things I thought you should know.

It is inevitable: if you turn on a television within a 30-ft radius of me and there is a reality show based on some sort of man-on-man competition that involves baking, cooking, losing weight, finding a has-been celebrity spouse, or figuring out what the Jersey Shore kids will screw next, my brain will shut down, my eyes will glaze, and I with shuffle off to the couch where I will stay until the 500-hour marathon is over, covered in the filth of 3 days. (Yes, I am the sexiest woman you know).

Although I know some of you out there do not like the idea of “guilty pleasures” (sorry, Chris, I know you wanted that one banned to the tower…),but  badly scripted, highly sensationalized”reality” TV is probably one of the things I am the most embarrassed about liking. And by God, I have had every psychoanalytical,  sociological theory as for why I love it, but I think that’s just to make me feel better about watching other people bake, or sing, or chase their dreams while I am sitting on the couch, neglecting to chase mine. Continue reading

I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower, makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her…

The past couple of weeks, I have naively thought that spring would be right around the corner, almost sure the “worst” of winter had already come. But as I type this, I am watching heavy snowflakes fall outside my 12 ft windows, accumulating into what the local news weathermen can now confidently call a blizzard. Apparently, Old Man Winter, things are not over between us quite yet… Continue reading

Don’t sleep in the subway, darling…

I was talking to my dad the other night, who inquired how the commute was going.

“It’s fine.”

“Any problems?”

“No.”

“Anybody bother you?”

“Not really…”

“What do you mean ‘not really’?”

There wasn’t really any answer that I could give my dad to put his mind at ease, and no way I could accurately describe the culture of train commuting without freaking him out even more. For those of you who are commuters, you already understand that being “bothered” on the train is par for the course. It is inevitable that you will experience, directly or indirectly, some sort of behavior that will amuse or befuddle and whether welcomed or not, you will have to directly engage with the people around you. But then again, there are also moments and interactions that make you laugh, make you smile, and make you keep that little glimmer of hope for humanity still burning…

Here are the most recent interactions/distractions/amusements/frustrations that have come from my commute: Continue reading

holy movie watching, batman

My movie watching goes in ebbs and flows–sometimes I’m totally on my game and am up with the latest theatre releases and other times… well, it’s nice to catch them on DVD/TV too.

Thanks to the long and lazy holiday weekend, I was able to round out a lot of the movies still waiting on my “to watch” list while (and I think, for the first time in a looong while), I’ve actually seen most of the movies attracting early Oscar buzz.

Below are my humble opinions on the films we watched, in no particular order aside from the one in which I saw them. :) Continue reading

Naše lomenice je mezi lomenicemi ta nejlomenicovatější.

Not a whole lot going on right now, aside from the fact that it’s once again snowing… (Oh snow, how I’ve come to loathe you, especially since relying on public transportation 5 days a week…). Trying to get back into a “normal” routine post-holidays isn’t easy, especially when dealing with the mounting fatigue from the past few months, the snow days, and the still-new, considerably earlier weekday morning routine finally taking its toll.

The biggest excitement to report is that I finally bought my plane ticket for my Eastern European adventure this March!! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull it off this paycheck, especially since rent was due, but I was able to *just* scrape by with enough to get me to next week. SO excited! And happy too, since I got a better deal than the prices I saw this summer when we first started looking (looks like Kate and her article were right: you should wait until about 8 weeks out before buying your ticket). Now that the dates/airfare are settled, it’s just a matter of determining hostels/transportation between cities. So much to do, so little time!

So, that’s really it for now… aside from that, D and I have been watching the last season of Reno 911 on Netflix and I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that the Christmas Tree and decorations are still patiently waiting to be put away. I love how I’m justifying not actually physically taking the tree down by not plugging it in anymore… “Well, at least it’s a step…” Sigh. Who said I could be an adult?

Anyway, I should really get to bed…actually, I should have really gotten to bed 3 hours ago. Even though the chances are high I’ll be working from home tomorrow, I still need to be up and ready to work at 8:30 a.m…although I am admittedly tempted to take a PTO day and take advantage of free mimosas at PYT. Oh work, won’t you call it a snow day? For me?

‘Til next time… Goodnight, dear readers!

Good Luck Chucks…

When I got ready for work yesterday, I felt like a little kid as I excitedly put on my brand-new, on-sale Chuck Taylors. I have bought many pairs of shoes in my life, many fancy, expensive styles, but I don’t think any of brought me as much pure joy as these $20 shoes. I literally found myself dancing around, recreating scenes from Footloose in my head.

The minute I threw them on, I felt 9-years old again, ready to take on the world and whatever it laid down in front of me to walk on, and I was determined to make the most of the day because you can never fully recapture the feeling you have that first day you break out your cool new kicks.

This nostalgia-fueled bliss carried with me for most of the day, which altogether was a good one, despite my failed attempt at an exotic instant lunch. I had stocked up on some creative, easy-to-make lunch options at Wegmans over the weekend knowing that I probably wouldn’t feel much like cooking this week. I indulged in their selection of natural, international insta-meals, including 2 Indian curry dishes and an easy-cook miso soup mix.

Oddly enough, the issue I had was not with the curry, the option I was most skeptical about, but instead with the miso soup. First off, instant soup should have no more than 2 steps. This one was so complicated, I actually needed to read (and re-read) the box instructions to prepare.

Their version of miso soup was also questionable: udon noodles and freeze-dried tofu and spinach (instead of seaweed). It also came with a package of gloppy, unidentifiable “seasoning,” which I used cautiously and conservatively. The end result basically equated to a bowl filled with a mish-mosh of 4 equally unsatisfying and bland ingredients. Fortunately for me, I found one of my almost-forgotten pudding cups still in the fridge. Here’s to healthy eating!

As remarkable as all this is, the rest of the day was even more ordinary. It was a good day, but nothing particularly exciting happened. I got a chance to talk for awhile with a coworker who I haven’t had the opportunity to talk much with, which was cool, and joked around with a few others who I interact with more regularly.

Yesterday morning also included a nice pick-me-up when I received a few emails notifying me I had received “Cause for Applause” points from coworkers. Cause for Applause is this peer-recognition program that my company participates in where each employee is given 15 points each month to “give” to fellow coworkers to acknowledge a job well done. There are different point amounts you can award, for different categories (team focused, excellence, resilient, and a few others I can’t remember offhand). There’s also the option of submitting a comment to explain why the person deserves the recognition. It’s all done anonymously, so you can acknowledge someone’s work without feeling silly about it, which I like, plus it adds a level of fun/mystery because you’re never quite sure who recognized/appreciated something you did.

So it was nice to get the emails this morning with sweet/funny messages from coworkers, welcoming me to the team, acknowledging the work I’ve done so far, and congratulating me for fitting in so well with the group. That especially made me feel good, since, as noted before, I couldn’t help but feel like an awkward panda the first few weeks. I definitely feel like things have gotten much better, especially this week and last, but it’s always nice to have a little reassurance.

The added bonus is that after you accrue certain point amounts, you can start redeeming them for gift cards for restaurants, the movies, and certain stores. I’m already debating where I should cash my points in at, but honestly, that’s secondary to how good it feels to be recognized by my peers. Have I mentioned I love my job?

The Only Ones for Me Are the Mad Ones…

**Fair warning: There are significant spoilers in this post. If you haven’t seen Black Swan, wait to read this one…**

Watched Black Swan last night, thanks to D and his magic computer ways. It was definitely one of those movies that I kind of hated while watching: You know that there’s some sort of twist, so the entire time you’re watching, you’re trying to be 2 steps ahead of it, guessing what the outcome will be, trying to show that you’re smarter than the plot twist. I’d say we were about 70% successful in achieving it with this movie.

The twists aren’t completely veiled and I think it’s fairly safe to say that from the very beginning it’s obvious that you are building up to something rather bleak, so in that regard, the movie was not terribly impressive. Still, it managed to leave a pretty significant impression on me after it was over. Continue reading

So long to the holidays…

Well, the holidaze is finally over and it’s time to get back into the normal swing of things. I can’t say I’m not happy about that. Although our holidays were good, they came at a crazy time this year (what else is new?) and it felt like the celebrations were being rushed by my attempt to get settled/acclimated into my new job. Even though I tried to get my shopping out of the way early, I still found myself out until late on the 23rd and even spending most of Christmas eve day out at the stores, trying to finish up everything that needed to be done. But, despite all my worries, it all came together in the end, and ended up being a good holiday for us both (sans Donnie’s New Year’s Day stomach virus. Poor Guy :().

Apparently I was pretty good this year because Santa (by way of Donnie…) got me my very own shiny iPad, so here I am, updating from the train like a tech-savvy individual. Looks are deceiving though– I’m still getting used to how this nifty thing works (and autocorrect, which I’m sure is happily bastardizing this post…), but I’ve managed to master Facebook and Scrabble, so all is not lost. :) Continue reading