Monday, April 30, 2012

Only in New York...

"Only in New York." Sometimes as I walk down the street, ride the train, or go for a walk in the park, I will see something, shake my head, and think this to myself. Does this kind of stuff happen in other big metropolitan cities? Probably. But growing up, this was not behavior I would see in the suburbs of Chicago. Having lived in NYC for about eight years now, I have seen my fair share of nasty/interesting/hilarious things I could have never imagined and yet certain things still seem to make me giggle or even shock me. As the weather gets nicer and I am out and about more and more, I am sure I will start seeing things again that give the charm to this wonderful city that I call home.
I see people anywhere from...

1) People dressed up in Dungeons and Dragons (or World of Warcraft?) or whatever gear to play a live game. I am honestly not sure what these folks are dressed as because this is not something I follow or have any interest in. What I do know is that it always makes me giggle. It also makes me think of the movie Role Models. This usually happens on weekends and these guys walk around the park in their full outfits on their way to and from their games. I have passed one of these games before and they garner quite the crowd. It's not really my scene, but I am sure is a lot of fun. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just a Little OCD?

Some people call me rigid. Or joke have a mild case of OCD. So what that my closet is color coordinated? What of it? I like order and I like neatness. And if I want to wear a blue shirt I can go to a certain part of my closet and have all the options right there. So easy. Be jealous. I believe certain things belong in certain places and that there is a right and wrong way to do something. Because of this, sometimes I can get annoyed at little things when I go to other people's houses, go home to my parents house, or even if things tend to get hectic around my place and things start to look disorderly. I can't handle it. I blame my severe Type-A personality. Some things that I am really sensitive about are below. These are totally normal. I promise.
This is just the way it is. Not even a debate.

1) Toilet paper must go over.
Not under. I just don't get people when put their TP on the dispenser going under. It makes no sense at all. None. And those people that don't care which way it goes. How do you go through life? Geez. Toilet paper should always go over so it can flow easily from square to square. Obviously. I have even been known to secretly change the rolls of TP at people's houses to make it go the RIGHT way. I am sure they don't even notice but it makes me more comfortable the next time I use the restroom. And with my pea-size bladder and digestive issues, it will probably be sooner than later. (And just for fun, here is another take on the issue.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship with Trail Mix

I have a love. This love also happens to be one of my worst enemies. But I just can't stay away. "Why hello there...Trail Mix."  (This of course being said in a Jerry Seinfeld voice like when he sees Neuman.) (Please tell me you get that reference!!) You see, Trail mix and I go way back and it always starts out great, but then we don't agree so much with each other. Since I have such bad stomach issues (Hello Ulcerative Colitis!), I really am supposed to stay away from nuts, seeds, corn and generally anything high fiber. What goes in must come out as the story goes, so this can become a big issue for me. But sometimes there is nothing better than a post trail mix binge poop. Sorry, I had to go there.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Summer Central Park Plans

As the weather gets nicer, I am sure I will be heading over to Central Park more and more. Man, do I love it there. I usually do three things there: run, lay out in the sun, and read. (And obviously do tons of people watching in between but that's a given so doesn't even count on my list.)  I also occasionally even play softball games there.

People do all kinds of things in the park like play catch, do yoga, eat lunch, etc... I have even seen people fencing. Yes, that sport with the swords. The opportunities are pretty endless in good old Central Park. I sometimes see people doing things I am envious of that I say that I am going to do and actually have every intention of doing for the most part. Then I run out of time or can't find anyone to do it with me. Well, this summer, I want to change that. I want to make these things happen. One of the perks to being having the summer off and having most of my days free to do what I want. And if not the weekdays, it can happen on the weekends. I am not picky, I just want branch out a little more. These are some of the things I want to do in the park this summer...

1) Play Backyard Bocce Ball or Ladder Toss. I have seen more and more people play these games and they look so fun. In the suburbs people play these in their yards all the time along with Bags but its hard in the city to find a place to play such games. I am sure I could easily buy a set and my friends would play. I will def have to look further into this and make it happen. It just looks so damn fun. Throw in some beer along with it, covertly covered up of course, and this could be a grand ole time in CP. Game on.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Sea of Kleenex

I consider myself to be a very sensitive young lady. And I cry often. I feel like a good cry is so therapeutic and really helps release a lot of negative energy that might have built up. Sometimes I really look forward to a good cry. But sometimes they just creep up on me. Two triggers that I have are old people and obese people. Sometimes I will see these two types of people on the train, in a restaurant, or even just walking down the street, and I will just start to burst into tears. It's a problem. However, if I am home and need a good cry, I have some movies that will do the trick. These aren't my usual sports tear jerkers, but actual tear jerkers that normal people also cry at. If I don't feel like crying and these movies are on, I will usually avoid them at all costs because I don't want to deal with the puffiness and red-eyes that will linger. These are also movies that don't just have my eyes well-up and tears rolling down my cheeks; they are movies that I will literally be heaving, trying to catch my breath and have a sea of snot-filled Kleenex surrounding me. Not a pretty scene. But like I said, sometimes I am not allowed to watch these (self-imposed rule) unless I really need a good cry session. And you know what, sometimes those are just necessary. So when the time comes, these are the movies that I turn to.

1. The Notebook. Duh. What girl has seen this movie and bawled their eyes out? And even some dudes will actually admit to crying during this movie. I don't know what it is exactly that gets me every single time, but it does. I think its the fact that these two people have found love so real and intense that it will not be broken by anything. Not even Alzheimer's. This movie also is one that makes me feel sorry for myself. "Will I ever find a love like this? Who really is so lucky to find a true love this real? Does this happen anymore? I want this. I will never have this." These are the thoughts that go through my head during this movie. Over and over again. Maybe its unhealthy I watch this. Maybe I should stop. But damn, Ryan Gosling, you give me a little hope so I will continue to torture myself and watch this movie over and over again. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Season, New Attitude

Sometimes there is nothing better than a good spring cleaning. As the seasons change and I buy new clothes, I obvi have to make room for them. I usually do this twice a year (winter and spring) when I go through the biggest weather changes clothes-wise. I don't need my sweaters up front when its 90 degrees. No thank you. Because I live in such a small studio, space isn't a luxury I really have. Although I am very lucky to have three closets in my apartment, they are all packed to the brim (and I even use those skinny hangers too!). This past week I have been in a huge spring cleaning mood and its been absolutely awesome. To be able to purge clothes, linens, and shoes is quite therapeutic.  And it all started with a quilt...

I have been wanting to get a quilt made of my race T-shirts for year. I wear some of them, but I have run in so many races over the past few years, that there were just so many shirts. Ones that I don't wear or are too big, I either packed in a bag because I knew I wanted them on the quilt eventually or I donated them. I had them up high in my closet and knew I'd be going home to Chicago and wanted to take them with me. I wasn't sure if I'd pack them and or ship them home. After going through them and ultimately deciding to ship all TWENTY pounds of race shirts (and that's after tossing a bunch), this put me in a cleaning frenzy. The rest of the afternoon, I cranked up the radio and went through tons and tons of clothes. I had giant Ziplock bags (like garbage bag sized) of shirts that I hadn't opened since I moved in my apartment almost four years ago. If I didn't wear them, I didn't miss them, so they had to go. They were taking up too much precious space. I went through them, and out of about 100 shirts, I think I decided to still keep about 14. Not too shabby. Some stuff is easy to part with. Too big. Totally out of style. Stains. And then there are others that I refuse to throw away. Good condition Illini gear. A T-shirt from one of my favorite high school basketball tournaments. I just couldn't get rid of them. (I might want a quilt made of those one day as well.) The rest of the stuff was going to be donated.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dr. Disappointment

I have previously written about sometimes, especially when it comes to guys and dating, I try to follow the mantra "You have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain."  I also try to impress this mantra onto my friends. We all need to put ourselves out there a little bit more. If you see someone you are attracted to and know that you may never see them again, you might as well grow a pair, and talk to them. Or better yet, ask them out for a drink or something. Or at least try to. Sometimes the results are great, and sometimes the results can be disappointing. And sometimes the results are straight up confusing. Let me tell you a little story about a girl who did just that. She reached out to a guy she just met, got false hope, and then was left super confused. So here the story goes...

The original HotDocs: McDreamy and McSteamy.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who got real sick and had to go to the hospital. While there she happened to be treated by a very cute doctor who we shall call "HotDoc." It was very hard for Girl to flirt with HotDoc during her stay at the hospital but knew that she found him attractive and wanted to see him again. After chickening out on multiple occasions to ask for his number and/or email, she did what any normal girl would do next: She Googled him. With the beauty of the internet (Facebook and LinkedIn to be exact), she realized that she and HotDoc actually had a mutual friend. She reached out to the mutual friend to find out the scoop and get some deets and was pretty successful in doing so. Friend thought he might have a gf but wasn't sure as she and HotDoc had not seen each other in a long time. Girl figured she would reach out to HotDoc anyway. If she didn't, there would always be that "What if?" in her head. She actually grew a pair and messaged him via FB (Friend didn't have a regular email for him so this was the only way to reach out). The message was cute and to the point.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Real" Couples

Many TV shows have couples who have been married for a long time. Some are odd matches that you would never expect in real life. Usually a cute skinny woman and a shlumpy guy. Yet they have a pretty successful marriage even though occasional shenanigans occur. Then there are the couples on Reality TV shows. These are real marriages being filmed for our viewing pleasure. Now even though this is Reality television, we all know that so much of it is staged. There are always rumors in the tabloids about trouble in paradise behind the scenes, but its usually a love-fest when the camera rolls with the occasional bickering. And if there is fighting, its part of the "storyline" of the show. Regardless if they start in love, we watch them fall in love, or we watch them live out their love, these are some of my favorite reality TV couples.

1) Guiliana and Bill Rancic. If you don't watch this show, you are missing out. In its third season, Guiliana and Bill on the Style Network is really a fantastic show. These two are the real deal. Their love seems so genuine and they really do look like best friends. If you don't know who they are, Bill Rancic won the first ever Apprentice and Guiliana is one of the hosts of E! News. They met at an event and fell in love. They have such a playful relationship where you can see there is so much love and respect between them. And I can't help but love when she calls him by his last name. "Hey Rancic...come here." It's great. They are lovers and pals and I am really envious of the relationship they have. With all of the traumatic events Guiliana has been through in the last few months with miscarriages, failed attempts at in vitro, and her most recent bout with breast cancer, Bill has been by her side supporting and loving her. There really is no doubt that these two will last a lifetime together. I want a relationship just like theirs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Flying the Friendly Skies

I fly maybe 6-8 times a year. Usually it's to Chicago or Florida and if I am lucky, somewhere tropical in between. I am not a bad flier by any means, but its not the act of flying is something I am excited to do. There is no flight nervousness or anxiety about the actual flying; I get anxiety about the whole process of getting to the airport, getting through security, and getting to my gate on time. Once I get there, I am cool as a cucumber. I get my seat at the gate, hope I keep seeing "On Time" on the board, and then usually just hang and people watch.

Because I do travel decently enough, I have started to make some observations (shocking coming from me, right?) about my habits when traveling, as well as those around me. Some things I have noticed over the years...

Decisions, Decisions
1) I am instantly hungry the minute I get to the airport. Traveling makes me hungry and I am firm believer that calories burn a lot faster on an airplane. Amiright? Totally kidding, but don't rain on my parade. There is something about traveling that makes me ravenous. Usually I am flying no more than 3 hours but with travel to and from the airport, this can add at least another half hour each way. That's a lot of time. And I think about food. Of course I pack snacks (or even sandwich AND snacks) but airport food is sometimes a treat as well. I love browsing the trail mix, chips, and candy. Rarely do I make that purchase unless I am delayed and/or having a big craving, but I still enjoy looking (and this includes all the trashy/awesome magazines). I walk by the Au Bon Pain and the Auntie Anne's and even McDonald's with great self control. Go me!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dear Diary...

I am currently home in Chicago this week for my spring break and obvi love every second of it. Since I am still in a spring cleaning mood (had a great Friday purging clothes and can't wait until round two when I get back) and my mom nagged me to go through some of my old stuff to donate/toss, I went through the desk drawers in my bedroom. I had two old diaries in there from grade school. I never really kept a diary on a regular basis, but had always wished I was consistent with it. Neither diary I found was full, but they had some stuff in there that I may have been unhappy about back then, but is now hilarious. One diary was from 1990 and had about 10 entries in it and another was from 1993. Apparently I made it my New Years resolution in '93 to write in it everyday because I started January 1 but only made it to mid Feb with like 8 or so missed days in between. It is so NOT like me to start something and quit, but apparently I have grown up a lot since then.

One thing that was made very clear in my diary entries is that both my relationship with my mom and my brother (Adam) has greatly improved over the years, especially with my mother. My dad and I always got along, even when he coached me (and I had a self-admitted severe attitude problem). We never had any big issues and I was always a daddy's girl. I think I called him a "dummy" once in a diary entry. Burn. I also know growing up, my brother and I fought a lot. Like a lot. I was totally verbally abusive to him, very impatient, and we often got into physical fights. We still get in tiffs today if we spend too much time together but now that we are older, we have really fun times together. (Perhaps you have read about our night out in Mexico?) In grade school, my mom used to threaten to send us to a social worker to talk about our problems but never ended up following through. There are some diary entries about her threats regarding this and me not wanting to go because if my friends found out I saw a social worker, I'd be mortified.  Other diary entries have mentions of how unattractive I found red head guys, how much I enjoy eating rolls, my love for my crush (I wrote about him A LOT), and tons about basketball. In typical me fashion, one entry ends "I have so much to complain about my basketball team right now, but not nearly enough room to write about it." Some things never change. And then there are others change my relationship with my mama.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hello Again Central Park!

Now that I am back on the healthy track, I have started my morning routine of running in Central Park again before work. Yes! There is just something so therapeutic and refreshing about starting out my day with a nice run in the park. It energizes me for the day and gives my body the endorphins that it craves. Really, my body craves these. On days where I don't work out, I am a little more irritable and have a hard time sleeping. And I don't have that little pep in my step that makes me me. My body needs to burn off this extra energy. I tend to be a little hyper so my workouts mellow me out for the day and get rid of that built up of energy.

Because I am a woman of habit, I go at pretty much the exact time every morning and go the same route to the park and in the park. Sometimes I get wild and crazy and go the opposite direction while running the loop. Woohoo. I really live it up. But because I do go practically the same time and route every morning I see the a lot of the same faces.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pin on my friends

Have you joined Pinterest yet? What are you waiting for? Your invitation? That's right, you need an invitation to join. You can't just sign up and begin pinning like a madwoman (or madman) just quite yet. You have to patiently wait until you get your email to join and then you can start your new obsession.

What is Pinterest you may ask? Well its basically an online pinboard for everything, clothes, travel locales, hobbies, wedding ideas, books, movies...basically anything imagineable. And let me tell you, my imagination is going a little wild. I have pinboards for stuff I want to bake, clothes and shoes I wear (and wish I could afford to buy), hairstyles, gifts I want, vacation spots, inspirational quotes, etc... If I was reasonably close to having a wedding or if I had kids, I would def have pinboards for each of those topics too. There are really some great ideas on there for everything. But for the time being, I am trying to be relatively realistic in what I pin in the hopes I actually do use try it one day. But really, what am I trying to prove to myself?

Monday, April 2, 2012


This week was my first full week back at work since being sick and being in the hospital. Stupid Ulcerative Colitis (UC). I missed 6 days of work in row, and in the teaching world, that is a lifetime. Considering I have missed like 12 days total in my 7 years of teaching, this was a big deal. When I got back to work, my welcome back was overwhelming. The kids had made me cards and there were hugs all around. They were generally excited to have me back which felt good. And many of my colleagues popped in to say hi and see how I was feeling. It was all very sweet. Everyone knows that I rarely miss work so if I was out, it must have been serious. The thing is though, its hard to explain to people what exactly UC is. Some of my fellow teachers know that I have it. They also knew that I had been feeling like shit for the prior three weeks and hadn't been myself at work recently. I don' think they realized how sick I really was though the last week or so. Upon my return, one teacher even said to me "Oh, I used to have Colitis but it went away." Um, sorry dude, that's not how it works. Once you have it, you have it. Forever. It's an autoimmune disease that you have the rest of your life. Maybe you had the stomach flu. Or maybe even irritable bowel. But not UC.