself recently (it's been about 5 months since I've studied for anything), and that has led to my delaying applications and testing. I just don't know if I have what it takes... I mean I know that I do. But I'm afraid. I don't want to make any major choices if I'm not sure.

"Where did this all come from?" you may be wondering. Well in a word: MOM. My mom knows I don't want to be a failure. She knows that I am trying to figure out my path, but for whatever reason she keeps pushing certain sensitive issues. Tonight she just made me second guess myself. And then third guess if that's possible.

So at the end of the day, I'm left confused.

And hungry. And sick. But I'm about to eat some enchiladas so it's good. And hopefully my recent malady (chest cold, what's new?) will find it's way out overnight. 

Monday, September 22, 2008


The past seven days have been pretty hectic. I finally got some more hours at work (yay!), found a second job (extra yay!), revisited a friendship, celebrated a relationship milestone, saw one of my favorite performers, and enjoyed some quality time with my fav girl.

If you've been following my life since May, you would know that I've been on the prowl for a full-time job. Coming to terms with the fact that my bachelor's degree means basically nothing in the real world has been pretty difficult. No one is hiring full-time, or if they are you need about 20 different certifications and years of experience. So I followed some leads of possible well paying part-time work, and found myself in a hospital in Jersey talking to a nice HR woman. She found me a job with steady, although slightly inconvenient, hours. Come October I will be one of the many Americans with a second job. It's only temporary, right?

So Wednesday was probably my favorite day (Thursday was a close second). It was my day off, and I had originally planned on spending it riding my bike, drinking beers, and seeing Why? and Mount Eerie. But it wound up being taken up by a job interview (nice, but not the same type of fun a beer filled bike ride brings), naps, and an unexpected text message from a friend. I groggily smeared on some eyeliner, searched for my wallet, and sped off to the Pour House in East Falls to meet her for a beer. It was nice catching up, and I'm happy to know she's still the same and pretty good.

After a questionable drive along the river, I found myself around Rittenhouse. Since I've lived in Philly I've only missed one Why? show. And that was because of a car accident that landed me in the emergency room for about 8 hours. I've missed every other Mount Eerie show, so I knew the show would be a treat. I was not disappointed.

There are some bands you just need to see live to truly appreciate their talent. Sometimes because they are such a spectacle, sometimes because their ability to play ensemble is mesmerizing, and sometimes because the attention you must give to a live show helps bring out subleties you might normally miss. I admit that most of the times I've listened to Mount Eerie I've been driving. My attention fades in and out with the flow of traffic. I already knew I liked the sounds, but watching and really listening to Phil Elverum was a lovely experience. The music is simple. The words are simple. But everything is true and beautiful. I was finally able to really appreciate what he does.

And Why? was wonderful, of course. I did really want to hear some older stuff ("Just one from Hymie's Basement. Even Early Whitney. Please?") but it was fun to listen to songs from their new album. I had been listening to Alopecia pretty steadily, so I was ready to sing along. You can't stay quiet in my opinion. I did feel old (what, old at 22?) because most of the kids there were around 16. I saw smiling faces full of braces. This was strange. I felt better once Cassie got there and we looked at some Biochemistry slides. No matter how many times I see Why?, I always feel pretty sad when it's over. I'm still a little sad. Oh yeah and Travis forgot the camera so I had to use my phone and I didn't really feel happy about that thankyouverymuch.

So without making this post too long (probably at that point by now...) Let's move on to Thursday. Ah September 18th. Four years ago that day I think that Travis and I had a moment. We were seeing Mono play at the Church (Fly Pan Am got sick and canceled) and half way through their set our eyes met. We had gone to the show together, but only as friends. There was this hot energy in the air and I guess we just realized that there was something between us. I think it took a while until our relationship was verbally official, but we consider that to be our anniversary day. It's all arbitrary anyway. Pick a day and that's it, right? So for our anniversary Travis and I decided to go to the Ritz for a movie. We went to see Burn After Reading, but were enticed by free tickets to see Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It looked cute, it was free, and we could still get our parking validated. Sweet. The movie was alright. I think we missed like 30 minutes of it, but it wasn't hard to catch up. Maybe we'll see the other movie next week, as that's what we really wanted to do.

After the movie I was pretty starving, so Travis decided he'd treat me to tapas at Bar Ferdinand. I (eventually) happily agreed. I realized that they have decently priced delicious beers. Their food is also fabulous. We ate some meat from a Spanish pig that had only been fed acorns. YAY! I am all about feeding pigs acorns. I bet that pig was really happy to eat those acorns. And I was really happy to eat that pig.

Friday=boring. Saturday was really fun. I worked all day and then went to my co-worker and friend Kim's house for a lovely dinner of fabulous cheese, beers, goat cheese and roasted red pepper lasagna, finished with some wonderful homemade cream puffs! And she claims she doesn't cook! After dinner I ran to meet some of my family for dessert. It was my Grandmom's birthday and my parents took her and my Aunt Kathy out for dinner in Old City. We met up and when to Bon Bon Artisan Gelato for coffee and dessert. After some quality family time Travis and I ran off to Sugar Mom's where we met up with my most favorite girl Netty. Got one $1 PBR just as the special was ending, bonded with my girl, and then met up with Kim and two of our other friends from work. As usual Travis was surrounded by ladies. Luckily he enjoyed their company (honestly, who wouldn't?!) And he did have a fun time drawing a lovely replica of a PBR can on the graffiti table.

The night ended around 2:45am with Travis sans one ear gauge (if you are at Sugar Mom's and randomly find a silver double flared 0-gauge tunnel please hand it over and you will receive a prize!) and me with acid reflux. Not to mention delirious from beer and a seemingly long bike ride into North Philly.

Sunday was pretty restful. Sleep, meatball sub, car ride to Wilmington, nap, a yummy Bobby (otherwise known as Thanksgiving on a roll), and a family get together. It was Travis's brother-in-law's birthday so we went to say hi and celebrate. It was nice and chill and it's always nice to see everyone.

Now for another week of work and hopefully happy hours.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A little R and R

Although I've been back for a little over a week, it's time to do the vacation post!

The weekend before there was much planning. Who was making what on which night, what supplies would be needed, what type of beer would be most appreciated. All crucial things. On Sunday Travis and I decided to stop by Whole Foods to pick out some cheeses for our wine and cheese night. Honestly, I was most excited about this aspect of the trip. I have a serious weakness for a delicious cheese and a properly paired wine. After about an hour of sniffing and thinking, we decided on three: Roncal, a generic peppered goat cheese (also Spanish), and some other Spanish goat cheese whose name totally escapes me (although its floral and earthy flavors do not).

After making the wine selections (Tempra Tantrum, a Tempranillo/Shiraz blend and a Sauvingnon Blanc from Dyed in the Wool), Travis and I began our trek to Lake Raystown Resort. We left an hour or two later than we wanted, but felt optimistic about the drive. I couldn't really remember the last time I drove more than 1.5 hours, which is the exact amount of time it takes me to get to my parents' house. Well, I can. It was the 8 or 9 hour drive we made to North Carolina in the summer of '05. But if you know me then you should know that I hate the car, especially when I am in it upwards of 2 hours. But I just let the image of cheese and wine and a lake take over, and suddenly the 3.5 hour drive to middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania did not seem so bad. Oh yes and not to mention the good times that were about to be had. That helped too.

I remembered the route, as I had traveled it with my family about 10 years ago. My cousins live in Roaring Spring, PA which is about 10 minutes from the lake. Not much really stood out to me about the drive, aside from DRIVING THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS! Well, maybe that's how enthusiastic I had been at the age of 12. I was still (somewhat secretly) excited about that part of the drive. I have a quiet obsession with mountains. When I see one, I just feel at home. I think I'll probably end up on a mountain top. As much as I love shopping and dining and civilization, I might just run away one day.

After getting lost once (the signs are very small in this neck of the woods), getting directions, and another 20 minutes of winding roads we found ourselves at the lake. It was a relief to be out of the car, and to see our lovely accommodations. Travis's parents had rented out 3 villas, which were located right on the lake. We were staying with Travis's oldest brother, his wife, and their 3 kids. As long as I had my own room I didn't care. This wasn't really the sleeping in type of vacation. Every morning at 6:30 Enno would wake up the die hard water skiers. This did not include me, and I would sleep to about 9:00. Just enough time to feel rested, and everyone would just be getting back from the morning run.

This was my first lake vacation, but I had been told many times about the schedule. There was always a morning run. Scott would like to go out around 7:30, but Enno would insist on 6:30. It was a constant struggle. But either way there was a run too early for my liking. This is the best time for water skiing, though. There really isn't anyone else on the lake, so the water is like glass. After the morning run everyone would have breakfast together. There'd be some time for resting and then probably another run. By now, though, the lake would be pretty choppy from the tubers and people on wave runners. I liked going out then because no one would expect me to ski and I could just enjoy the scenery.

Or go tubing. As you can see in the photo above. That was after a long night of drinking and an even longer morning of headaches and uncertainty. I must admit that tubing didn't do much for the headache. Luckily it was later cured by a hot dog, ibuprofen, and a nap.

So there were many water skiing runs made each day. I just liked to go along for the ride. Everyone had a really lovely time. There wasn't really any drama. Nothing that I would give a second thought to, anyhow. It was really nice to see everyone together and having fun. Oh and we jumped off a cliff. Travis said it was a little cliff, but I thought it was a big deal. I have vertigo so being up there was pretty intense. You can watch Travis's brothers jump if you'd like. They're in the red shorts. I was already in the water, and Travis was tossing me my sunglasses.

On the last day Travis was pretty sad to go home. Neither of us had received any job offer calls, and we really didn't want to make the long drive to our empty apartment. But before we left the lake, we took a drive over to the marina where the carp live. I'd never seen a carp before and Travis wanted to let me have that experience. The little shop at the marina was selling dog chow for $0.50 under the name of "Fish Food" so we bought some to really enrich my carp time. I never knew fish were so crazy. I touched one, although Travis told me not to. I just couldn't help it, but I sort of regretted it later. I learned that carp are slimy. I have a little video of their craziness on YouTube just in case you'd like to relive my first time with the carp.

All in all it was a really fun week. Travis and I both could've stayed two more days, but oh well. We did wind up driving down to the shore the next day for some quality time with my parents, and to go to my cousin's bbq. But no trip would be complete without some kind of ridiculous event. So we got a flat tire. No biggie. Travis had changed one on my car a few months ago and he was pretty fast. BUT Travis did not have a jack in his car. What?! How could this be?

Needless to say I was pretty furious. Well, my Dad pays for AAA for a reason. I call. And I get transferred about 5 times, wait on hold for a total of 45 minutes, and have a fight with a dispatcher. Their customer service was not at all what I expected. They wanted an exact address for my disabled car, but I was on a pretty desolate stretch of road. I didn't know what exact township I was in. Am I supposed to be psychic? If I was I wouldn't have to subscribe to their service because I could predict any future road hazards. Eventually a man came with a jack and put on the spare. Then we had a lovely drive going 55mph on a road where you would normally do at least 65. Travis liked waving people around, but I just wanted to get home.

When I did finally get home I chugged a Miller Lite and hopped in my mom's Beemer. Ahh the luxurious life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Birthday Saga + My Mega Wish List

Things have been pretty good since my birthday. Well, except my birthday (at first). So I predicted stormy weather, and was greeted by the apocalypse. I called a friend who lives in Wilmington and she told me that she couldn't come up because the weather was a serious monsoon, but I foolishly laughed and said, "It's not even drizzling up here!" About 25 minutes later the rain started, then the thunder and lightning, and then the 1000 mph gusts that turned our umbrellas inside out, more thunder, followed by some lovely birthday hail, and topped off with a few buckets of water. I found myself soaked from head to toe in front of a mysteriously closed falafel restaurant. I decided to head into the Starbucks to meet up with my friend (and attempt to dry myself off) when I realized that my arms were stained bright blue. Oh yes, the cute little thrifted electric blue clutch I was carrying got wet and leaked its dye all over my torso. And a little on my face. The torture did not stop there. There were no paper towels in the bathroom, so I had to wring out my clothes and try to dry out a little under the hand dryer. Oh and it was too late to even think about buying some dry clothes, as all the shops in Center City close around 8. Oh and I left my cell phone in the bathroom. A nice man found it, called my dad, and then Travis went and got it. Happy Birthday to me.

I wound up hanging around Jimmy's apartment for a while (although his girl did not own a hair dryer, and that was my main goal in going to his place). Any restaurant that might be open after 9pm (and would accept sopping wet patrons) was closed due to "flash flooding," and I resorted to eating Sunshine Trail Mix for dinner. I did also go to Dirty Frank's and drank a large quantity of beer. I don't remember getting inebriated, but I did have fun.

So maybe I should get to the goodness of my life. I had a job interview last Thursday for a seriously real job. It might not be exactly what I was looking for, but I think that I could be happy there for the next year. The interview went insanely well, and I should hear within the next week if I got the job. It's actually an hour away from my apartment, but it would be worth it. Plus if I get it, I'm going to buy a new car and I think I'd like to be driving it a bit. I've also picked out the new couch I want. Not to mention my very large Google wish list. There are just so many things...

Travis also has a promising job lead. He had an interview on Tuesday and hopefully we'll hear about that by the beginning of next week. If we both had jobs... there would be so much new furniture... and probably a flat screen TV. And definitely a new car. Oh and the new iPhone. Oh and a vacation. We wouldn't be poor college students anymore!!!

Last Friday Travis had his birthday, and we went to see Ariel Pink at the M Room. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect of the bar as I heard mixed reviews. People said it was pretentious, but I just think those people are too self-conscious. I like $2 PBRs, fun friends, and crazy times. I'm glad I was drunk otherwise I would have been annoyed by the assault on my cutely sandaled feet. The next morning we went to Honey's Sit n Eat and had a delicious brunch. Love it. I think we'll go back tomorrow night for dinner.

Ariel and Jimmy

Next week is the lake trip. It will be me plus all of Travis's family plus Enno. It will be interesting. I'm bringing a lot of busy activites. They like to go water skiing, but I don't care for it. I have books, beads, guitars and keys, paints and pens, and magazines. I think that will be a few days worth of things to do! When I say there will be pictures, I actually mean it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today is...

My birthday. Well not officially. I will be 22 around 12:29pm later this afternoon. But I'm sure my mom was anxiously awaiting my presence at this time, and I was anxiously waiting to break free. Not much has changed.

Well I contemplated my last entry. I have come to realize a few more regrets that have been weighing heavy on my heart, although I'd rather not admit them. This week (maybe month or hour) I have come to terms with some serious regrets that could be filed under "friendship" and hope that I can mend or overcome. I'm not hopeful, but honest.

So on this night of my birth, I enjoyed drinks with some really great friends. I went to a strange house party with interesting characters (and stories to tell selected confidants), drank cheap ass beer, and relived moments with fabulous friends. My night took me from North Philly, to South Philly, to Fairmount Park, back to South Philly, only to rest my weary bones on North 5th Street where I am finally able to think about the 21st year of my life.

Every year I ask myself if I'm everything I hoped I'd be at this time last year. I've concluded upon assessment that I've fallen short in some areas, but exceeded any hopes in others. I think I've finally found my calling. I've become much more honest and free-spirited. I know what scraping the bottom of the barrel (financially and emotionally) really means. I think I can be somewhat proud of this last year. I only hope that I can can do better during my 22nd.

Tomorrow (today?) is probably going to be rainy (it's raining as we speak). My plan is to sleep in, get ready, go to dinner, and then eventually wind up at Dirty Frank's for $5 pitchers of Lager. If you read this and you like me then you should join me. Wish me a happy birthday.


So I promised mini pony pictures. I'm sorry that I can't deliver right now. They're on my mom's camera and will probably make it to my laptop this weekend. But I can say this: Buckwheat (the mini horse) is fresh and likes when Travis chases him around the corral, and the fancy baby horse (whose name escapes me) gave me love and then stepped on my toe. All in the name of good horse lovin'.

My parents are taking me to dinner in Atlantic City on Saturday night for my birthday. Not exactly what I would've picked, but it's always fun. Maybe I will slip my silver quarter dollar into a slot machine. I am hoping for a million, but expecting -25 cents. I think I deserve at least $100. It would be nice.

There's probably more to say, but I'll post it later with birthday pictures and rambles (brambles?).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We regret to inform you...

So lately I've been thinking about regrets. Not my own, really, but more like people's views on regret. It's such a strange thing. I'm sure you could survey 50 people under 50, and most of them would claim they have no regrets. What's the point of regret, anyway, when you can't do much about it? But really, if you have the ability to be honest with yourself you will probably realize how many things you actually do regret. Recently I have regretted not applying to the PhD program I was eying up for a few months. At least then I would feel more secure about the next 12 months. But what can I do now? So why regret it? We must experience regret for a reason, however. Maybe to keep us from making such mistakes in the future. I sure do regret not holding my tongue during a sensitive family crisis, and now I've learned. I also regret missed connections through out my life. We have all been there. That moment of direct eye contact made with a stranger but never pursued. The person you liked at worked but never hung out with. Maybe even a relative that you would have liked to know better before they left your life (for whatever reason). But my regrets have afforded me with the ability to not let these opportunities drift away. So when I think of all my regrets I am reminded how important it is to live in the now, and do what is going to make me happy (no matter how silly I look or feel).


The past few weeks have just been a blur of work, sleep, and car rides. I'm still waiting to hear about the research jobs. I've been told multiple times from different people that it often takes a month for things to go through. I'm thinking about applying at another university just in case. I need something before the scary thought of a second part-time job becomes an even scarier reality!

I formally (kind of) announced to my families that I am not going to be pressured into medical school and am going to apply to Biochemistry/Molecular Biology PhD programs for the fall. The slight disappointment in my Mom's voice when she realized I was serious was rather rewarding. She'll be happy for me one day, I'm sure. Travis's dad was already telling me which people to avoid at my two top school choices.

I wanted to post some of my Independence Day pictures. Travis and I were feeling rather independent that day and decided to stay home. He ran up to Stone's on Fairmount to pick up some beers. I made a blueberry cobbler. Jimmy came over and I made a really good dinner (recipe can be found here). The neighbors were setting off fireworks in the baseball field, so Travis and Jimmy coaxed me up onto the roof. We realized that we could probably see the fireworks being set off at the Art Museum, so waited around in the drizzling rain until they decided to set them off. Unfortunately a house was in the way and we could only see the top of each firework, so crawled back in through the bathroom window. But we did get to see the displays of all the North Philadelphia neighborhoods.

I sort of wish I would have headed over to my boss's house as there was an inappropriate guest and I wanted to witness it. It just always happens that I feel crappy on the 4th, so staying home was probably the best idea.

This weekend I'm heading to my parents' house. I plan on eating their food, drinking their wine, playing with puppies, and visiting a mini horse. You can bet your sweet bippy there will be some cute horse pictures! Enjoy your weekend (without regret).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Days and Days

Obvi I'm a total slacker when it comes to blogging. This has been mentioned before, I think. It's not that I don't think about blogging, it's just that I have been lacking some motivation lately. A lot has been going on, but I've been pretty bored none the less.

Travis and I graduated last month. It was a good finish. I was relieved to be done, but felt really lost not knowing what I would be doing for the next year. Med school didn't seem to be in the cards for me (not this year at least), I hadn't applied to any grad programs, and I was still waiting to hear about a possible research position at a big university. So it kind of felt like I was going on my summer vacation, but I knew in the back of my mind that I had to find something to do with myself for 12 months.

Not much has changed there, although I've made some big life decisions. For the past 3 years all I've been hearing from various friends/family members is that I am destined to be a doctor, that I would be so happy, and that I need to keep trying for Med school. But guess what... I honestly don't care about being a doctor. I love science. I'm awesome with health science, but that doesn't mean I should become a doctor. No one can even use the "awesome salary" excuse any more. The cost of medical school is astronomical and malpractice insurance is through the roof. I think I would make an amazing doctor, but I know that I would be just as happy, if not happier, in research. I've decided that I will be applying to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology programs this fall, and I don't care who I disappoint!

Travis and I moved into our new apartment. So far it's been amazing, with the exception of one neighbor. She's really not worth an explanation, and will be moving in July. Hopefully more courteous neighbors will move in. The loft itself is awesome. 1100 square feet of old factory space. It's completely open and full of light. It's perfect for us. The only things I don't like are the kind of cheap fixtures and the amount of noise that travels from one apartment to the other. But it's fine. The neighborhood is the best!!! It's full of families and we live just steps from the BEST Mexican restaurant I've ever been to. It's like if you were Mexican and your family cooked you a feast. It's guaranteed that if you visit us and like to eat Mexican food, we will go there for dinner. Plus it's BYOB. We went there on Tuesday night with Bert, and Bert decided to give the owner a beer. I have a feeling we will all be good friends...

Since we've lived closer to Center City, Travis and I have been out a lot more. The subway is just 4 blocks from our apartment. Last Thursday we hit up Bob and Barbara's for the Drag show, which was really fun. I'd never been to one before so it was a real treat. I pretty much love any kind of live performance, but watching this while getting progressively more drunk was the best way to spend a Thursday night.

I would love to post some pictures of the loft, but I don't feel like it's ready yet. We have quite a list of projects. Would you like to know about them? I bet you do!!!! Here we go...
  • build a wooden screen to separate the living area and the sleeping area
  • buy a crafting desk and set up my crafting space
  • put up shelves to divide the dining area and the workspace
  • paint accent walls (tomato soup red in the living room, vibrant olive in the kitchen)
  • buy bench seating for the dining room table
  • hang lamps in the living area
  • make storage boxes to go on the utility shelves
  • buy lovely decorations (my favorite part!)
We will see when all of this happens. I'm thinking everything will look amazing for our Christmas party, but I'd love it if we could have things done before then.

I think it's time for ice cream and some wish list making.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


It's been two months since by last post. Sorry I'm a major slacker. Not to mention the whole school thing. Oh and the unhappy accident of spilling water next to the laptop and inadvertently screwing up my keyboard. Luckily Travis is busy because it gives me the chance to commandeer his keyboard!

So here are the Colleen updates: I am taking a year off of school to save some money/retake the MCATS/enjoy my life a little bit; Travis and I are in the process of moving to Northern Liberties; classes are over and graduation is in 2 weeks! Really not much is new. I'm a busy girl, but I will stop neglecting my blogger duties.

I wish I had some cute pictures to post... I'm going to do a search and find some things for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I take my vitamins with wine

The past week has been as close to hell as I have been so far this semester. It is just one thing after another. By tomorrow night I will have had: 1 test; 2 quizzes; 1 project; 3 labs; 2 shifts at the retail job; made 30 electrophoresis gels (15 of which didn't work).

So I don't want to complain, but it's somewhat inevitable. One piece of good news is that Travis and I can move out early IF AND ONLY IF we find someone to rent the apartment. So as long as someone is fabulous enough to move in by June 1st, Travis and I are on our way to real city living. Thinking of the apartment... we finished the main wall a few weeks ago. I am almost loving it. I still wanted to stain the shelves to match the wood on the couch, but I couldn't find the stain we used. Hmm. Well, here it is (if you haven't already seen it)

It's so cute. That whole area cost under $150. It just took a little time and experimentation. I decided that if I made a ton of money I would decorate for a living. I just have SO many ideas and I'd like 1,000 living rooms to put them into! Give me money and I will make your vision happen. I'd love to do that for the rest of my life. Oh my.

My mom's friend is head of PR (I think) for the Flyers, so he got Laura and me free tickets to the Flyers vs. Sabres game on Tuesday night. Unfortunately we lost, but I had fun anyway. I'm not a big sports person, but there's nothing like seeing a game in person. It's so easy to get into it! I have a few pictures, but I'll post them later.

I have a general question... Why don't people like beets? I mean fresh beets. Canned vegetables shouldn't count as vegetables. Anyway, why do people cringe at the mere mention of this delectable root? Roasted beets have such a wonderful sweet and earthy flavor. And such a beautiful color! As I type this entry, I worry that my beet-stained fingertips might be contaminating the pristine white of my laptop. So far, so good. Beets are just amazing. In salads, in slaws, in soups, roasted and dappled with soft cheese... There are so many ways to enjoy them. I'm sad for all the people who refuse to try beets. So if you're curious about the beet (I know, it's very mysterious and misunderstood) I suggest you buy a bunch. Make sure their greens and stems look fresh. Trim the stems, wrap the beet in tin foil and bake it for about an hour. Unwrap your new little treat, wait a few minutes and peel off the skin. Slice your beet and enjoy. I like to eat mine in salad or with some goat cheese. They're also delicious with pickled fennel and bleu cheese.

Just eat a beet. Please. You'll love it. I know you will.

As for me, I'm bringing my leftover beets to lunch tomorrow. Maybe I could entice a few people. Ah time to study, however. Cell membranes (which make me think about beets and all of their lovely beta cyanin) and their transport proteins await me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


So I've been pretty busy recently. Hence the lack of weekly post! Work is beginning to pile up, and professors really like giving tests back-to-back. It's been great, really. Let me think about the past few weeks...

Honestly, not much has happened aside from school nonsense. Travis and I did get a Wii, though! We must have called every Game Stop and Best Buy in the Philadelphia area for weeks on end. Travis got lucky last Monday when he found a Wii at the Game Stop in the ghetto. I had to take a little adventure by myself, which ended in my driving over a curb to get into the parking lot. It was interesting. But we have the Wii and that's what matters, right?!

Other than that, nothing. My sister got a puppy for her birthday, so we went to New Jersey last weekend to see the new baby. She's pretty adorable! Her name is Dolce and she's 11 weeks old. I had no idea she was going to be so small! She's about the size of a guinea pig! Too cute.

Miss Dolce and Big Ol' Lenny

My sister Sarah and her baby


Spending a little quality time with Lenny

I also have some videos of the new puppy (plus some of my stupid kitties!) on YouTube. They're too cute!

Let's see if I get a new (and more eventful) post up next week!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chilled to the bone!

Drinks at Chaucer's on Tuesday night

Well the weather here in Philadelphia is just gorgeous!!! KIDDING! I can see the appeal in a snowy streetscape, but if you lived on my street you would cringe at the fist sign of snow or potential ice. If you've never had the pleasure of driving me to my house, let me just describe my parking/street situation. The street is one-way and a sort of thoroughfare connecting two main roads. So it's pretty busy all of the time. I also have one of the only driveways on the street, and people just LOVE parking inches away from it. So if you've seen my little white Jetta around and thought, "That girl must hit a lot of things," I would like to clarify that a lot of people like parking close to my driveway, causing me to dent my car. Oh did I mention that my street is a hill? I would guess at a 55° angle. So imagine this combination during the snowy/icy months. To top it all off my car is a manual, and also horrible in the snow. I've had to explain this to people for almost 2 years now and it's getting old. So I hate the snow and ice. I also hate driving, especially late because that's when people like to not only park close to my driveway, they like to park in front of it. Well that certainly is enough of my rant.


The past week has been busy. Wednesday night I went out for drinks with friends. BTW Smith's Restaurant + Lounge is an awesome place to go for drinks and snacks. Any
establishment that has $3 Yuenglings earns a place in my regular rotation. The food was really tasty, too. I had the butter lettuce salad and was very impressed. Apparently my friend's boyfriend-thing's ex-boss owns the place. Give it a shot if you're in the Rittenhouse area.

While we were out, I stumbled upon this:

The rest of the week/weekend was pretty relaxed. Travis's poor Powerbook G4 died. I am not to discuss the particulars of this tragedy. Considering his school life is based around that machine (he'll be graduating with a B.S. in Graphic Design) he had to get a new computer. I would say he's pretty happy about it (but sad of course)...

While we were in DE making electronic purchases, we picked up this previously owned Micro Korg. I love it and can't wait to put out some cute and funky music!

This week should be interesting. My obligations include: Pathology quiz; Biochemistry exam; preparing a presentation on James Polk (what?!); working my retail job. But fun things will certainly be on the list. As Valentine's Day is on Thursday, Travis is taking me to Bistro 7 for dinner. I'm so excited.

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I'm waiting for Heather to come and pick me up. We're having a little girls' night thing. While I'm waiting I'm going to give you a tasty recipe.

Chicken Tikka
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • enough chicken (or tofu) to fill your hungry belly!
Mix the garlic, ginger, cumin, and chili powder together in a bowl or a zip-lock bag. I like using the bag so I don't have any dishes to clean. Once the seasonings are mixed add the yogurt, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Add your chopped chicken (or tofu) and mix up. Marinate for at least 3 hours. It is best if you marinate the chicken overnight. I wouldn't marinate the tofu too long, though. Sometimes tofu can get mush and bleh if marinated for too long.

About 30 minutes before you're starving, turn on the broiler to your oven. Chop up some onion ( I like to do wedges) and drizzle with olive oil. Lay the onion onto a baking sheet, or aluminum foil. Put the chicken on top of the onions, and broil for 15 minutes. After that time is up, flip the chicken and cook for 15 more minutes (or until done. It takes 25-30 mins total). I like to serve this with rice. It takes my rice cooker about 35 minutes to cook enough for Travis and me, so I just set that up right before I'm ready to cook the chicken. This is pretty delicious, and you should probably try it out. YUM!

Monday, February 4, 2008

snack dinner

There are few meals I enjoy more than snack meals! While other people were stuffing their faces full of hot wings during the Super Bowl, Travis and I enjoyed a lovely treat of bread, bean mush, arugula, goat cheese, and jam! Trust me, it was way better than it sounds. Last Thanksgiving I made these tasty little treats as an appetizer. I used white beans instead of the chick peas, though. I just think they make for a creamier puree. Well that's what I made for dinner last night. Along with the bread, goat cheese, and raspberry jam. You can't beat a snack dinner.

We had chicken tikka for dinner tonight with some buttery rice. That's delicious. Maybe I'll post the recipe later this week. If you have a stove and a refrigerator, you can't go wrong with this one!

He's a picture of Nori the Cat for good measure:

Last night I got to talk to a good friend. It's when I get his phone calls that I realize how much I miss him. There are very few thinkers and dreamers left in the world.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekend Recap

Well, if you lived in my house you would know that 0 items from my To Do List were accomplished. The weekend technically is not over, so the closet will probably get cleaned out and I will definitely drink at least a few beers.

The weather was just too nice yesterday to stay inside and clean. After sleeping in (yay!) Travis and I picked up Laura and went into the city. After my 30 minute parking search, I gave up and parked in a garage. We just browsed around Walnut and Chestnut for a few hours. I have a hard time buying clothes this time of year. Spring lines abound, but I just can't justify hiding bright yellows and blues behind my black wool coat of winter. I'll wait a few months. Once mid-April hits I should have a little money saved up, and the weather should be better.

So after shopping Travis, Laura, and I went to Tampopo on 21st for dinner. If you're looking for something light yet filling, try one of their bento boxes. My personal favorite is spicy chicken breast. Tampopo is also one of the only places
(along with the underground grocery store in Chinatown) where I can find my favorite iced tea .

Ito En Green Tea

Travis getting ready for his fabulous dinner.

Laura being silly.

Pure Sass, as usual.

As for the upcoming week... things shouldn't be too crazy. I'm in a constant state of suspense concerning my med school applications. All checks have been cashed, meaning they're at least looking over my stuff and I should have some sort of decision coming my way. I would like to know if I need to look for a job, or if I should begin to enjoy my last few months of freedom! Oh well, we'll see soon enough.

Friday, February 1, 2008

ta da

To Do List:
  • Clean out the hall closet
  • Hang the lamps
  • Stain the shelves
  • Devise a hanging method for the polaroids
  • Drink more beers
Obviously my life is exciting. Honestly this is the first weekend we've been home (and not sick) for a while. It's so easy to be pulled in twenty different directions these days. Luckily we have understanding families. But I'd really like to get all of the loose ends of the apartment tied up before parties start popping up.


Anyway. This has been a tiring week for me. Labs officially started back up on Monday, which always adds to the stress of my life. Two quizzes topped it off. Meetings helped. Plus application stresses. Oh my. And that was just school.

My Uncle died last Saturday; he had pancreatic cancer. The viewing was last night so that was pretty depressing. I always feel so awkward when death is concerned. I have no personal problems with death and loss, but I just never know what to say to anyone. "I'm so sorry," is pretty standard. It's typical in my family to say, "Oh I like your hair. Is that a new style?" instead of real
ly talking about what happened. I have no problem, but some people do. The worst part of it all was the open-casket viewing. No one ever looks like they did during life. I've seen a lot of dead people, but it's just so much easier when you don't know them. I'll really miss "pull my finger" at Christmas...


My mom gave me this plant a few weeks ago. Her plant ha
d babies (hehehe) and she couldn't just get rid of them! So I asked her to nourish the baby into a healthy and Colleen-proof state. I took my plant home, put him on the shelf (his name is Mr. Plant) only to find that my fluffy cat Miso really likes nibbling on his leaves! So I moved Mr. Plant to a new locale, one that was not really conducive to kitty exploration. Well miss princess tried to eat the plant again! I caught her in the act.

She's already munched down two leaves! Bad cat! She got a little scolding, but it obviously has no effect. She's the type of cat who scratches on the couch, gets yelled at, but stares you right in the eyes and keeps scratching. She knows what she's doing, that sassy girl. Sass must be contagious in my house.

This is Miso after her scolding:

She was still thinking about eating Mr. Plant. Good thing he is non-toxic.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

lulz internet

It's been quite a while since I took to the internet, brain churning out wit and sarcasm... I may be a bit rusty. Or crusty, considering a dried up brain is more apt to develop crust. Anyway.

I hope to use this as a means of sharing a bit of my world with you. Photos, recipes, stories, rants. All that delicious bloggy stuff everyone loves. I'm sure only wonderful things are to come... uh ok.

I'll end my first post on this note:

There's nothing like becoming a work of art.