Thursday, December 16, 2010

We need a little Christmas, right this very minute

I can hardly believe Christmas is only a few days away. This holiday really crept up on us, coming out of nowhere. And honestly, this year, I just don’t feel as prepared, or in the Christmas spirit as usual. I think it has to do with the fact that Bruno and I have been so busy the past few weeks, traveling 4 of the last 6 weekends. It really takes a toll on you. We’ve been going going going and haven’t had a time to rest. Our condo is a disaster because we’ve been so busy and haven’t had the time to get things in order. We haven’t gotten our tree yet because we just haven’t had the time. I was finally able to wrap some presents last night, but I still have shopping and wrapping to do. And even though I feel like I started early, I just feel so far behind. I really think it’s the lack of our Christmas tree.

We plan on getting it on Saturday, then spending the early afternoon decorating it and making our place look a little more in the holiday spirit. But it’s sad to think that the holiday will be over a week after we get our tree… so we’ll hardly have any time to enjoy it. Sure, we’ll keep it up after Christmas and through the New Year, but the tree isn’t as pretty without nicely wrapped gifts under it. Maybe I’ll wrap some extra boxes just for the fun of it, but probably not.

I’m not trying to have a sad and gloomy post, but I’m just airing out a little. Maybe some snow later today will bring about the Christmas spirit. I miss it this year… (although the Glee Christmas helped out a little last week)

So about that 30 Day Blog Challenge...

Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to finish. So sad, I know. How can it be so hard to write on topics that are given to you? But it is. I started off so strong… and then lost interest. I think what did it was the last thing I was to post – a picture taken of me from 10 years ago. I think I only have 1 digital copy that fits that description, and I just didn’t feel like posting it. So that meant I would need to search through old photos and find one, scan it and then post it. Too much work. I didn’t want to give up… but I’ve got to call it quits. My husband is very unhappy at my lack of posting, so I shouldn’t pretend like I’m actually going to finish.

So farewell 30 Day Challenge, perhaps we will meet again someday…

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 9

Day 09 — A photo you took

So how do you choose 1 picture, just 1, of all the pictures I have?? But this is actually the first that came to my mind. This photo is from our big fun group cruise back in 2007. I've always thought about getting it blown up, but what would I really do with a large print of a tropical scene? Doesn't exactly fit with our decor :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Foodie Monday

Sorry for the 30 Day Challenge interruption. I’ve been tagged by Deviled Megs and I feel that I must respond…

What is your favorite dessert?
Hmm… well I’m honestly not much of a dessert person. If I’m out to dinner, then usually. And most of the time for holiday/special occasion dinners. But on a normal, everyday sort of thing, no. I think maybe because I’ve filled up to much on the dinner food, who knows. So when I do have dessert… I would have to say my favorite is this Sweet Mascarpone with Strawberry puree that I get at my parents’ favorite restaurant – Carmello’s. It is amazingly delicious and our waitress (yes, we get the same one every time because her and my mom are friends) always makes sure one is saved for us when we come to eat.

A side dessert note – I think the BEST dessert I ever had was when I was in London for work a few years ago. I had a warm strawberry and rhubarb cobbler, served with my own small pitcher of warm custard. Oh my goodness if you have ever had the warm custard in London (or thereabouts) that I am referring to, you know it is so good that you don’t even really need the cobbler for it. But I didn’t want to be super fatty and just drink the thing down. Yum!!

Ever try to cook something and fail miserably?
Well I’ll have to say it was the 2nd time I tried to make Bruno’s favorite dessert – Brigadeiros. It’s a Brasilian treat of yumminess made from condensed milk, butter and cocoa. To make it, you mix all the ingredients over heat, constantly stirring, for about 30-40 minutes. Once the mixture is “good” you let it cool and eventually roll the mixture into small balls. You then coat the balls in cocoa or sprinkles and enjoy!

The tricky part is getting the timing right on how long you cook the mixture. What happened the first time is that I didn’t cook it long enough and the treats were super gooey, but still edible. Why I failed the 2nd time is because I cooked the mixture too long and by the time it had cooled to form into balls, it was as solid as a rock. Obviously completely inedible. But I didn’t give up and by the 3rd time, I had accomplished the treat. And Bruno loved it!

Is there a dish you haven’t made yet that you would like to?
After seeing Julie and Julia I was set on making the famous Beef Bourguignon that poor Julie slaved over in the movie. The fact that it was such an intense process that turns out to be a food masterpiece is a challenge I hope to embark on some day. When I have nothing else to do. For days on end.

What is your favorite food?
Pasta. Mmmm pasta. But to be exact, I would have to go with my mom’s homemade cavatelli. She calls it gnochhi, but technically, it’s not. But boy is it delicious!!! It is a Thanksgiving tradition to have cavatelli before our turkey feast, one that I neglected to inform Bruno about the first time he came over for Thanksgiving. “I guess they just eat pasta – no turkey here!” So of course he filled his stomach on pasta and groaned when the actual traditional Thanksgiving meal came out. Luckily, my aunt gave me my own cavatelli machine a few years ago and I have been able to make it myself. It tastes good, but never as good as my mom’s!

What is your least favorite food?

PEAS!!!!! Peas Peas Peas are gross gross gross. I’m sorry for all of those people that love them… I just can’t stand them! Through deductive reasoning we determined that my hatred for peas started when I was about 3 years old. I have just finished a big plate of them when my uncle decided to twirl me around. I was having a grand old time… until I projectile vomited on the living room wall. Peas and I were not friends after that.

Do you have any seasonal meals that you like?

I will have to follow Deviled Megs on this one with crabs. I really love them, and I love going to crab feasts. Sure, it’s a lot of work. But all you need to do is pile up the meat and eat it at the end and it’s a delicious treasure. My softball team holds a crab feast every year, and we even snacked on crabs for my friend’s birthday this past September. Eating crabs not only tastes yummy, but brings fond memories of being with friends. I like those.

What is your comfort food?
See “What is your favorite food.” I also “go-to” the Trader Joe’s French Onion Soup. Yum.

Chocolate: milk, dark or white?

Well, I tend towards the dark, but I mostly eat milk chocolate because it’s more readily available. White… eh… only if I’m desparate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 8

Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad

Well initially I wasn’t sure if I would find a picture to go with this because I couldn’t think of a picture that would make me feel angry or sad. I guess most of the pictures I remember are of happy memories… but then this one came to mind.

It makes me more sad than angry, but the 2 feelings are definitely there. My friends and I drove to Blacksburg the Saturday after the shooting in 2007. It was a spur of the moment trip, obviously. But 5 of us hopped in my parents’ van and drove directly to campus. The drillfield was filled with people, students who were still in school, alumni, family, friends. Just a lot of people.

I didn’t really know many people who were still at Tech when the shooting occurred since I had graduated long before it happened. But I found my friend who was in Vet school and though I knew she was ok, though I knew she wasn’t anywhere near Norris Hall when it happened, I immediately burst into tears when I saw her. I think it was more of a relief and some of a “Wow, this really did happen.” Up until we actually visited the campus, the whole event was still surreal.

This photo is of Norris Hall. I still can’t drive by it without my heart dropping…

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 7

Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy

First off, let me apologize for the slacking these last few days. I don’t feel that I have failed the challenge just yet because as my friend Deviled Megs pointed out, “It’s not 30 CONSECUTIVE days.” I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t post on Sunday… well I’ll tell you that A) posting a blog every day is pretty exhausting and B) Sunday is a day of rest anyhow. Not posting the last few days was mostly due to the fact that I just didn’t have time. It’s been a busy week and since this post relates to a picture, well, I couldn’t do it during the day because my pictures are at home. Anyhow… moving on…

It is pretty hard to find ONE picture that makes me happy, because there are really so many. Obviously pictures evoke memories, which is why we take them. I have a lot of happy memories, so how do I choose??

This picture is from our wedding… obviously. No doubt there are many pictures from this day that make me happy, but this is one of my favorites. This is during our best man’s speech and I’m pretty certain he’s telling a funny story about Bruno. I mean, that’s what BM speeches are for, right? This photo makes me happy because it’s just pure joy and honest laughter – nothing staged. My photographer did an excellent job of capturing a lot of true moments, and I love her for that. This is the wedding picture I have at my desk at work. I love to see my husband smile and well, laugh. Laughter is a strong part of our relationship so there’s definitely no surprise to see it here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 6

Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy

A few weeks, er, probably months by now, my friend left the States to embark on a 2-year adventure in Egypt. She was offered an opportunity to teach over there and decided, “Hey, why not?” So for her friends that miss her dearly, she started her own blog to keep us up to date with the happenings in that far off land.

I of course, started to follow her blog. And by follow, I mean click the little button that says, “Follow this blog.” Pretty simple. So she in turn gets a notification that a certain Blythepoo is following her blog.

“Is this you?” she asks. “The profile seems to say that it is, but I’m not sure.”

“Yep, it’s me.”

I am Blythepoo. So where does this name come from? Well, quite a random story actually…

A few years ago I was shopping in Carytown, (Richmond) and wandered into one of my favorite stores, World of Mirth. Perusing the shelves I came across a small rectangular book that caught my eye, This is Blythe. Who was this Blythe? I had to know!

Turns out, Blythe is a doll, much like Barbie, but with a big head and booming in the Asian culture. Seriously. My mom’s friend went to Hong Kong and brought one back for me – he said it was a madhouse in the toy store for this thing. But what is there to really love about Blythe, because a big head and fun clothes just aren’t going to cut it. Gina Garan, author of This is Blythe and a few other books in the series, uses her time to pose Blythe in various scenes, wither various clothes, and take pictures of her. Yep, she models Blythe and photographs her. It sounds creepy, and most people think it is, but it is also hilarious. The scenarios she photographs Blythe in are so random and funny – it’s great.

So I became slightly obsessed with Blythe shortly after discovering her (again, another trend with the obsessions) and spent my time buying all sorts of things associated with Blythe off of Ebay. It was awesome. Naturally, when I needed a blogger name, I went with Blythepoo. The “poo” at the end roots all the way back to high school, but was definitely appropriate in this case.

Monday, October 18, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 5

Day 05 — Your favorite quote

Hmm… now this one is a toughie in a sense that I don’t often refer to quotes, or think of them in my daily life. But if I had to pick one (which I do) I would chose:

“Only through imitation can we achieve originality.” - Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

I read this book I think in college, again to fulfill a reading requirement. I’m pretty certain I chose this book because it was short and involved a dog. Turns out, I really liked it. This book is a non-fiction work that follows John Steinbeck through a drive around the country.

I don’t remember where in the book this quote was, or what it was referring to. But I remember liking it. I like it because I feel like it directly relates to my line of work – Interior Design. In our industry, there is so much competition for the best design and honestly I feel that a lot of the top award winners have very similar designs – whatever the trend is. Everyone is imitating everyone else, but adding their own twist. Then sometimes, the twist really stands out and apart from the crowd. Initially there is imitation, but it leads to originality in a design. It has to start somewhere.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 4

Day 04 – Your favorite book
This was a very easy one, and I figure it’s because I don’t read that much.

Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card

No, it’s not the Lost Boys everyone thinks about, that I think they made a movie of. This is a science fiction novel about a Mormon family in North Carolina. Writing that out, it sounds like a pretty odd book. Science Fiction about a Mormon family? But trust me, it’s amazing.

I first read this book in high school, I think to fulfill a reading requirement. I came across the book randomly and decided it looked good. I’ve decided that most of the books I like have children or teenagers as the main character and this book was no different. But when I took this book, I had no idea how much I would love it. I remember reading it and being so enthralled in the story, staying up late to finish it and expressing all emotions as I read through it – happiness, fear and I definitely cried.

And I still do. This is the book I’ll pick up every so often when I need a book to read (mostly at the beach) and I still breeze through it and love it just as much. I told my friend about the book, and she mentioned that Orson Scott Card had a well-known book called Ender’s Game that SHE loved, so we traded. I did enjoy Ender’s Game a lot (a child is the main character, again), though it was way more sci-fi then Lost Boys. I think the only reason my book is classified as sci-fi is because of the author. Apparently all of his other books are very sc-fi. Either way, HIGHLY recommended.

Side note, although Lost Boys is my favorite book, my favorite author is Augusten Burroughs. I have read all his books (ok not his latest one yet) and I really really enjoy them.

Close 2nd

Bee Season by Myla Goldberg (I was SO pumped when this book became a movie)

Friday, October 15, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 3

Day 03 — Your favorite television program

Ok so if I thought choosing a favorite song was hard, well that doesn’t even compare to choosing a favorite TV show. You all know how important TV is in my life. It’s sad, I know. But I’ve been like that my whole life – I blame my parents. My dad and I have the exact same approach to coming home from work, or wherever… come through the door, turn on the TV. Most of the time I immediately sit on the couch to watch it, but sometimes, I don’t. I just leave it on as I filter throughout the house. It’s my background noise. Bruno likes music, I like TV. When Bruno’s not home, I sometimes have both TVs on just so I don’t miss anything as I move room to room. We have a TIVO and a DVR because of the overwhelming amount of shows we both watch. Most of them are mine, but Bruno is starting to catch up.

So asking me to choose my favorite show? Oh wow… When I was little, there was no hesitation to answer, “Mr. Ed!” Yes, the old black and white TV show about a talking horse. I loved it. Throughout the years I went through Full House, The Wonder Years and then on to Dawson’s Creek. Oh Dawson’s Creek, how you ruled my life for 6 seasons of bliss. My mild obsession with Katie Holmes may have had something to do with how much I treasured this program, but you could find me keeping up to date, every week. When we were in college and we didn’t get the WB, my mom would record them for me so I could catch up when I had the chance. My roommates and I drove to Wilmington, NC freshman year specifically to scope out the set and the filming locations. Notice a trend here? So yes, my love of Wilmington stemmed from my love of Dawson’s Creek.

But alas, I honestly wouldn’t peg Dawson’s Creek as my all-time favorite show. You are shocked, I know it. But I must come out with the truth. The show that beat out Dawson’s Creek is one that aired at the same time, but I didn’t get into until Dawson’s Creek was over. Drumroll…

Gilmore Girls

This probably isn’t a really big shock to be the show that beat out my beloved DC but just the fact that something beat it out is pretty amazing. Comparing both shows, Gilmore Girls makes me laugh more – the one-liners and dialogues always keep a smile on my face. Granted, DC was obviously more of a drama then GG, but in the end, I think it’s the comedy that wins me over. I like the characters of GG - they aren’t all sleeping with each other. Some of the storylines of DC were a little too far-fetched and I really hated the annual Halloween episode. When I grab a DVD set to watch for a long road trip, GG is the one I will turn to most often.

Close 2nd (after Dawson’s Creek)

Sex and the City – I didn’t get into this show until after it ended because we didn’t have HBO. But I will watch reruns over and over and love them! Bruno can attest to this…

Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 2

Day 02 — Your favorite movie

Well this one is a no-brainer. If you know me at all, you know the answer to this one:

10 Things I Hate About You

I just love love love this movie. I love the storyline; I love the actors; I love the setting; I love the music. Yep, pretty much just love this movie. I originally set out to see it because one of my favorite actresses at the time, Larisa Oleynik, was in it. I was a tab obsessed with The Secret World of Alex Mack. After seeing it twice in the theaters, there was no turning back. Sure I saw Save the Last Dance in the theater a few times… and by a few I mean 4… but that movie never had the impact that this movie did.

I’m not sure why though. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I’ve always loved Seattle and here comes a movie that is filmed there, filled with young actors and funny lines I could relate to. Ok, maybe the portrayal of high school life was a bit exaggerated, but let’s be honest, how often are they not exaggerated?

A few years ago, Bruno and I took a week-long trip out to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with his sister and her husband. A day or 2 was all we needed in the city, so what else could we do for the rest of the time? How about we IMDB the movie to find all the filming locations and be movie tourists for the day? So we did. We travelled around the outskirts of Seattle and down to Tacoma, taking pictures of as many sites as we could. It was a dream come true. Ok maybe not really, but kinda. I was definitely oozing excitement all day and had a perma-smile across my face.

Stadium High School

"Can you help me find the Feminine Mystique? I lost my copy."

Bianca and Cameron frolicked here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Days About Me: Day 1

Day 01 — Your favorite song

You know, I have to say that choosing 1 favorite song of all-time is pretty hard. My favorite songs change so much… not everyday because that’d be a little much, but probably every few months. I’m certain this is the case for everyone simply based on the fact that our music tastes change along with the music we listen to. I know I wrote in a previous post how much I love the Oldies and for the longest time I would claim my favorite song to be “My Girl” by the Temptations. I think it mostly stemmed from the fact that I loved the movie with the same name and loved the Oldies, so the 2 kind of went hand in hand. But I don’t think I would say the same now. When I think of what a favorite song is, it’s one that you turn up loud and sing along to anytime it comes on. It’s the one that you search specifically on your iPod for every now and then because you want to hear something you love. So what one is that…

Friends of mine would surely chime in saying, “I Want You to Want Me!” since that is my go-to song on Karaoke and is the ending credits song to my all-time favorite movie (save that information for a later post). But as much as I do love singing that song, I wouldn’t call it my all-time favorite. Other friends may say, “It MUST be ‘NSYNC something or other because you were like, obsessed with them.” True, I was. I admit it and I’m not ashamed. But no, they do not reign on the all-time list.

Well folks, I must say that the winner is… and I’ve really put a lot of thought into this because there are a lot of songs I love. But the award goes to:

Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band

This is by no means a biased decision just because my husband happens to be in a DMB Tribute Band. I was a fan of Dave way before I met Bruno. Under the Table and Dreaming is the only DMB CD I own and I bought it for this song specifically. I DO instantly turn up this song when it comes on and sing to it every time. This song makes me happy, brings me a lot of memories and has such a catchy beat that I can’t help myself. I love that it is such a crowd pleaser and that I’m guaranteed to hear it every time I see Crowded Streets perform. It will never grow old to me.

Close 2nds…
If I Had $1 Million by Barenaked Ladies
Everything by Michael Buble

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I know I'm not so great at posting...

So to keep my limited number of followers entertained, I will be embarking on the "30 Days About Me" challenge. I found this challenge through another random blogger and thought it would be a fun thing to do for the next 30 days. I mean, who doesn't like to talk/write about themselves all the time?? I couldn't really find an official list per say of topics, but this one seemed pretty good...

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

I hope you are looking forward to this challenge as much as I am!

Hey Gross Girl

I just don’t get it. I really don’t. When you work out, especially after an actual Body Pump class, you are sweaty. You are stinky. You are just plain gross and in desperate need of a shower. Most people love that shower right after a tough workout. It takes away the grime, makes you smell good and is really refreshing. Obviously this post is headed in the direction of, “There’s a girl at the gym who doesn’t shower after her Body Pump class!!” You heard it here folks, this isn’t a lie or a one-time deal. This girl is a repeat offender and I just don’t know how she can stand it.

She doesn’t even wash her face. Gross. She comes in, direct from class, maybe towels off a little bit, and puts her WORK CLOTHES on. Overtop of her sweatiness. How do I really know she’s sweaty? Because her hair is wet. Wet with sweat. She doesn’t rinse at all… she actually blow-dries the sweat from her hair.

I always watch in disbelief, but try not to stare. And I think others are doing the same. Today, when she was blowing-drying her sweaty hair, a friend of hers came in and exclaimed, ”Man you’re quick!” clearly thinking that she had already showered and was drying showered hair. The girl simply smiled and said, “Yep.”

Meanwhile, I see another woman looking at the sweaty girl with a disgusted look on her face, thinking the same thing I was… “She didn’t shower and that’s why she’s so quick!” I just don’t get it. Maybe she thinks that her 25 min walk to work will reduce the stinkiness, but I know that couldn’t have been the case this summer. I’m just glad I don’t have to work with her.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Was I born in the wrong year?

Sometimes I amaze myself. I amaze myself at the ability to remember lyrics to songs dated waaaaay before my time. The other day, I was listening to Sirius “60’s on 6” and I found myself singing and harmonizing to the tune of “Summer Song” by Chad and Jeremy 1965. Yeah, who knows that song? And why do I know it?

I grew up listening to Oldies. When we would make our 8hr drive to New York in the middle of the night, my dad would have Oldies on. My first concert was The Beach Boys. I listened to Oldies until 7th grade, when I decided rap music was going to be my thing.

But I love them. I really do. And sometimes I find it amazing that other people don’t love them as much as me. That they didn’t grow up on Oldies. I will ensure that my children listen to the Oldies because although the lyrics are insanely cheesy, it’s just good music. Am I 60 years old for saying that?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Talk about a confidence boost

Saturday Bruno and I woke up early to participate in the Chick-fil-a 5k in Sterling, VA. I hadn't ran a race since the crapiness that was the Carribbean Sounds 10k (their course was terrible and was the incorrect distance making my time seem worse then it actually was). I've been training with my Ragnar team once a week and running 2-3x more on my own every week. Since I've been training at about the same pace for a few months and mixing in some hills, I really wasn't sure where I would be when it came to race time. Well I'll tell you what, this weekend I kicked ass, if I do say so myself.

I ran the 5k in 27:28, giving me a mile pace of 8:50. I couldn't believe it! I mean, I was checking my watch and keeping track during the entire race and I knew I was running a little quicker then I train at, but I didn't think it was that big of a difference. To give you an idea, I train at a 9:40 pace. Yeah. It's just really a confidence boost because after all the leg workouts I've been doing and running with my team, I really didn't feel like I was making any progress. I just felt like I was at a standstill. So this weekend was really great. I don't know if it was the atsmosphere of the race or the free Chick-fil-a at the end, but I felt good.

I have my Ragnar Relay in 2 weeks, and I cannot believe it! I'm nervous and excited. My first leg is pretty rough (6.9mi with 2 big hills) but the other 2 legs are relatively easy. I think our team has done really great and I'm really confident in how we'll do in the race. It's going to be quite an adventure, that's for sure!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adios Metro

When I started my job in the city, I figured it would not even be an option to drive in, that I would be a full-time metro rider. I had been taking the metro to my Arlington job and had kinda grown accustomed to it. Why would I want to sit in traffic when I could sleep on the metro? I figured rush hour traffic would be ridiculous and parking would be way too expensive. I was content with riding the metro… I always had a seat in the morning and even though I had to stand most of the way home, I was the last stop and never had to worry about missing it.

But then the metro started getting unreliable. The prices started going up. The time between trains started to increase even though the public was PROMISED service wouldn’t be affect/cut to close the budget gap. Riiiiiiight. But I was still set on riding the metro.

A few weeks ago we were pushing out a project and I had to work late every night. I decided that I would try the whole, “driving into the city” thing. The metro runs every 15-20 minutes after rush hour so if I would miss the train coming home from work late or after a Happy Hour, I would have to sit around and then sit on the metro for 30 minutes. It just makes for a long and exhausting trek home. Let me tell you, I became quite a fan of the “driving into work” thing. Traffic really wasn’t that bad in the morning and byt the time I left to go home, there was no one on the roads.

It’s pretty great to have control of the situation, as opposed to being stuck somewhere with no way out if there’s a delay. If there’s a traffic jam, I have an opportunity to take and alternate route. Not with metro. I always have a seat and can listen to the radio or use my phone when I drive… not on the metro. The metro costs me $15/day to use (that includes parking). Driving in is about 15 miles and costs $10 to park.

I kept the argument going in my head that I can pay for metro, pretax, through a program at work, so it’s more economical. But when the difference is $5/day, the difference pretty much offsets any pretax savings. The commute time is the same whether I metro or drive, so why not be comfortable in my car?

So for the month of September, I’m going to try driving in 2 days/week to start. I want to see how rush hour traffic is once school is back in session. I’m pretty certain eventually I will just drive in everyday and take the metro when I need to because honestly, there is no benefit at this point. Not when the metro continues to hike prices and offer crappy service. I am not a fan.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is Seattle really the place to be?

The other night I get a call from a good friend who tells me she’s engaged, getting married next year, and then moving to Seattle. Seattle, really? Is that like the place to be these days or what? I tell her that with the connections we already have out there, and now with her moving out there, then we might really go.

“Seriously?!” she asks.

“Well, no, not really. But it’s a thought,” I respond.

And it is a thought – a thought that we’ve played around with for a while. I’ve wanted to live in Seattle since 5th grade. But is it a realistic thought? Probably not. Sadly. But you never know.

We just have such a solid life here – friends, family, activities, the Hokies. The thought of leaving all this behind to move on is frankly pretty scary. On the other hand, our connections to Seattle are increasing. We have family out there already (Bruno’s sister and husband) and a few friends – good ones. So we wouldn’t be moving to a completely new life without anyone to help us.

We always have a great time when we go out west, and the thought of living there and experiencing life on the west coast is very intriguing. For one, we would have great snowboarding. The weather isn’t too horrible, maybe a bit rainy, but we definitely wouldn’t have the insane heat we have here. We would get to travel to places we haven’t experienced. I definitely think it would be a positive move.

On the other hand, we are close with our friends and family. I love my softball teams and Bruno’s bands are doing really well. We’d have to give those up. Once we have our own family, it would be tough to know our families may only spend the holidays together. However, by the time that happens my parents should be retired and have all the time in the world to come visit!

I think it’s definitely an option we consider every now and again. For now, we will be here for at least the next 3 years, since we are obligated to our condo J But I would say the door is partially open to the idea.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

They say things change when you get married...

But somehow, I always thought it was a change between you and your S.O. Apparently not in my case. Of course I have felt a change between the relationship Bruno and I have. After just celebrating our 1 year anniversary, I cannot believe how fast the year went. I honestly love him more and more everyday and am very happy with where we are. But sometimes, I still cannot believe I'm married. As often as I say the words - husband, married, Mrs. de Lima-Campos - it's still so new to me. I know that will change over time, and become natural, it's already starting to.

So what are these other changes then? The ones that aren't specifically related to our marriage? Well there's 3... and they're kinda huge.

1. Running. Somehow, in the past 6 months, I've become a runner. I actually like running, and have been "competing" in races since December. I use quotations because I've only been running for fun - in the fun races. I started with the Jingle All the Way 10k, moved to the St Patty's Day 8k, ran in the Crystal City 5k... and have a few others coming down the pipe (5k this Saturday for Spinal Research and the Caribbean Sounds 10k in July) My biggest race comes at the end of September - The Ragnar Relay. This race is 193 miles, from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC taking place over a period of 24 hours. 193 miles?? No fear, we have 12 people on the team, each running (3) different legs of varying mileage. It will be a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun. There's that word again... when did I ever decide that running was fun?? It was a change...

2. Babies. I've never really WANTED a baby... ok, well yes, I've always wanted a baby, but I always pushed that to "Oh later down the road. Not right now!" And somehow, in the past 6 months, that has changed. All of the sudden, I am ready. Well, I think I am. I guess I'm more ready for the thought of a child now as opposed to down the road. It may be because I've always had some sort of timeline in my head, or because I have an awesome husband who will make a great dad, or because a lot of my friends are having babies, or maybe I'm just ready. But I go back and forth on it... my heart says I'm ready, but my mind says I'm not. I'm not ready to change our guestroom into a baby's room. I'm not ready to stop playing softball for 9+ months. I'm not ready to stop drinking for 9+ months. I'm not ready to give up snowboarding for 9+ months. But still... the feeling is there. Sure, I'd rather us live in a nice house with lots of room for a family. But that's not happening anytime soon, so we will work with what we have. Now don't get too excited, we are not having a baby for a while, but it will happen in the near future... at least before we head to Brasil in 2014! Haha.

3. Church. Yep, Church. I've been going. Consistently. And I've enjoyed it. This may be the biggest change of all. A few weeks ago I passed a new church on the way to Karen's house - The Vine. I don't know if it was the grape vines that intrigued me, but I mentioned it to Karen when I got to her place and she had been interested in the same church. So we scoped it out. It's a contemporary Methodist church and although there is a band and singing (not such a fan of the Christian music), it's not as overwhelming as others I've experience. What I get most out of these services is that the pastor, who reminds me of my brother, really relates the Bible to everyday life. Growing up Catholic, I went to church every Sunday, following through the motions and never really getting anything from the services. After going to college, I sort of dropped out of the church, feeling that if I wasn't interested in going, then I shouldn't go. And it's been that way since then... but now it's starting to turn around. I always wanted to get back into church, but really didn't know if I would find one that would actually keep me interested. Bruno and I spoke about going to church with our future children because we did want them to have some sort of religious education/understanding during their childhood. I wouldn't want to force them to go, but at the same time, I think they should have something. I also didn't want to just drop them off for Mass and pick them up in an hour. Anyhow, so far, I am really liking this church. I haven't gotten the urge to reach out and "Spread the word of the Lord" but to me, the Bible is like poetry. I don't understand it unless it is broken down, bit by bit, into words and ideas I can understand and relate to. Catholicism never did that for me. I tried a few different Catholic churches, but just couldn't get into it. This church, The Vine, breaks down the Bible and makes it interesting. Pastor Todd is funny, and relaxed, and the entire environment is just nice. It's a new, small church, so that's quite a change from the huge old church I grew up in. I don't know if this will be the church for me, for us, but so far, I'm pretty happy with it. And believe me, that is really really weird to say.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Big 3-0

My 30th birthday is less then a year away. I'm not really freaking out about it... for now at least. It will be odd to reach the Big 3-0, but hopefully I won't panic like they do in the movies and tv. For now, I have a few plans, and just added another.

My friends and I, who have our birthday within 2 weeks of each other, have already tentatively thought about a Super Sweet 30th Birthday. We're hoping for a major bash, MTV style. In reality, that probably won't happen, but a joint birthday will for sure. For those who have celebrated with me, I tend to have a really fun bash for my birthday each year and I'm thinking the 30th bash will be the final one. It's not that I don't enjoy them... I love them for sure. But you can only have big birthday bashes for so long...

Anyhow, so that's one plan. Plan number 2, if I don't chicken out, is to get Lasik. I would just LOVE to be able to wake up in the morning and see... to go to bed without having to take my contacts out first. I've always been hesitant, because things with my eyes freak me out. But I know MANY people who have done the surgery, including my friend who's eye sight was worse then mine. Of course, I may not be eligible for the surgery, but for now, my plan is to do it. It would just be so great not to worry about that anymore...

My last plan is something new. Something that probably won't happen. A tattoo. Yeah, that's right. I've never gotten one before because I could never think of something that I loved enough to permanently put on my body. I don't have anything right now, but for some reason, I'm very interested in the thought. Where would it go? On the inside of my wrist. I understand that it would hurt like no other, another reason it probably won't happen. But I think the inside of the wrist is really great placement. It's subtle and can be hidden if necessary. But it's also a place where later in life, my skin won't sag or expand too much that it's beyond recognition. For now, this is just a thought. I figure if in a year, I'm still interested, then I'll go for it. But for all things permanent, there has to be absolute desire and confidence in it.

When I turn 30, I may be a whole new person. Well, I'll just be able to see and have ink on my skin. Close enough.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A dilemma...

Bruno and I have had a trip planned with our friends for weeks, maybe even months, to go up to Philly this coming weekend. We go up Saturday to start our weekend Cheesesteak tour. Yep, cheesesteaks. We plan on hitting up Pat's, Geno's, Tony Luka's and the Dairy Cottage. Sunday night we attend the John Mayer concert, then we come home Monday.

Here's the dilemma... I just received an email today about a meeting for my project, on Monday. From 10am to 4:30pm. What?! The meeting is to discuss schematic design. Now, my boss already knew I had this day off for vacation, but I think Monday was the only day our client could meet. What do I do??

On one hand, I've been looking forward to this weekend for so long and want to take full advantage of a fun weekend in Philly. On the other, it's my first project and from what I understand, the interiors department doesn't often get to attend meetings. Usually it's our boss who does. So it would be great to attend and really be involved in the project.

But we are staying at a B&B and it's too late to shorten our reservation. I don't want to cut our trip short, but should I? What if I do, and then the meeting doesn't even really involve me much? I just don't know the right answer here.

Ugh why did they have to plan it for Monday?!?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A little space please?

Dear Mr. Man in the Tan Wool Coat,

When sharing a bench seat on the metro, it is pretty reasonable to expect one to stay within their 18" of space, especially when you are capable to do so. When I entered the train and glanced around for a free seat, I spotted the one next to you and figured I'd have a comfortable ride. Apparently not.

Thanks to you and your need to go past the seat line (I know you were because I checked), I spent most of my ride sitting half on the seat. Luckily, I suppose, I was not limited in space by having an arm rest because I'm certain if I was, I would have one fine bruise on my thigh from being smashed up against it.

When you notice my constant shuffling, sighing (my passive aggressive way to let you know I am annoyed) and how my arm is slightly pushed across my chest because there is no room to have it next to my body, please make some sort of effort to give me some space. As a window passenger, you have more room to push yourself closer to allow more space for the aisle riders. Don't just glare at me like this is MY fault.

A little courtesy, please.

Slightly Bottom-Numbed Woman

Friday, January 29, 2010

Um, I guess problem solved?

So said nail clipper is cleaning out his desk, as I type. I don't know what happened, but apparently he won't be working here anymore. Looks like I won't have to speak up.........

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Update... Need Advice

So.... the nail clipper is my problem, not the office's. Since it isn't a company policy, there's nothing the office can do about this guy. So it's up to me to say something to him or just deal with the annoyance all day.

How do I approach him? I mean, I have no idea what to say. Should I bring a coworker (whom it also bothers) with me when I speak to him. I know I won't be able to spend the rest of my time at this job, listening to that blasted noise, everyday.

So, advice? Anyone?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Walk, or Run, to the Nearest Exit

Dear Orange Line Metro Rider,

I cannot site one person specifically for this, so I will make a general blanket plea - Please Do Not Stand On The Left Side Of The Escalator. Seriously. The left side is for WALKING... the right side is for STANDING. Do you not listen to the PA System when the nice metro lady gives handy metro tips? Even SHE asks you to walk when you are on the left side.

Unfortunately, EVERY time this happens, I am never right behind the person at fault, otherwise, you would know that I like to walk on the left side. I honestly don't understand why none of the people in front of me give a little "shove" to you left-side standers. Am I the only person who understands this concept?

Anyhow, please please PLEASE do not stand on the left side of the escalator. That is what the right side is for. You may not be in a hurry to get home, but I am. And I'm not a fan of being slowed down.

Thank you,
Woman with a Mission

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sparkly Velour

Dear Lady in the Sparkly Velour Jumpsuit,

When people are standing outside the metro doors, that means they are waiting to get on. It is unnecessary to sneak up from behind and push yourself onto the train, even before others have gotten off. Don't you know metro ettiquete?

It would also be polite if you didn't stare at me and my friend for the entire trip. It makes us uncomfortable.

For the courtesy to others, please do not wrap your entire arm around the pole, causing others around you to have no choice but to stretch their arm out above you to find a spot. It's rude.

Slightly Perturbed Passenger

Friday, January 22, 2010

This may turn into my "bitching blog"

Ok, so I often write in this thing when something annoys me, as you may or may not have noticed. The topic for today: IN-OFFICE NAIL CLIPPERS!

I have a coworker who clips his nails EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. At work! At his desk! Do you undertand how insanely annoying it is to go about your work and hear "pingk. pingk. PINGK." First of all, ew. Really, ew. Clipping your nails should be an "at-home" or "in the restroom" activity. When you clip your nails, no one knows where they fly to. Granted, the likelihood of the nail clippings flying farther then the realms of his desk aren't very high, but still.

And really, everyday? Are you freaking Wolverine that your nails grow THAT much that this becomes a daily habit? Do you clip at home also? If not, WHY NOT?!?

So what can I do about this? Any suggestions? How do I let him know, without coming off bitchy?

I DID just let my officer manager know what was going on... and she couldn't believe it, but let me know they would talk to him about it. So, is this guy going to hate me now? I mean, I don't want to make enemies, but this craziness has got to end!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I admit it...

I'm not very consistent with my blogs. I never claimed to be, but for some reason there are people who really like to read my blog. Call me a hypocrite because I get "angry" if the blogs I follow aren't being updated, but they are being updated way more than mine.

Truth be told, I don't blog that often because I don't feel like there is anything going on in my life that is of particular interest to write about. I'm not saying my life is dull and unexciting, because it's far from that. I guess I find it hard to be interesting here if I don't have kids to write about (because really, that's what people most like to read about.)

But I will try and do better because I love having some followers and I'd like to keep them around. Again, this is not a guarantee that I will be better about blogging, but I have an idea in mind that may enable more frequent, interesting posts. Stayed tuned.