Friday, August 29, 2008

Ode to My Bike

Dear Bianchi Bike in my living room, that doesn't necessarily have a name yet,

You are amazing!

In my rush to grow up, I completely threw aside the idea of bike riding. I thought that motor vehicles were the way to go, because you never see the cool kids on bicycles in their senior year. So biking fell to the wayside, along with exercise and my carefree sense of "who gives a crap what I look like."

But now, with gas prices on the rise, the bicycle seems to be the best way of getting around locally. Of course, riding in Maryland is a bit tougher than riding in Florida- takes a lot more leg power, due to hills. But it's also more enjoyable, because of the downhill bits. Those are my favorite! There is something exhilarating about coasting down a hill, wind in your face, rushing past your ears- and knowing that you're not going to crash.

So far, we haven't been together for too long, but it's been quality time (except for when B knocked you over in the middle of the night, since you were in the middle of the living room). We've gone through Loch Raven Village (both the nice parts, and the ghetto parts), climbed up hills in first gear, and coasted as much as we could. We've almost been run over (not my fault!), and "holla'd" at.

I hope that we can continue to cultivate the type of relationship this seems to be turning into. I will make more of an effort to ride you around town (especially after I get a lock, so no one can steal you) if you promise to do your best to guard against flat tires.


Ps- all of those hours doing cardio at the gym on those fancy machines means nothing to me- you're the only one for me, baby.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Pet Peeve

You are not worthless.

I think that it is absolutely disgusting when someone feels so insecure in themselves, that they need to manipulate another person into thinking that they are either worthless, unloved by anyone else, or both.

Being broken up with is not the most amazing and wonderful experience in the world. To quote from somewhere (I'm not too sure where though), breakups are called breakups because they're broken. But sometimes (okay, usually), they are for the best. The way the happen sucks. You're going to feel like crap, and have puffy eyes from crying. But in the end you're better for it. You become better because of the relationship itself. You are better because you've gone through the breakup. And you are much better because you've gotten through it.

If you subscribe to the theory that education is everywhere, and that you learn something new every day, well then breakups are like the mother of all learning experiences. You learn to be stronger and more independent. You also learn more about yourself- what you're willing to put up with, what you aren't, how you act in situations that are pleasing and those that aren't. There is also the matter of taste- you learn more about yours. The next time you decide to date someone you can think to yourself, "Well, that last schmuck (or pleasant thought) didn't have a beard, and dig them. The next guy will either have a beard, or be able to grow one!" You might also find that dating people younger, or older than you isn't your taste.

To recap: No one's worthless, stop treating people like you own them, it's not the end of the world, and everything is a learning experience.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hampden Blues (and Green's)

B and I have been looking for places to live for a while now. I would prefer to have roommates, so that way we have the opportunity to meet new people, have a built in person to hang out with, and just generally grow in the world.

So in our attempt to live somewhere other than B's father's basement, I have emailed dozens of people renting out rooms in their houses (or houses that they rent). And every response that I get is a polite, but resounding "no".

I suppose that B and I are death to attempted rented rooms. We're a couple (who insists on living together. What a drag, and how boring!) with two cats. If being a couple wasn't bad enough, we also have to find someone (or someones) who don't mind two tiny beings running around their house (who also isn't allergic. Or have an animal that doesn't play well with others) .

This search is two things to me: a beacon of hope and a source of despair. While I would love to stay positive about the whole thing, sometimes it's tough. The only places I've found that would take us was... well, let's just say it's not up to our standards of living (which aren't too high. I swear). But the idea of getting out of the basement and living above ground, keeps me afloat. While it would drain my bank account, it would all be worth it to not have to go home to a place that I don't want to be.

That leaves us with two options. Option 1 is to just get our own place (this is the most likely option of the two). While it would be a bit more expensive, and we would actually put out an effort to meet people, it's the easiest solution. Bonus points for being able to decorate in any way we want, and not having to ok our overnight guests through someone else. Option 2 involves magically meeting another person (or couple) who is looking to move into the same neighborhood that we are, around the same time, that we get along with and doesn't mind the cats. Once that (simple) thing happens, we all go looking for houses to rent, together, until we find something that we all like. And we live happily ever after, the end.

Of course, with all of this stress happening, we do have the stress of picking out the neighborhood we want to live in. Now, I know that my first love affair in Baltimore was with Federal Hill, but it was a fling. Federal Hill can be (and is) quite expensive, and "yuppie" as B puts it. Fell's Point is too Frat for us, and Canton is where hipsters go to buy their first house (we're not there yet!). So we went to Hampden, to explore. And we (yes this time it's a we, not a me) fell in love! Hampden is like the Baltimore equivalent to Williamsburg Brooklyn. Only, it's less expensive than other neighborhoods, not more. It's funky, with enough punk in it to be hip. There are bike posts everywhere, and it seems that cutoff shorts are a uniform. We would be walking distance to our new favorite bar/restaurant, Holy Frijoles. And close enough to B's friends, that we could all easily go biking around Baltimore without hassles.

Oh yeah, and we're also getting our bikes this weekend!



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arts & Crafts with a Twist

So, I've been really into making things lately. It doesn't matter to me if it's baking, cross stitching, sewing, or writing. As long as I'm creating something, I'm happy. I wasn't always this creative. for a while there, I never made anything original (except for essays, but even then my "original" item was based on other peoples original thoughts). But now I seem to be creating something every day. Even when I was sick, I sewed a key chain out of felt (which lives on my keys as I type...). Two days ago I made a little tissue holder. I'm in the process of making something (I won't say what until it's done and in the mail) for T.A.G., our very own Jewish Girl in Wasps Clothing. But it's something that I'm creating, sans pattern.

I suppose I've been inspired by a book that I picked up recently:

I plan to make as much as I can out of this book, because it's so intesely adorable!

Of course, I'm not the only creative one in the house. B has been helping me out by creating a logo for my cupcakery website (I'm not too sure when that'll be up, but I'll let you know!). And last night we sat in the living room, until late in the evening, doing our respective crafts. I was embroidering part of TAG's gift, while B was building and priming some Warhammer figures. It felt quite nice to sit there, each of us concentrating on our respective tasks, and being able to show the other our progress every now and then.

On an unrelated note, does anyone out there have Animal Crossing: Wild World for DS, and have access to wifi? It's sad to admit, but I don't have any Animal Crossing friends, and would love to move my little town past the stage I'm stuck on now. Let me know if you want to be DS friends, and we can exchange codes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Half & Half Cupcakes!

I had forgotten to post about my half & half cupcakes! The night before our trip to NY, I baked some chocolate/vanilla cupcakes. But since they were for my Gram (even though she didn't get any), I colored the vanilla half purple.

I'm going to start playing around with these in different flavors. I'll let everyone know what works, and what doesn't :-)

p.s. An observation that I just made since everyone in the office ordered Chipolte for lunch: the combination of aromas from different, spicy meats ends up smelling like boy b.o. Granted, the smell is the strongest next to two offices inhabited by guys... so it might not be their lunches.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Pluses & Minuses of Having a Cold.

For me, no vacation would be complete without getting ill afterwards. The first time I visited Baltimore, I went home with a pretty awesome Lung Infection (that was borderline pneumonia for a while there). After visiting B in South Carolina, I would get a cold. So why would this vacation end in a different way?

But, I think I will attempt to be positive about this. So here is my list of the +'s & -'s of having a cold.

+ Spend as much time in bed as you want/ Sleep as much as you want.
+ People cater to you. "Honey, I think the only thing that would make me feel better right now would be a grilled cheese and tomato soup. Pleeeeeeease?"
+ You don't have to do anything you don't want, because you have a pretty good excuse. "I'm sorry, I can't attend the family dinner tonight because I have a cold. I wouldn't want anyone else to catch it."
+ An excuse to watch trashy television! "Yes, watching 4 straight hours of 'Shear Genius' was excruciating. But i was so weak, I couldn't turn the channel."
+ An excuse to take Nyquil without coming off as crazy.
+ The ability to bitch as much as you want. This one sort of goes hand in hand with getting catered to. Because if they don't, then you can :)

- You can't get up to do things that you want to do.
- One word: Snot.
- Cold medicines that don't work, i.e. only make you groggy, but your symptoms don't go away.
- The inability to taste food.
- The tendency to snore (due to snot). This doesn't bother me, as much as it bothers B.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back in Action

Well, B and I are back from our vacation to visit the family in Upstate New York. I think it went quite well!

The six and a half hour drive was okay. Luckily, the rental car that I have is awesome on gas. It only took one tank of gas to get there, and a second one to get back. For an almost 800 mile trip, that ain't half bad.

We were bored on our very long journey.

This is the view from my Aunt & Uncles backyard. It's breathtaking.

My two little cousins, with a collective 5 hours of sleep between the
two of them, for three days straight.

The main reason why my family gathers, in reunion style, is because of my Grandma. We seem to celebrate her birthday, every five years, with a large party. For her 70th, we all went to California (it also happened to coincide with my cousin graduating from Berkeley Law School). Five years ago, for her 75th, the whole family went to the Catskill Mountains, where we rented many hotel rooms. This year was the big eight-oh. So we all took planes, trains and automobiles to my Aunt & Uncles in Hartford, NY. The party was huge. It was completely catered and butlered, and there was even a bartender!

B made a friend in Rags, their dog.

My Aunt, and beautiful Grandma. This was a little halfway through the party.
Let's just say my "Grandmother is Buzzed" (exact quote from her, too!)

B and I. Both a little... "happy"

And, the obligatory family portrait.

The party was lovely, and getting to spend so much time with the family was great. B got to meet everyone, which was a long time coming. All in all, a grand success!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Hate Mondays.

I know, it's Wednesday. So why complain about a day that is two days behind? Because of this:

My shiny car, gotten this past December, now looks like this.

Don't worry- no one was hurt. But luckily (or, I suppose as lucky as one can be in the instance of a car crash) they hit me. So their insurance is taking car of my car getting fixed, and a rental car so I can still get to work.

Now, other than this accident, B and I had a wonderful Monday. We hung out with our friend V, who I met through Z at a hostel in DC (jeeze, that sentence had too many initials...). V is from Ireland, and ended up in Baltimore during his stay in the States. We took him for a lovely dinner at Holy Frijoles, in Hampden. We then ended up at a bar close to B's work, with some of his co-workers.

So, here's the tally for the day:
+ Worked
+ Hung out with V
+ Accident wasn't my fault
+ Went to Holy Frijoles
+ Met up with some friends from Ukazoo (B's bookstore).
+ Had Bourbon for the first time

- Got into a car accident
- Stranded at home on Tuesday, for lack of transportation

Okay, so only one negative on the list, which caused the second negative (and third positive?). So maybe the whole day wasn't a bust. But it'll still go down in my perosnal history as the day I got into an accident, with an Irish kid that I'd known for two days in my passenger seat.