Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hard sell.

I always get these sweet southern ladies when I call up my internet provider.  They're absurdly friendly and we usually end up laughing about stupid shit and it's pretty amusing.

Today was no exception.  We laughed and she made fun of me having to haul out a LADDER to switch off my modem.  We got my internet fixed.

And then she tried to "give" me a free month of cable TV.  To which I told her that I didn't have a TV.

(this is a lie, sort of.  Shaun brought a TV over to my place ages ago so we could watch DVDs, but I never use it--and since I don't have cable hookups or a digital antenna, it doesn't get any channels.)

She sucked in a shocked breath and asked incredulously, "You don't have a TV?"

I said, "No, I'm one of those weird people without a TV."

She told me, "Well, you can watch our digital channels online."

I said, "Well, yes.  But I'm also a student, so me having a month of free cable isn't exactly a good idea."

She said, "Please.  I was a nursing student and I couldn't live without my TV."

(I didn't point out the sheer irony that she was now doing phone tech support and not, y'know, nursing.)

She went on to ask me what I was studying.  When I told her I was a Creative Writing major and am finishing up my "first" novel, she said...

"Well, you can watch TV and it will make your novel even better."

Talk about a stretch.  This lady should work for Kirby or something.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

RAIK: Random Acts of Internet Kindness




People on the internet can be so mean.  Some hide behind an anonymous name to make nasty comments-- and once you don't have to actually stand behind your opinion, the internet becomes a free-for-all.  (This is one of the reasons Youtube has begun encouraging users to use their full name recently.)

Last night and today in particular I've seen way too much negativity online.  People jumping all over one another on Facebook (and this is non-anon!) calling each other names and implying the ignorance of the OP in other ways.  It's pretty awful, and I'm overwhelmed by all this anger and bitterness.  And with all this,  I'm not even talking about the "cyber bullying" that is going down among our youth--which is, of course, even worse.

A long time ago I mentioned trying to spread positivity online.  Well, I still think it's something we should be actively doing.  We need to make the good outweigh the bad!

 Here are some of my suggestions:


  • If you're looking at a photo of someone and you think they look beautiful, or they have a great outfit on, a friendly smile, or whatever--tell them so.  
  • If someone posts something that you find beautifully poetic, a wonderfully composed image, or something that educated you in a way you didn't expect--thank them for sharing.
  • If a joke or a photo makes you think of someone and smile--share it with them.

There are tons of other things you can do, too.  When you see an internet argument, don't jump in and add fuel to the fire.  It is possible to have a discussion that respects everyone's ideas and viewpoints, but on the internet they seem few and far between.  When you don't have all the facts about a situation, try not to make snap judgements.  It's always better to ask for clarification then to misunderstand.


The internet doesn't have to be such a negative place.  (And neither does the world...but let's take this one step at a time, shall we?)


PS: Feel free to share this post and encourage positivity!  And be sure to comment back if you take on this experiment yourself, or have any other suggestions.

(image credit)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I have been goofing off instead of writing.

Because honestly, this paper is just too horrid to face.
I have 5 pages done so far out of the required 15-30.
Have I mentioned I really hate writing about writing?
Oh yeah.
I have.


I leave you with me wasting time.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Well, isn't that colorful?

This is what my spine looks like.


The green areas are "good".  Normal spines should be green.

Red/orange/yellow areas?  Not so much.  So apparently my back is totally gnarly.  They're looking at the x-rays now and I get to go back in and learn more on Wednesday.

This was all spurned by the fact that:

-Remember my colonoscopy/endoscopy?  Well, my results came back perfectly normal.  Which meant, despite my symptoms, I did NOT have either a gluten allergy or celiac disease.  They told me I have IBS (which I was diagnosed with years ago--it's mainly stress/anxiety related) and sent me on my way.

-When I stopped eating gluten cold turkey and then added it back in, my body FREAKED.OUT.  The worst symptom was lower back pain, which people said was my "intestines inflaming".  I decided that by cutting out gluten entirely I had done myself a disservice and somehow made myself even more sensitive to it.  So after my colonoscopy I added it back into my diet gradually.

-This tactic worked pretty well.  Until this weekend, when I was wholloped with back pain on both Saturday and Sunday night.   By Sunday I was all over Facebook asking my medical friends (I have one RN, one MD, and a bunch of medical students on my friends list) what it could possibly be.

They have suggested a few things, mainly kidney stones (probably not since the pain is so random), sciatica (which seems possible) or narrowing of nerve...roots...something?  I don't even know.

The good news is, the chiropractor I saw said that spinal misalignment can cause all kinds of crazy symptoms--including headaches (which I've been getting lately) anxiety (YES) and even...dun dun dun...digestive problems!  

So this whole mysterious gluten allergy is HOPEFULLY going to be cleared up soon by a magical chiropractor.  I sure hope it's something he can spot easily and fix easily!

Plus y'know, if my anxiety gets better that's just a super added bonus.

Onward!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey/Crunch Time/Dear God

Is school over yet?  Jesus.
I have a mere two weeks to "finish" my novel.  (This is my own goal, my advisor said it doesn't need to be finished but I feel silly turning in a half-written novel as a final project!)
I also have to write two completely ridiculous papers about writing. This all explains why my updates have been few and far between.

Yeah, writing about writing.  I think that is my new least favorite topic.

I hope everyone had a lovely Turkey Day.  I had a five day weekend or something like that, and it was pretty sweet.  I also overdid it on Black Friday (it's ridiculous long it takes to make money and how quickly it can be spent!) but I got most of my gift buying done...plus I have two new pairs of boots and some awesome new headphones for work.  I'd been eyeing them and they were $20 off...I had to.

In other news, today was (literally) Alison appreciation day at work.  And yesterday I wrote the new tag line for the company, which gets me a $100 bonus check.  I'm pretty pumped about that, mostly because um, I wrote a company tag line!  How awesome am I?

Things are good, but all in all I am so ready to be done with school.  People keep asking me if I'm planning on grad school and I just laugh at them.  145 days until I have a diploma in my hand, and I'm running away after that and never looking back.


Unless I decide to teach creative writing someday, that is.  In which case I'll, y'know, work in a school. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now, I'm excited about all the books I'm going to read and the TV shows I'm going to knock out of my Netflix queue once school is done!

Any recommendations on either front?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My nightmare at the polls...

Even election day doesn't go off without a hitch around here...

I got out of work at 5PM and headed straight to the polls.  Now, I used to live in Massachusetts but a number of years ago (not sure how many, I'm guessing around six) I moved to Connecticut.  Although I changed my license and all that, I DID NOT register to vote in Connecticut.

It never crossed my mind at first.  I was still reasonably close to Massachusetts, so why not drive over the line and go vote in my old hometown?  I didn't see anything wrong with that.

Someone made me fill out paperwork to register in CT for the last election, but it turned out to be a huge hassle.  I remember trying to drop it off at Town Hall but they wouldn't take it for some reason.  I was annoyed to be getting the run-around, so I saw voting in Massachusetts to be the simpler option.

For the last presidential election, I walked in, stood in line, told the woman at the desk my name, and voted.  Simple.

This time?

My name wasn't on the list.

A man there got on the phone with someone to determine that I had been deleted from the system because I moved to Connecticut.  But I already had been living in Connecticut for years when I voted the first time. That didn't quite explain things.  But then I learned I hadn't returned a census. (My ex threw it out.)  And that Massachusetts purges voters from the system every 3 years to clear out anyone who is deceased.

Awesome.

The man with the phone told me I wasn't registered anywhere.

"So I can't vote?"  I asked.  "I can't vote at all?"

He shook his head and told me he was sorry.  He said that he had a crazy ex, too, and she probably would have thrown out his census as well.

I felt really lost, standing in the middle of the polling room.  My opinion officially didn't matter.  I was completely useless in a sea of people who were making their opinion count.
----------------------------------------------------

Cut to me bitching on Facebook about how I'm probably the only moron who didn't know you had to RE-Register to vote.  (The first time had been so easy!  I thought it would always be like that--I had no clue you ever got purged from the system.)

Luckily, a few of my friends thought that this sounded fishy.

"What about a provisional ballot?"  They asked me.

--------------------------------------------------

And so, after trips to THREE different polling places (where most people working the polls don't actually have any idea what a provisional ballot is!), half a tank of gas, and some car-contained yelling and crying (done at different points in time) I have officially voted.

Although, providential ballots don't get counted until the 16th, so I'm not exactly sure how my vote affects the election...but, whatever.  I feel better anyway.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good news didn't take long!

I'm pretty lucky it seems, that only a couple days after I was fired, my part-time job decided to take me on full-time...with a pretty sweet raise, to boot.

So finally I can resume some sort of semblance of "life as a normal person"...I can stop working 70 hour weeks and work 40 instead.  I can stop driving 17 hours a week and drive 5 instead.  I can stop paying $400 on gas in a month and pay $____?? instead.

I am beyond thrilled to resume meetings with my writing group.  To take baths with a good book once I come home from work.  To play with my cat (even though he's stalking my feet as I write this) and straighten my hair and do my makeup.  To get 8 hours of sleep instead of 4.  To pick up around the house and watch a DVD if I feel like it.

And maybe, just maybe, with a little luck, I really can finish this novel I'm writing in SIX weeks.  Oh, crap.  Only five weeks now...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Well, I'm glad that's over.

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone and I'm absolutely heartbroken at some of the pictures I'm seeing from NYC.  I just can't imagine what life in the city must be like right now, and I can't help but wonder how long it will take for things to get back to normal.  I know I don't live there, but so much of my heart is there and it's so hard to see the photos.

I waited out this storm in the middle of an evacuated street along the coastline.  Thankfully, I was up on top of a big hill and we were fortunate--no trees came through our roof and we didn't experience any flooding.  We didn't even lose power for more than a flicker--I guess we were on the same grid as an airport, so they don't typically lose power for long.

There was one downside, though, I was wrongfully terminated from my job for calling out on Monday.   Y'know, the same day that the governor SHUT DOWN THE HIGHWAYS and declared a state of emergency?  Ordered everyone to stay in their homes?  Yeah, that day.

Luckily I have a second job so I'm not out on the streets, but I am fuming mad at the injustice and will possibly be taking legal action, and at the very least be applying for unemployment.  You can't just fire an employee for not driving to work in a disaster.  I was given paperwork after the fact and NOWHERE does it state that I could be terminated, it only says "employees who call out during a disaster are not eligible to use sick time".

I hope everyone is safe, didn't have too much damage, and didn't lose their jobs during the storm.  :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Whoa Hurricane Sandy...

Stay safe everyone.
I hope your jobs care more about your well-being than their "numbers" and you got to stay home without fighting a battle with your HR reps.  :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That time I got a "double dip"

WARNING:::  I'm not going to get VERY graphic in this post, but if you're at all squeamish about  medical stuff you  may want to skip this one!


I'm not lying, this is exactly what my doctor said to me as I wheeled towards him on a gurney.
"You're here for the double dip?"

Dear lord.  Yes, I suppose I am.

Refresher:  I went in on Friday for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, to rule out Celiac Disease and Colitis.  I had long assumed I had Celiac disease because I had the wide array of symptoms.  But then I read somewhere that you can still be damaging your intestines (leading to eventual intestinal deterioration and cancer) even if you don't have symptoms.  So, even though I had been on a gluten-free diet for a year or so, I was forced to return to typical eating habits so they could get a look at what kind of damage was being done.





1.  The prep.  This was by far the worst part. Starting at Midnight two days before the procedure, you have to stop eating.  For someone who works nights and is often up until 3 in the morning, this is difficult, but I managed.  The hardest thing was chugging down FOUR LITERS of nasty, salty, artificially sweetened "prep" (usually GoLytely, HalfLytely, or something like that.)  I don't drink artificial sweeteners, and I haven't since I gave up Diet Coke/soda in general roughly 3 years ago. OH MY GOD.  This stuff was nasty. I could only choke down just over two liters, just a little more than you see in that photo ------->

 I was afraid it wasn't going to be enough (I also drank water and chicken broth to cut the taste) but it seemed to be okay.



2.  The process:  I was taken in to a hospital room and told to change into a johnny.  It was confusing as hell, because in addition to the ties in the back, this one had snaps all up and down the arms.  Needless to say, my mom had to help me snap my arms up.  They took all my vitals, gave me an IV (Dextrose and Saline.  The nurse was very nice and taped it up so I didn't have to look at it--yuck! I've never had an IV before.)  and eventually wheeled me off into the operating room.  I don't know if it's technically an "operating" room, as this is more of a procedure than an operation...but who knows.

3.  The procedure:  The Doctor introduced himself to me, asked me about my symptoms, and told me "People your age are hard to sedate."  "Oh, great."  I said, immediately thinking he was warning me that sedation was dangerous (something I had already been nervous about)--when actually he was telling me that I might be awake for the procedure.  He told me that the scope they were putting down my throat might cause me to gag, but asked me to please not pull on it, or him.  I laughed and asked if they could strap my arms down, just to be on the safe side.

I was told to gargle and swallow some nasty gel (I'm assuming it was vicious Lidocaine) and then they quizzed me.  I think it was to see how well the gel was numbing my tongue, but I answered their questions just fine.  They injected some drugs into my IV (something to knock me out, and something else to give me amnesia) and told me that they worked fast.  There were lots of people in the operating room.  One woman was behind my head and she was fastening some kind of white strap.  I remember her joking about it being "something to bite down on".  They had me lay on my side, so I assumed they were going to do the colonoscopy first, the endoscopy second...

The next thing I know, I'm "coming to" (although, who knows if I was really out in the first place?  This might have just been the amnesia drugs wearing off) in the middle of the colonoscopy.

I know, I know.  I WOKE UP DURING SURGERY!  It sounds really dramatic and horrifying, right?

Well, this might be the calming drugs talking, but...it wasn't.  It didn't hurt at all, and I was turned to the side facing a big computer monitor so I could watch what was going on.  They were, as you would expect, burrowing through my intestines.  Every once in a while the doctor would instruct someone to stop the probe and take a sample (a biopsy, for testing) and I could see a little metal grabber come out, bite a little piece of intestine, and take it away.  There was a small amount of blood, but I couldn't feel anything.

I remember people kept telling me what a great job I was doing.  I thought it was funny because I wasn't really doing anything.

It was over really quickly, and they wheeled me back out to see my mom.  My mom said as she saw me coming down the hall she thought I looked really mad.  I was just confused because I didn't (and still don't) have any memory of the endoscopy.  I thought they had forgotten to do it!

A nurse made a comment that people usually aren't as alert as I was.   (I still think this is pretty funny.  I sleep through EVERYTHING.  Honestly.  I've slept through three alarms, earthquakes, car accidents happening outside, Shaun having a sneezing fit, people stacking DVDs on me...EVERYTHING.  Except I WAKE UP during surgery.  Of course I do.)

As many people will tell you, the worst part of this WHOLE ordeal was the awful prep I had to drink the day before, and the nausea that accompanied it.  The procedure wasn't bad at all, and the only part I was scared of to begin with was the anesthesia, which turned out fine.



(The best part was tasting food again for the first time in about 48 hours.)

The Results:  I was told that everything looked perfectly normal.  Great news!  No Celiac Disease or Colitis here!  I have to wait 14 days for the results of the biopsies though, but the Doctor seemed confident they're normal as well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Hot Mess (minus the Hot)

Yesterday the internet was down at work, so I got sent home a little early.  Since I have a medical procedure scheduled for Friday (and I won't be able to leave the house for all of today) I knew I had quite a few errands to get done.  I was excited to have an extra hour or two of free time.

I envisioned getting my laundry done, sorting through some boxes full of notebooks I'd picked up from my mother's house, and maybe even taking a glorious hour long nap.

Instead, the first thing I did was grab a half an avocado and a large knife.  The avocado still had the pit in it, so I whacked the pit with the knife (like chefs do, you know, 'cause I'm fancy) and spun the knife.

Except the knife didn't catch the pit like it usually does.  Instead it slid off, sliced the avocado almost cleanly in half, and also sliced into my hand.

Bye-bye, super productive 1-2 hours.  Hello, 1-2 hours of me applying gentle pressure and holding my hand above my head.

The laceration was pretty bad, if you ask me.  It took a long time for the bleeding to stop, and I was worried I might need stitches, as the cut looked pretty deep.  I was eventually able to get it bandaged up (as pictured) and it doesn't even hurt now, unless I whack it on something.  (I learned the hard way that I am accustomed to turning light switches on using that part of my left hand!)

Additionally, today I am stuck indoors choking down the entirety of this monstrosity:


Let me just say, it's not very pleasant.  For those of you who don't recognize the (backwards) bottle, that's a gallon or so of GaviLyte--a salty, gross mixture that patients have to drink the day before they get a colonoscopy.  Yep.  I'm up for a colonoscopy and endoscopy tomorrow to sort out this weird intestinal thing I've had going on for a number of years now.

I'll try to leave out the gross details, or at the very least hide them under a disclaimer so you squeamish types won't be skeeved out.  I wrestled with whether or not to blog about this and how much to say, but I think it's important that people considering one can learn about someone else's experience.  Lord knows I've picked the brain of a couple friends, and I've been very grateful to them!

Anyhow, you likely won't hear from me for a few days.  But I'll be back soon, hopefully with some sort of diagnosis!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Graduation.


Today two of my favorite people graduated, as well as countless other people I admire.
I'm so happy for them and so proud, and I wish them the best and all that, but at the same time I am so achingly sad to, well, "lose" them, in a sense.

This is my last semester.  I'll be walking across the same stage as they are, come April.  But to do it without them is harder than I thought it would be.  I'm trying so hard not to think about it, because I know I'll cry.  Tomorrow, my roommate packs her bags and gets on a plane.  She won't be dragging me down to the music building or out into the common room to try to make me be social anymore.

It's going to be a little weird.  But, congrats, guys.  To say you will be missed is an understatement.

Friday, September 21, 2012

That time I turned myself in.


I have a lot of really crazy stories.  Okay, so not the I-blacked-out-and-woke-up-married-in-Vegas type of stories, but some decent ones all the same.  I was telling this one at work the other day and it occurred to me that I am always the co-worker with the wild stories.  I'd like to share one at The Moth one day, but I have trouble gathering a moral from them, and I feel like I'd need a really strong closing, which I don't have.

When I was around 23, I was driving to work one day and had stopped uneventfully at a red light.  It was a part of town that was highly commercial--this intersection was surrounded by a Denny's, Friendly's, a gas station, a shopping mall on one side and a Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Best Buy and Kohl's on the other.  Despite this being a busy area, there's one thing you have to realize--it is VERY rare to see a pedestrian of any kind.  The road is four lanes across with an additional turning lane in places, so four lanes across sometimes.  The speed limit is around 35 or 40, and there are no crosswalks.  I drive through there often and never see anyone walking.

Okay, so as I said, I was stopped at the light.  I was in the left hand lane and there was a big construction vehicle in the right lane next to me, something sort of like this -------------->

I was pulled up to the white line, and he was a little ways ahead of it.  He was NOT doing construction, he was simply traveling down the road next to me.

Anyway, so the red light I'm waiting at turns to green.  So, like any normal person, I begin to move forward at a fairly average I've-just-left-a-complete-stop-and-I-am-gradually-accelerating speed.  And the next thing I know, an older man comes RUNNING around the construction vehicle, just pops right out from around the front of it and flies at full speed at my car.  As I'm accelerating.  And before I even have a second to put on my brakes, this man has run INTO the hood of my car (or did we run into each other?) has ROLLED UP ONTO MY HOOD like an action movie star, and is on the other side.

At this point, I've put on my brakes and I'm stopped dead a foot or two into the intersection with my eyes bugging out of my head and both hands covering my gaping mouth.

The man is on his feet, he looks at my startled expression, makes some weird frantic hand gesture that I can't make out in my moment of shock, and he TAKES OFF RUNNING across the rest of the intersection!

After maybe 30 seconds, I press on the gas and continue on to work, still stunned, repeating to myself over and over again, "Did that really just happen?"

*  *  *

When I get to work, I'm still baffled.  I walk up to my supervisor and say, "I just hit a pedestrian."  In that moment I can see everyone's faces fall, as if they can see me being carted off to jail any second.  I clarify, "Well, he sort of hit me, actually..."

I recount the story and they all laugh.  "This is the sort of thing that can only happen to Alison," they say, nodding in agreement with one another. But I'm still concerned.  What if the man was hurt?  What if someone wrote down my plate number and reports me for a hit and run?  Should I call the police and turn myself in?

"Alison, HE hit, and HE ran."  People assure me.  But I can see that one of my co-workers in the corner is giving me what I can only describe as a "disapproving mom" type of look.  She's not smiling.
"You should turn yourself in," she tells me.  "just in case."

I figure it's better to be safe than sorry, and with images of spending the night in prison flashing in my mind, I call the police.

"Hi," I say nervously to the officer on the other end of the line.  "I don't know if anyone reported this...but, I was in a car accident in town about an hour ago."

I recount the story to him.

"Uh..." he shuffles some papers  around.  "no, no one's reported a hit and run."

There's a minute of silence.  I'm pretty sure no one ever told him exactly what to do in this situation.

"So...do you want to take my name and number, in case someone calls?"  I ask.

"I guess."  He says, sounding reluctant.

All night I watched the door at work in fear I was going to have to go down to the station and explain myself yet again.  But the police never showed up, and never called.

* * *

To this day, I don't know what was so important that made that man have to run across 4-6 lanes of traffic as soon as the light turned green.  I like to tell myself that he had just robbed Best Buy and was trying to make a getaway.  Maybe I did my part to help the neighborhood law enforcement that day, but I didn't think to call and ask if there had been any burglaries.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Just a note to say...

Gluten testing is the stupidest thing under the sun.

I've been gluten-free for at least a year now, and had been limiting my gluten intake for a long time prior.  And when I finally decide to go see a doctor to get an official diagnosis (because there is a big difference between celiac disease gluten intolerance, even though they have the same symptoms) what do I have to do?

Oh.  Eat gluten.  For a month.

Yep.  With all the advancements in medicine we have, I still have to POISON myself in order for them to figure out I have an allergy.

At first, I was scared of how sick I was about to get.  Then I got excited.  To be honest, there are TONS of foods I really miss that are hard (or impossible) to find gluten-free versions of:  Tiramisu, Key Lime Pie, hot pretzels, cinnamon buns...I made a list.  I figured, if I had to be sick for a month, I might as well make it a delicious month.

Today was day three.  And OH MY GOD.  No way.  Based on the intense pains I felt this evening (which of course struck at work, of all places, so I was hobbling around all crippled-like and had to borrow a stool to sit on for the end of my shift) I honestly don't think I have it in me to do this for another WEEK, let alone a month.  It seems that heavily processed foods (Oreo's, chocolate chip cookies) give me less serious reactions--but whatever hit me today really knocked me for a loop.

It's insane to me that  I have to make myself sick in order to get a diagnosis.  I'm calling the doctor again tomorrow and hopefully they can work with me somehow--move my appointment up, or have me eat gluten for only the week prior to the testing, or something.

But regardless, my mom and I are still indulging in some mall pretzels this weekend.  I figure those are pretty heavily processed.  ;)


Anyone else out there done this "Celiac Challenge"?

Friday, August 24, 2012

"I killed someone's only love."

Not all, but SOME birds mate for life.
ALL birds experience mourning, much like humans.




This photo breaks my heart, even more so now that I'm fairly certain I killed a bird with my car this morning.

It wasn't my fault.  Okay, no, it's my fault in the same way that animals were here first and we come bustling in with these skyscrapers and SUVs and styrofoam containers and generally just trashed their planet.

But I was pretty much minding my own business, driving to work, when a flock of low-flying birds passed in front of me (and another car, traveling the opposite way).  I remember thinking, "Birds are so crazy.  How is it they fly so low but never get hit?  That was a close call."

And the next thing I know, a see a lone bird taking off from the left.  Low-flying, much lower than the others.  Much slower than the others.  I imagined him saying, "Hey guys! Wait up!"

The next thing I hear is THUNK.

It happened quite literally in the blink of an eye, and I shuddered and immediately said "NO, NO, NO!" and looked for him on the road behind me.  He wasn't there.  (Do you like how I've given this bird a gender?  He's a dude. For some reason, I know this.)

And then I remembered that birds (hopefully not THIS breed of bird) mate for life.  And I thought...

I have killed someone's one and only love.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

And I cried.


(My mother assured me he was probably fine.  Elena-Marija  pointed out that I didn't know for certain that it was dead.  A girl at work mused, "Maybe it was a widow."  But I still feel badly.  I am nothing if not a ridiculous softie.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

You're hired!

I had a chuckle today while checking out my analytics page for the blog--I came across these search terms:

"job poisitions that require the ability to speak ubbi-dubbi."***


Here's the deal, reader from Pennsylvania.  Even though you spelled positions wrong, I like you already.  And I need an intern.  I can't pay you, but it's not a ton of work and I'll gladly write you a letter for college/high school credit.  If nothing else, it's experience, and you can work from home.  Deal?  Deal.

In all honesty, though, I'm seriously considering hiring an intern to help out with my children's television work.  I need someone to help bring loose ends together, and I can't be everywhere at once.  (Not for lack of trying.  15 hour commute plus 20 hour a week job plus 50 hour a week job plus full time college!  I've gone from a person who "occasionally" drinks coffee to someone who mainlines it.)

I'm in the process of contacting some people to check on the legality of the whole thing (can a individual really hire an intern, or do colleges only consider reputable corporations?) but I'm a little excited at the prospect of having a helper.


***For those not in the know, Ubbi Dubbi is a language commonly spoken on the children's television show Zoom.  I am fluent--but it's never helped me get a job.  Also, this photo I posted?  I'm pretty sure it's the second season cast--the season I actually auditioned for myself.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Perfect.

So, of course Bravehost/Bravenet (the company I used to host my other website for free) suddenly yanked free hosting out from under everyone.  With no warning or email notice or anything--suddenly I went to my website (thank goodness I checked it) and there was a big pop-up telling me to log in to see changes with my account.

YEAH.  That's really professional-looking, for sure.  THANKS DOUCHES.

Now I am faced with the task of finding a decent free hosting service, which is completely lame because Bravehost served me just fine until July 31st.  I debated buying hosting from them just to make it easier, but I really don't want to give my business to a company who made my website completely useless without even giving me a heads up.  That's just not good business at all.

If anyone knows of any good sites, please let me know.  Bonus if they have templates and a visual editor, as well as a text one.  (I don't know if that's a standard thing, but I'm only so-so with the HTML so I do sometimes need to work off a template, or click and drag things to arrange them.)

Thanks!! :D

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I must be insane: Completion of week one!

I DID IT!




But I am ready for a nap.

Wow.  Let me tell you, squeezing 6 hours of sleep a night, 14 hours of work a day, and a 3 hours of commuting into a day is HARD WORK.

(Did you count those numbers up?  Let me save you the trouble--they equal 23.  YEP.  That equals a spare HOUR to myself every day--which is usually divided by the early morning (it takes me a half hour to fix breakfast and get ready for work when I wake up) when I get home from job #1 (I have approximately ten minutes to pee, shove lunch in my mouth and grab dinner for later) and then maybe 20 minutes of reading/homework before bed.

Surprisingly, I wasn't as tired as I thought I would be--but although  my first job is a desk job, my feet hurt MUCH more than usual at my nightly job.  Odd.

Thursday was by far the most difficult day.  I slept fitfully Wednesday night/Thursday morning as determined by my SleepCycle iPhone app  (do you guys have this?!  It's golden.  I'm obsessed.) and was definitely NOT feeling rested when my alarm went off Thursday morning.  I was exhausted by the time I dragged myself into job #2...but I survived!

I'm loving the new job so far.  Besides being reasonably close to my house, I've learned so much in the first week already!  I can't wait to be a pro on Premiere editing software--I already think I'm pretty good, especially considering they gave the program to me on Tuesday.  And it's weird, but I feel a sense of JOY, like...literal giddy joy when I can take someone's video and edit out their cell phone that is ringing in the background so that it's completely undetectable that there was ever a break in the audio.  I LOVE that.  It's like a puzzle I get to solve.  Every day.

This is definitely what I want to do with my career.  Y'know, besides that whole business with the novel I'm writing.  I'm beyond thrilled I finally have a chance to be paid for my precision.

(And now, if you'll excuse me...I'm treating myself to a much needed mani-pedi as a reward for getting through a 70 hour work week with only minimal whining.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FINALLY.

I'm beyond happy to report that finally, after over 10 years of searching (and doing unpaid internships!) I have secured a paying media job!

It's a small business that does web development webcasts, DVDs, CD ROMs and will soon be branching out to podcasting.  I am appropriately excited to be trained (trained!) on digital editing software.  And, well...I have a CD of my own voiceover work at the ready if they ever need someone to voice their podcasts!

The guys I'm working for seem really cool and laid back.  I start on Friday, and while I'm a little nervous of course, I'm mostly just thrilled for someone finally giving me an opportunity.

Yay!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

School.

I have been in college (off and on, sometimes taking one class at a time, always working through school) for ten years now.

I am happy to report that in only a short 10 months, barring any major disasters, I will finally have a diploma in hand.

This has not been an easy road.  I can't believe that at one point (fairly recently) I was actually considering grad school, as well.  No, thank you.

I'm so ready to be done.


I have lists of things I've been putting off: books I want to read, TV shows and movies I want to watch.    I can't wait until I have spare time and my life feels like mine again!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pintrest Attempt: Miracle Bathtub Cleaner!

So, as a girl with hair that is pretty thick (and at one point, was also very long) I often find myself with backed up shower drains.

I'm told this is also quite a common occurrence among people living in buildings with shared plumbing--drains can usually be quite "slow", so you can imagine how bad it can be when you combine both factors.

Lately, my drain had been a little out of control.  We're talking, shower-super-fast-because-you're-afraid-the-tub-will-overflow kind of thing.  Luckily, it was nothing a massive dose of the highest strength Draino couldn't fix.

But due to the slow drain, my tub was left pretty gross looking.  All that dirty water, when it drains slowly, leaves all kinds of grimy residue on your tub.  (I will spare you the photos!)  I tried the usual scouring powders and after-shower sprays, but it just wasn't cutting it.

Enter Pintrest.

I love this girl over at Finely Ground, and her post about her forays into finding a natural tub cleaner that works.  I'm all about natural products whenever possible.

Seriously though, guys, Borax turns out to be the best tub cleaner EVER.  I was armed with all kinds of additional products that I didn't even USE--I just filled my tub with water and drained it so the walls would be wet, and then sprinkled some Borax all over and started scrubbing.  I barely had to use any elbow grease, and the stubborn dirt came right up!  You know how newer tubs have the textured, non-slip bottoms that really just hold on to grime? It was no match for Borax!

I will sing it's praises to anyone who will listen.  Go out and get yourself some right now!  You're welcome!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pintrest Attempt: Halter Top!

It really makes me mad how little guys have to spend in order to maintain their appearances.

Shave, shower.  Shirt, pants, underwear, socks, deodorant.  Brush teeth.  Floss teeth.

Girls? Please.

Shave legs with electric razor.  Shave underarms with Venus razor.  Wax eyebrows.  Pluck any offending facial hairs.
Shower.  Exfoliate.  Wash.  Hair mask.  Skin Mask.  Pore strips.  Leave-in conditioner.  Anti-frizz serum. Blowdry.  Straighten.
Manicure.  Pedicure.
Moisturize.
Bra, camisole, cardigan.  Panties.  Jeans.  Skirt.  Dress. Nylons.  Boots.  Heels.
(Have you looked at the price of a good bra lately?  A GOOD one?)
Deodorant.  Perfume.  Makeup.
Brush, floss, whiten.

Okay.  As if being a girl isn't hard enough, I was browsing JcPenny with the boyf the other day and noticed that the guys graphic tees there cost FIVE. DOLLARS.

I can't even buy a thong made of the equivalent of dental floss for $5.
I can't even buy a crappy, I-will-fall-apart-after-two-washes shirt from the Charlotte Russe clearance section for $5!

Outrageous.

But, I kinda liked the design on the shirt.  And I remembered seeing a Pintrest about a DIY racerback tank top, (above photo) so I figured I'd pick up the shirt and give it a try.

I did it super fast and I think I might tweak it a bit, make the straps a bit thinner perhaps and make the back more of an X shape rather than the T I have going...but it's a big improvement and I like where this is going!

I also need to get rid of that damn scannable barcode on the shirt.  Really, Funny or Die?  I mean, I get that you're trying to advertise and everything, but I don't want people coming up and scanning me.  Ridiculous.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm 28 today, which I must admit is completely insane, because a) this year has FLOWN by and b) I keep getting mistaken for 17-22 years old.

So, I mean, I guess there's something to be said for moisturizing.  Although I swear I find a new gray hair every day.

I'm not sure exactly what today holds in store for me, but I do know it involves coffee, a bffl, and as much sushi as I can stuff in my mouth.

And that's pretty much perfect.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pintrest Attempt: Pickles!

In case you didn't know already, I'm a pickle fanatic.

Honestly.

I have been known to eat an entire jar of pickles in a week, and that's when I try to exercise willpower.  In reality, I could easily polish off a jar in one sitting.   I love 'em.

But it's a little annoying how they're sold.  I've discovered that the big brands (Vlasic) are better than store-brand, as store-brand can be a bit mushy.  The real problem I've run into, besides price ($3.99 a jar! yikes.) is that they ALL either have Corn Syrup in them, or some variant of artificial sweetener that has been proven to cause cancer.

No. Thank. You.

So I was excited when I stumbled upon this pin, how to make your own pickles at home.

I didn't expect to use it for a good long while, but when my boyfriend and I were browsing at The Christmas Tree Shops two weekends ago, we found Ball mason jars.

I was excited.  I'd been looking all over for Ball jars--they're super handy for all kinds of things: food storage, drinking glasses, storing odds and ends, as a flower vase...but I thought eBay was my only hope for finding any, and those were vintage and pricey.

As I was excitedly filling my hands with Ball jars and envisioning sipping an icy drink out of one, Shaun said, "Have you ever made your own pickles?"

I think I instantly was like, "No! But I have a recipe! Do you want to?" and pulled the pin up on my Pintrest app.  And for the rest of the day, all I could think about were pickles.  When we got back to his house, we set to work.  After no time at all, we had a pretty jar filled with almost-pickles.


They recommended letting them sit for a week, and a girl at work who has pickled before said that the longer you let them sit, the better they taste. We let them sit for exactly a week before trying them, and they were pretty good!  Definitely pickle-y, (they also shrunk majorly so they only filled about half the jar, and they were floating) but not much like the Dill or Bread and Butter variety you'd buy at the supermarket.

 It was a super easy recipe (just cucumbers, hot water, salt, sugar and rice vinegar) and I'd definitely do it again, but maybe try adding some herbs and spices for varying flavors.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pintrest Attempt: Sassy Water!

So, even though I have a lengthy to-do list that has to be completed by Saturday, here I am sharing my Pintrest pins with you.

Now, when Molly over at These Little Moments  started using Pintrest, I believe she made some kind of blog where she pretty much said, "I'm pinning these things, why not DO them?"  so she started a blog installment called "I Pinned It, So I Did It!"  (You should totally go check her out, she's pretty awesome actually.)

But I see the point--Pintrest is great and fun, but you should be DOING the things you're pinning.  At least a few!



My first Pintrest attempt was this "Sassy Water".  It's touted as aiding in weight loss and it seemed easy enough, so I was eager to try it.

I didn't have all the ingredients and my supermarket is super lame and didn't carry whole ginger or mint, so I half-assed it and only ended up putting lemon and cucumber in my water.  The resulting taste is very refreshing, and that it is easier to drink than regular water (for those of us who crave a bit of flavor) without having chemicals and added sugars.

As I said, it claims to aid in weight loss.  I can't really speak on this because A) I don't own a scale and B) I've only been drinking it for a little over a week, but all in all, if you drink more water, it will aid in weight loss, so I suppose logically it works.   I am certainly enjoying it so far, and when I drink all the water I fill it up again--so you get multiple uses from the lemon/cucumbers.

So, go forth and give Sassy Water a try, if you so desire.  It's a good refreshing summer drink.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Obsessed.

I've been totally consumed by Instagram and Pintrest lately.  

Someone (an anonymous commenter on this blog actually!) recommended Pintrest to me MONTHS ago. I got on the super exclusive waiting list, got started, and was really kind of meh about the whole thing.  I pinned a few things, but it really just seemed boring.

Fast forward to now.

I'm spending every waking moment pinning things.

Healthy food?  Gluten free recipes?  DIY?  Cute outfits?

I'm consumed.



(And my Instagram name is also Alison_face.   Follow me over there as well!)

I'll be posting some of my Pintrest adventures here soon!  I'm up to three experiments so far and will be doing number four tomorrow.  :D

Friday, May 25, 2012

Resume Bomb: Beginning Consequences

Now, most of you probably know that I have had to make due with some...unfulfilling employment over recent years.  Nothing astronomically bad (although they've all had those moments!) just not what I really want to do.

As a teenager, I pretty much grew up in a television studio.  I could run anything in the studio (except for maybe the vcrs that actually sent out each program over the airwaves--I never touched those!) and loved it all.  I worked for free, every day after school for HOURS, helping people with their shows.  This is what I want to get involved with again...although, as an adult, I want to be paid for it.

Fast forward to now.  After working with a temp agency, scouring job boards and exhausting my connections, I've decided to take a simple route:  I will send my resume and cover letter to television studios within x miles of my home.

So, on Tuesday I sent out my first ten resumes/cover letters.  I call this "resume bombing".  These attempts to reach stations are totally unsolicited, and while I'm not sure this is professional of me, at this point I don't care anymore.  I'd just liked to get my name out there.

Today I got my first call back.

Now, I'm shy to pick up unknown or blocked numbers.  I hate the telephone and loathe getting into a situation with a telemarketer or a persistent friend who won't let me go when I say "I have to go."  But when applying for jobs?  Yeah, I have to make an exception.

My phone rang first at 8:32 AM.  My alarm clock doesn't go off until 9, so I automatically hit "reject" without even thinking.  Don't try to talk to me pre-alarm.

Then, at 10:18, I missed another call.  Thinking, oh, crap.  I sent out my resume!  Maybe this is someone calling about that...I googled both numbers (they were different) but they both went to the same place.  It was, in fact, one of the places I resume-bombed.

But they weren't leaving messages.  Just calling and hanging up.  Wtf?

Finally, I kept glued to my phone.  At 8:22 PM, they finally called back again.

"I'm a little confused,"  a mans voice said to me.  "I don't know what you've been told...but we don't do this sort of thing.  We finance documentaries and Broadway musicals."

(An avid lover of all things Broadway, my stomach jumped a little at these words.  I refrained from immediately babbling that I loved Broadway too and would they hire me for something else instead?)

He asked, "Did my partner ask you to send him your resume?"

I 'fessed up--that I had found his business listing online in the yellow pages under the "television studio" section.

He seemed relieved and told me that he was concerned his partner had been trying to hire someone behind his back.  I assured him there was no funny business around my letter--I was simply trying to reach studios in my area.  I apologized for wasting his time and thought we would hang up, but he went on:

"Well, I don't know if they're hiring, but I have a meeting tomorrow at [local television studio].  I have a friend there.  I can get your resume to him while I'm there."


I was a little stunned.  Honestly, I fully expected people to respond to my unsolicited resume/cover letter with distain.  With, "Why are you wasting my time?"  with, "You don't have a degree in this." with, "You don't know how to use program x?  Or program y?"  Or, moreover, with SILENCE.

For a first-responder, this stranger far exceeded my expectations.

Thanks, random dude.  Even if they aren't hiring and our conversation doesn't end in my getting a job, you've made me feel a little bit better about the human race today.  For everyone who is judging me harshly, there's another person somewhere who's willing to lend a hand where it's needed.  And I appreciate that.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hell yes.


Guess who's seeing Leonard Cohen in concert?
If you said me & Shaun, you'd be right!  It was a you-buy-my-ticket-i'll-buy-yours anniversary present (as of Monday we'll have been dating a year, yikes!) but the concert isn't until December so it'll feel more like a Christmas thing.  I love Leonard Cohen so I'm totally psyched!

In other (good/bad?) news, I've got some feelers out for actual jobs in television.  Which is, hello, let's be honest here--the field I've been struggling to get into since I moved out of Boston in 2001.  I'm hopeful that my friend (who works for a major sports network) and my temp agency (who has friends at the same major sports network) will be able to work some magic for me.  I'm certainly no sports fan, but I don't think that will matter much as long as I'm in a studio again.  I miss it!

I also turned in my first packet at school--only 4 more left this semester.  It's crazy to think that I'll be graduating in under a year!  I'm trying not to think about the fact I'll have to start paying my student loans back at that point.  Yuck!

And, now that I have health insurance again (finally) I got some new glasses, both normal and prescription sunglasses, since I can't wear contacts anymore.  It hurts to think how much money I dropped on these suckers in total (my vision insurance does practically nothing!) but I really needed them, and I was very frugal in my shopping so I'm trying not to sweat it too much.

Goofy face.  It's the only kind of face I have.
My mom saw this and said "prettier than Angelina Jolie!" 
I told her SHE was the one who needed glasses!

Anyway, hope you've all got your sunglasses out and are ready for nice weather!  It seems like it's here after a bit of rain!



Thursday, May 10, 2012

You know what's awesome?

When blogger changes it's whole interface and you have NOCLUE how to post a simple entry.  YEAH.

(I figured it out obviously.)


My boyfriend got a new camera and a lens and oh my god it takes amazing photos.  So we've been photo hunting these days which is interesting as I'm not much into landscape or architecture photography at all, and well...unless you have models, what else is there to take pictures of?

I got lucky and got some photos of ducks mating, lol, which was kind of crazy to watch.  I felt a little pervy taking photos of the whole thing (especially with tourists watching me, we were in a touristy area) but it was also really interesting to see the males fight over the female--one literally took the other's neck in its mouth and bit down until it stopped fighting and let him have the female!

In other news I've been busy as hell with work (these hours SUCK) and school (work is interfering with my school! ugh!) and trying to find some time in the middle to eek out some form of a social life.  It's not easy, I tell you.

I've also really been thinking about moving lately; on one hand I really love my artsy, loft apartment (and I can't beat the price!) but on the other hand, I'm in the middle of nowhere and quite tired of my commute.  I want something centrally located in a more developed area.  A apartment with lots of windows (mine only has two at the far end of the house!) and a kitchen with lots of counter space an electrical outlets...and CLOSETS.  I've lived without closets for over 2 years now, and let me tell you--I miss them.

I'm not really sure where I might end up this time, as I don't know where to look exactly.  I might end up staying here until I'm done with school (less than a year!) only because of the hassle moving would present.  It would all depend on if I get a job offer...

Hope all is going well for all of you!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

College, Paris...?


I apologize for being M.I.A these days, folks.  It's one thing after another over here.  (That makes me sound stressed yet important, doesn't it?  In all actuality, as I said before, I sliced my finger open because I am AWESOME.  And then I went away to school for almost two weeks, where I don't have a second to think, let alone update a blog.  But all's well and I'm home now!)

So starting Monday, I begin my SENIOR year.  I'm really there!  Just two more semesters (and then a brief return the semester after that to present my senior project and get my diploma) and I'll be done.  I can do this.  It's a TON of work (this semester alone I have to complete my math and science requirements, hone a critical essay until it's deemed acceptable by a review board, complete my Writer in the World essay and my Critical Context paper, AND complete my novel--if I can!) but I think if I really, really focus (and do nothing else at all for the next year) I can do it.

Speaking of Doing Nothing Else For The Next Year...I'm thinking of going to Paris in November.  I've never been out of the country (except for Canada, which hardly counts) and it's about damn time I go.  My boyfriend is down with the idea, although he's less interested in Paris.  I might be persuaded to give up Paris and go to Italy instead...provided we go to Pompeii and Herculaneum.  That's been a dream of mine since middle school.

We'll see, though.  I've started putting some money aside and it certainly would be nice to go on a trip--a proper trip.  I've been googling cheap travel tips like mad.  I'll be sure to keep you posted and share my travel advice!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We've got a winner!

I just picked the winner for the PrintRunner giveaway, congrats are in order for elenamarija




I'll be getting in touch with you for your information.  Thanks for entering!


(For everyone else, stay tuned! I plan to host more giveaways soon.  Also, I apologize for not blogging lately, but I sliced one of my fingers open with a gigantic knife and quite frankly, typing SUCKS right now.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Only 1 day left!

Don't forget to enter my contest!  (For details check out my post below this one!)
I'll be picking a winner tomorrow, Wednesday the 11th!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Contest time!!

It's time for another giveaway!  Aren't you excited?! I know I am!  Free stuff, yay!

WHAT TO WIN:

This time, the kind folks over at PrintRunner.com have offered up 250 customized stickers for you today!

Printrunner.com specializes in different kinds of printing services, not just online sticker printing.  Go check them out!

This sounds like a fun idea to me.  Of course, you could use the stickers as promotional materials to advertise your blog, business, band or website--but wouldn't it also be adorable to include a personalized sticker with your photo (or photos of your children or pets) on it every time you send out a letter or thank you card?

HOW TO WIN:

You can be entered to win in two ways.

  1. Leave a comment on this post.  (easy!)
  2. Retweet this on twitter: I've entered the new giveaway at www.alisonleeds.com and you should too! @Alison_face  (Be sure to tag my twitter as shown, so I can tally the votes.)
Please enter each way only once.

I will be picking a winner on Wednesday, April 11th, so stay tuned!!!  The prize will be awarded by Printrunner on April 16th.

SPECIFICS/DISCLAIMER:


These are standard stickers with a flat width of 2" and a flat height of 3.5".  They are printed on premium sticker stock in full color using a four color process and black and white.  You will receive no proof.  They are ready to ship in 3 business days.


Disclaimer: As the host of this giveaway, I am also receiving 250 stickers.
This giveaway is open for US residents only.  You must be 18 years old or older to participate.

Thanks to Printrunner.com!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Mercury is in retrograde!

I'm definitely ready for Mercury to come out of retrograde.

When it's in retrograde, it means problems with communication (increased fighting and arguments, etc).  It means you shouldn't enter a new project, sign any papers or begin any new friendships.  It means you shouldn't make any large purchases (especially things with moving parts) and if you absolutely HAVE TO, you need to carefully read the fine print.

So far during this cycle, I have gotten two flat tires due to a nail and a screw, which I presumably picked up in my parking lot at home.
I've gotten very sick, then quickly recovered, only to get a little sick/run-down again.
I've made little purchases.

It's recommended to use the time Mercury is in retrograde to purge and let go of things.  Luckily, this coincided with me being bit by the spring cleaning bug!  I've purged TONS of my stuff--including my hair.

And this is where communication problems comes into play.

I don't want to say bad things about my salon, as I love the girls there and have had wonderful experiences my past 3 visits.  But this fourth one was less than ideal.  Everything seemed to be going well, but then my stylist "ran out of time" (her next client was waiting in the waiting room) and had to rush me out.  Despite the fact that I ALWAYS blow-dry and straighten my hair (& that this is included in the cost I paid), she threw some curling cream in my hair and had me walk out with it curly and wet.

I was horrified at first.  I'm not used to curly hair, so I thought it looked AWFUL, but I couldn't be sure since it was curly! I couldn't see the actual cut itself.  I had to wander around shopping for a few hours all the while hating my hair, before I went home and straightened it.  
My final verdict is that while I like the front of the haircut, the back is a shitshow.  It looks limp and unfinished, not like I just got my haircut at all.  It should look polished.
I wore that hat ALL DAY at work today.  When I took it off briefly to show some coworkers, they asked, "Did you cut the back yourself?"
After I explained that I had to get the back fixed, they grimaced and said, "Leave the hat on."

So...at least people don't sugar coat things for me, I guess!

I do hate when people say firmly, "I liked your long hair."

That's kind of like loving someone else's baby.  Someone else's baby who you hand back to the mother as soon as it cries.
That's just peachy.  You didn't have to take care of it.

I have another appointment this week to "fix" my hair.  (Ugh, why is my salon so far away from my house?! I need to move.) I'm hoping the back is still long enough to give some shape and structure to!

Friday, March 30, 2012

I'M DOING IT!

I have a confession to make.

I have short-hair envy.  Really.

Sure, my long hair is pretty.  But goddamn it's a pain in the ass.  To do my hair it requires me to clear a 3 hour window of time: one hour to wash, one hour to blow-dry, and one hour to straighten.  (And there are no shortcuts! I know you're probably thinking, so just let it air dry.  It just doesn't work.  For some reason, when I let my hair air dry, my scalp goes INSANE.  It's mostly healthy (a little dry) otherwise--but when I skip on blowdrying it's flake city.  Yuck.

Not to mention all the crap I have to put in my hair to style it.  Conditioners, BioSilk, John Frieda products, molding mud...so much for using natural, organic products!  My styling products really need a revamp.

I've had enough.  And I look at all these girls with short hair and I think...it's time.  It really is time.

I've never been able to find a hairstyle that definitively is "mine".  There are three that I liked a lot--and, well, they're all short styles.

So...I'm doing it.  I have an appointment today at 5.  I'm not sure which of the three styles I'm going for...it will be a surprise.

Here is my last long-haired photo before the haircut.  Bye-bye, hair!  I'll update you when I return.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Psst...

Sorry for being so chatty today.

But, I'm home sick so it should be understandable.

Anyway, look over there -------------------------------------->

There should be a place of some kind for you to enter your email address so that you can be notified of my new posts!  Yay!  (I use Google Reader myself, but, you know, whatever floats your boat!)

Dr. Google at your service.

I am sick.

Yesterday I felt just fine.  Albeit a little nauseous (I've been nauseous nightly since Monday--because I've been too busy to grocery shop and I'd been having "just a little" gluten before work.  Guess I can't get away with that anymore!) and sneezy (I'm allergic to my cat) but that's normal for me.

But I woke up at 7 AM with a continuous cough.  When my alarm went off at 9, I felt pretty good--but once I sat down after turning off the alarm, the sickness crept up on me again.

A girl at work has bronchitis and strep throat, and as far as I can tell by googling (because I don't get health insurance until May, grr!!!) I think I acquired the bronchitis part of it.

I've been on a constant cycle of tea, water, orange juice, soup and ice cream all day, with intermittent use of my two inhalers (one for asthma, one for allergies). I've been napping on and off, and although I'm alternating between being freezing and burning up, I don't seem to have a temperature.  The cough has mostly subsided--but the problem is, I have asthma, so I think I actually have asthmatic bronchitis...or...bronchial asthma...?  I don't know.  The bottom line is, I can hardly breathe and my lungs are KILLING me.  ouch.

I'm going to be REALLY angry if I'm not better by Saturday.  I don't want to have to postpone my NYC trip, but I can't imagine walking through the city like this.  I went to the grocery store and that left me exhausted!

Cross your fingers I caught this soon and I'll be back in tip-top shape soon!

Bad? And Good...

The Bad:

Sometimes the immaturity and lack of responsibility of others really gets to me.

There's a woman at work who deliberately gives me the silent treatment.  Not because I did anything wrong, mind you, but because I don't holler out obnoxious hello's every time I see her.  Now, maybe this has a lot to do with the way I was brought up, but I feel that screaming at people is impolite and inconsiderate to those around you.  I have nothing against saying hello to people, but I also hold onto the antiquated notion that "children should be seen and not heard" and "speak only when you are spoken to".  (I know I'm not a child, but still, I am a fairly quiet person and these stick with me to this day.)  I'm also fairly friendly once I'm comfortable with people, but this woman never took any of this into account.

Instead, she yells hello at everyone (and goodbye at everyone) and turns her nose up at me, even in situations where dialogue is important.

Sorry, but I'm not comfortable screaming to you.  I come to work to get to work--not to circle around greeting every co-worker.  I am not cold and unfriendly, and I am more than willing to speak to you.

But to think you are accomplishing anything by not speaking to me is just absurd.  The only thing you're accomplishing is showing the world that people never grow out of immaturity.  I'm not offended by your silence towards me (in fact, I prefer that to the yelling, you're doing me a favor) but instead astonished that you think this is proper workplace behavior.

Also, my damn cat keeps pooping on the bathroom floor.  Totally unacceptable home behavior.  Shame on you both!

The Good:

And, now that that's off my chest, I'm excited to report that Shaun & I are headed to NYC in a few days.  It's been almost a year since my last trip (I went solo to see Victor Garber perform in a Sondheim benefit--which was awesome but a little disappointing as I expected the venue to be a bit more intimate!  I was practically in the last row of the Edward Koch theater and the performers looked like ants.) and I'm definitely due.

We'll be hitting up some typical tourist-y venues and hopefully catching Avenue Q (I have waited approximately 10 years to see it!) and doing some shopping.  I'm so looking forward to it!  I'll be sure to post some photos when I return.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The spring cleaning continues.

Today I was happy to get rid of the ugly milk crate/cardboard box organizing system I had been using for my records.

As you probably know, it's important to store records upright, which can be difficult at times.  I was thrilled to pick up this great record storage shelf from Urban Outfitters.  It holds my record player and a decent number of records (which is good--it will let me keep my collection in check! No vinyl hoarding here!) and even has a smaller shelf where I'm temporarily keeping a few DVDs and some printer paper.  The spots for the records are slotted to keep them standing up straight.

I'm pretty much in love with it right now.  Have you ever bought something new that you just can't stop looking at?  Yep, that's me with this.

(If you love it just as much as I do, it's still available at Urban Outfitters online.  They have a couple different record stands/tables, but I liked this one the best because I could keep my record player right on top.  :) )


And no, Urban Outfitters didn't pay me to write this.  I'm just that smitten!  You would be too.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring cleaning!

I've been bit, hard, by the spring cleaning bug.  For about a week now, I've been tackling small projects every morning before work, and then running boxes and bags of stuff to the thrift store/clothing dropbox on my way to work.  I've even mostly cleaned out my car!

I wish I had taken before and after photos of everything!  Right now, the hugest difference is my living room.  It was completely cluttered by boxes that I had always planned on taking to the thrift store, but had never actually sorted through.  I'm proud to say that's finally taken care of, and despite being covered in cat hair (something I don't think I'll EVER get control of, as Major Tom sheds like it's his job!) it's spotless.

Today I'll be picking up my nice clean laundry and shipping some items back to some old, distant friends.  (Isn't it funny how you accumulate things that don't even belong to you?)  I'm looking forward to the absence of that guilty feeling.  I hate looking at something and thinking, I've been meaning to get this to them... It just makes me feel awful!

I still have a big list of things I need to get done, as well as items I want to replace...but I'll get there soon! I'm excited to do a bit of furniture re-arranging too.  Maybe I'll finally post an apartment tour when I'm done!  I always promised I'd do one...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's today?

I am shocked that NO ONE I spoke with yesterday knew what day it was.

I don't mean Pi day, either.  Or Taylor Hanson's birthday.  Or the Ides of March.  (That is today--3/15.)

I'll refrain from naming it here, only because my mom is reading (hi mom!), but it's sort of like the male version of Valentine's Day.

Post it in the comments if you know it.  (And, additionally, post what state you're from, if you're so inclined.  Thus far, 100% of people I've spoken with in CT have never heard of it and thought I was making it up!  Maybe it's a Massachusetts thing?)

And, if you're not shy, tell me--do you actually celebrate it?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Favorite things.

 I realized the other day that while I have some adorable heart-shaped measuring spoons (a gift from Lauren's wedding!) my measuring cups were very blah.  They also didn't fit properly in my kitchen drawer, causing me immense frustration whenever I tried to open or close it.

Lucky for me, Newbury Comics had these super adorable measuring cups in the shape of Russian nesting dolls!  (The other smaller measuring cups are inside.)  Love them.
I'm not sure if I fully have "writer's block", as they say, but I've definitely been in work- and bill-paying mode lately.  It's been difficult to concentrate on my creative work--which I really need to do, as I have a deadline looming before me and it's coming up FAST.  I had tried to force 1,000 words a day for a finish date of April--but I must admit, that's not going to happen.  I'll be a little more generous and forgiving of myself.

I had a small victory yesterday by clearing an hour to write and actually doing so.
 Today my beautiful coffee press arrived!  Sadly, it came after I had JUST finished my morning coffee.  Boo, UPS!  Poor timing.  I can't wait to start tomorrow off with some experimenting though.  I've never used a coffee press before, but I hear it's the way coffee is meant to be brewed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Done!

The other day, sick of always emailing things to my mother and asking her to print them for me, I purchased a printer.

I bought it at the same time as my Macbook (it was an optional add-on at the Apple site) and I didn't even give it much thought.  It was literally like, "Oh, hey.  A printer. I oughta get me one of those.  $99?  Sounds fair."  *click. Add to cart.*

Now, because FedEx has the tendency to be dumb, my printer was several days late.  During these days, I had time to surmise what my new printer might be like.  Damn, I thought.  I should have ordered a wireless one.  I bet this one isn't wireless.


The next day, I thought, I should really pick up a scanner with my next paycheck so I can scan and get rid of all these old photos.


Imagine my shock (and happiness) when my printer arrives and it is BOTH wireless AND a scanner!  Needless to say, I have spent the past three days on task, scanning and uploading all the loose photos I owned.  Over 800 photos later, I'm finished!  Phew!  I didn't realize I was such a photo hoarder.  (Still am, but digital format is just so much cleaner.)

Next up, I'm hopefully having Shaun rip some of my old VHS tapes to DVD, and having Mike transcribe some of my old (super embarrassing) writing.  After that?  Well, my clutter problem might be damn near solved.  That'll be pretty sweet.

In other news, my job has me so turned around that I just looked at the clock and realized it's 2 AM. My first thought was not, "Wow, I should sleep." but instead, "No, that can't be right."  and I proceeded to check multiple clocks.

Bed now.  Maybe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.

It seems like 2012 is going to be "my year", as they say.

In the past month, thanks in great part to my friend Mike (who is a WIZARD when it comes to doing my taxes) and this new pretty sweet job (which allows me not only to work full-time, but weekly overtime as well) I have...

-cleared most of my credit card debt
-put a decent chunk of money into a savings account for the first time in roughly 4 years
-bought the Macbook Pro I have spent TEN.YEARS lusting after and trying (and failing) to save for.

A little story:  when I was 19 and first wanted an Macbook, I figured the only way to get one was to get an Apple credit card.  So, I applied and was denied due to lack of credit.  Understandable.  I realized credit was something I had to build, so I tried smaller--I got a Target credit  card first, then a Sears card.  (The Sears was a Sears Visa--I hoped maybe my credit limit would be high enough to get a Macbook.  Nope.)

Long story short, I racked up a ton of debt on those two cards, plus an Old Navy card.  I was never approved for an Apple card--but I was approved for a Dell credit card.  Enter my really crappy 2002 Dell Inspirion laptop, which cost $700 on the site, but after all the interest and late fees I accrued over the years, probably ended up costing more like $2,000.

Anyway.  Long story short?  Pay for things in cash.  If you want a Macbook Pro, wait ten years until you get a sweet tax return.

Other good news?  I passed my junior year a week or so ago, and am now an official college senior.  I also finally got the tattoo I've been wanting for a year or so.  (it's in the horrid itchy phase right now.)

Next up?  I'm seeing The Addams Family (the musical) this weekend with my friend Christie.  It's our second time seeing it, this time with the touring company, but I'm still really excited about it!  It was a great show, despite all the bad press it received.

Besides the continued bill paying and getting caught up on any financial things that have fallen to the wayside, I plan on improving my organizational skills, forming better habits and minimizing things around the house even more.  And hopefully pretty soon I'll be able to take some financial-worry-free weekend trips with Shaun.  I'm dying to go back to NYC!  It's been too long.

Hope you are all doing well also, and that tax time was good to you.  I know many people owe this year, even those who claimed zero.  I can't imagine how terrible it is to expect a decent return and instead be told you need to give up some of your own money!  I was definitely fortunate to be spared that.