31 December 2008

NYE and the Big Move

It's snowing in New York right now. I got off the Path train today, making my last trip to the City from New Jersey, and it was snowing. What a perfect way to end 2008 and my minorly hellish commute to work.

I'm finally moving to New York City, after years of dreaming that I would one day call the greatest city in the world my hometown. I found a lovely one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side. I will be living alone, which is not ideal as I really wanted a roommate or two, but on the upside, I have an apartment all to myself. The apartment is actually kind of awkward, with weird walls and nooks and windows, but I love it! It's on the sixth floor of a historical building on 79th and York. There are no elevators in the building (as it's historial and all) but I hired my brother and his two friends to help me move all of my shoes and bags and clothes up six flights of stairs. The three 20-year-olds are poor so they will do just about anything for some cash! My friend, Carla, and her husband, Jason (although, I think I can call him my friend now, too), are also helping me, of which I am infinitely grateful.

But before the Big Move to the Big Apple, I will be ringing in 2009 at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The last time I was at Tavern on the Green I was eight and Brett was three. My parents dressed us up in our finest (me in my white rabbit fur coat with matching muff and Brett in knickers and a newsboy cap) and took us to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (this was before they had the weird 1,000 Santas number, which totally creeps me out), followed by dinner at the Tavern. Brett decided to pretend he was a dog, so he got under the table and barked at every person that walked by. He barked...at patrons of... Tavern on the Green! I hope they don't remember me there. Luckily that was nearly 20 years ago. Huh, am I really that old. Holy Christ, I am! On that note, til next post...

Happy New Year 2009!!!

28 December 2008

The Annual Lang Christmas Dinner

Hey all! So tonight was the annual Lang-Szatkowski-Pauli Christmas dinner. Every year, my cousins from Michigan (and aunt and uncle) visit my family (in N.J.) and the Pauli's (in Pa.). The 12 of us usually meet up for dinner, sometimes in Philly (ick), sometimes in Jersey (boring) and sometimes in Manhattan (yay). This year we went to Little Italy for a nice long dinner, tons of food and wine, and non-stop, fast talking conversations.

My cousins, Kristin and Caroline, are my favorites. Kris is 6 months older and Care is 2 years younger than me. The four of us (the three girls and Brett) get along wonderfully, always have and probably always will. Kris and Care live in Chicago now, working and going to grad school, respectively. Both are single, inasmuch as they are not married and they are so much fun! We used to spend two weeks down the Jersey shore every summer until we went to college. We would get up super early, ride our bikes to the tennis courts, play tennis for a few hours, then head home for breakfast and an early beach time, where we would tap naps in between boogie boarding, swimming, taking walks along the beach, biking some more and playing street tennis. Those weeks were the best of the summer!

Kris is in the foreground (the blonde with the bangs - Brett is next - Care is in the background:

21 December 2008

The Annual Severance Christmas Party

Last night was the Annual Severance Christmas Party. Hayley's family (our next door neighbors) hosts a party every year around Christmas and each year the party serves not only as a place to have a few cocktails (or sodas for the kids) with a family I have known my entire life, but a reminder of the importance of tradition. I was standing in their kitchen, looking around at the faces of people I don't remember not knowing and the faces of people I have only just met, thinking, "this is life. This is the reason for existing." Relationships are the reasons for us to be alive. Without friends and family and love and loss, we don't learn, can't figure out who we are and where our place in the world is.

The party also served as a venue for examining the differences between myself, Hayley and our newly engaged friend, Jennifer. For our entire childhood, the three of us were inseparable. Now, we are all v. different. Jennifer is the eternal homebody. She still lives at home with her parents and is a teacher at the school where her father taught for thirty years. Comfortable in jeans and t-shirts, Jennifer is a low-maintenance girl. Hayley is the glamorous one. She likes nice things, always overdresses and is v. Marilyn Monroe-esque (blonde and va-va-voom curvy, she knows exactly how to dress her beautiful body). Me, I'm the hippie of the gang; vegetarian, with a semi-rocker chick/punk girl meets shy girl style. It's v. evident that we have all grown to be extremely different in our political beliefs and life choices - yet we still gather together every Christmas (and other times, as well, duh), and look back on our year and marvel at the fact that we continue to be parts of each others lives. They are two reasons for me to exist - two relationships I value and that shape me.

Tyler, Hayley's brother, made a snowman for their front yard to welcome guests:

A Perfect Weekend in D.C.

Rarely can one claim to have had a nearly perfect weekend. And yet, that is what I had with Hayley in D.C. last weekend. From smooth travel plans, to just the right amount of male attention, good food, great drinks, amazing bargain shopping and a lot of dancing; the weekend was virtually flawless. It’s amazing to me how Hayley and I can still claim to be best friends, despite more than 20 years of a friendship, hours in between our homes and a two-year age difference. She is this solid presence in my life and I can’t image her never being just a phone call away. And so, our weekend began on Friday evening at a non-descript Georgetown bar where we were the only ones brave enough to dance to Britney (I don’t think this place was a “dancing” kind of place, hence us being the only ones cool enough to break the “rules”). Saturday started out with brunch (egg white omelets with spinach and tomatoes, thank you), followed by a trip to Marshalls where we bought each other our Christmas presents (see below of a picture of my new Manhattan-worthy bag) and new outfits for our girls night out, a quick shower and then out for the night. Hayley, Sarah (her roommate and fellow Voorhees High School graduate) and I went to Alexandria for dinner and drinks. We went to this amazing speakeasy called PX. There were no signs for the venue, only a blue light next to a door that reminded me of the door from the Wizard of Oz (re: “Now why didn’t you say so in the first place!”); we couldn’t make reservations, just hope that the bar had three open spots. Well, we got in and it was amazing! The drinks were so fantastic, the mixologist was terrific and the other clientele were cool. We ended our time in Alexandria with dinner at the Chart House, which is on the harbor. Hayley, Sarah and I then traveled back to D.C. to finish up the night dancing at CafĂ© Citron on Connecticut Ave., where we later met up with Hayley’s boyfriend, and press secretary to Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, Matt. Despite being called a c**t by some jerk (all because I didn’t need his help getting out of the cab), the evening was great! This morning, Hayley and I woke up, had breakfast at her adorable, Capitol Hill apartment, and headed to the gym for a good work out. All-in-all, the weekend was perfection!

My new bag:

The tree in Union Station was beautiful:

18 December 2008

Amazing Video

This was sent to me by my friend, Carla. It is honoring the Dramatic Chipmunk...


11 December 2008

Horoscope/Quickie Post

Here's one inspirational horoscope (I only wish I was actually feeling powerful)...

You are so powerful this week that you can reverse the insidious cycle of negativity that has gone on long enough. Make it your sole intent to improve the problem. Small steps will get you there. Find ways to feel just a tiny bit better about things that you did before. See what's good and then look for what's great.

For all the other Taurus women out there (ahem - Hayley), be inspired to feel powerful.

10 December 2008

Party Time!! Whooo hooooo!

Last week we had our holiday party at work. My team planned the event and, if I do say so myself, it was an awesome party! We had it at the office (to keep costs down, of course) and about 1,000 employees came. Our CEO spoke, briefly; we had tons of alcohol, an awesome DJ and employees who needed to unwind. Below is a photograph of one such employee - we call him "Dancing Guy" and he danced all night long! At one point, he was the only one dancing! The second picture if of my team (plus some). What a good looking bunch!

Photos courtesy of Brad Hamilton.

02 December 2008


There is a roach in our beautiful office! ROACH! I know this is New York, but seriously! We are the 28th floor of a brand new office building. How did it get here????

01 December 2008

First Celeb Sighting in NYC!

Today I saw my first celebrities since starting my Manhattan-based job.

I was walking along Barclay Street at 8:20 this morning and I noticed all these food trailors and tents set up along the north side of the street. I figured there was a movie shoot or something going on, but didn't really see many people around. I stepped into Starbucks on the corner of Barclay and Broadway and noticed a very good looking man standing in front of me. A young woman was standing next to him; she seemed very jittery and anxious. So we are all waiting in line and who walks up to say "hi" to this man and woman but America Ferrera. Then it hit me - I knew I recognized this man - he is in "Ugly Betty!" I've only seen the show maybe once, but rarely forget a face. So the man (his name happens to be Eric Mabius (I IMDBed "Ugly Betty" when I got to the office to find out his name) and America started chatting. His wife/girlfriend (whatever) is seconds away from going into labor and apparently had quite a false alarm last week. Just FYI - I'm down with the celebrity gossip. I'm just like Perez Hilton. Ha! Yeah right. Well, they talked for a minute or so, then American left and Eric and his PA (I guess that's what she was) ordered. He paid for her drink, too, which was nice of him.

Anyway, even though I don't watch "Ugly Betty" and didn't know this guy's name until I IMDBed the show, it was still cool seeing celebs in real life. Man, I love New York!

Quickie Post About Boobs

My old place of employement, Ethicon, Inc., announced it is going to acquire breast-implant maker Mentor, Corp. What is ironic about this is that when I was working at Ethicon, I underwent breast reduction surgery.

29 November 2008

My Audrey Pants

Yesterday I finally purchased my own pair of black "Audrey" pants. You know what I'm talking about. They are tight, black pants that are cropped at the ankle. Audrey Hepburn wore a pair like this in Funny Face, hence the nickname. I am struggling with what kind of shoes I should wear with these pants. The below picture (courtesy of bcbg.com) shows the pants wore with booties, but I think flats look better. What do you think? And are there any other shoes that would look good with these amazing pants?? Help!

There's a tickle in my nose...

...my throat hurts, I'm achy (although that could be from marathon training), my nose keeps running and my head is killing me. If it wasn't for all this, then I would feel really bad about canceling plans with my best friend, Hayley and her boyfriend, Matt, to stay in, snuggle up on my couch in sweats, have a sad-looking, single girl dinner (see photograph below) and watch stupid romantic comedies (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and The Holiday).

A single girl's dinner; tonight it included broccoli and cheese, leftover sweet potato casserole, a piece of toast, a Morningstar Farms rice and bean patty, and Coke Zero. Delicious.

The "Wednesday Before Thanksgiving" Holiday

Every year since going away to college, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving becomes a mini-high school reunion. Everyone gathers in bars throughout Hunterdon County (HC) to check out fellow former classmates from our high school days. Members of clicks cross invisible lines, buying each other drinks and labeling others as potential future hookups. This year was epic. Hayley and I walked into our favorite HC bar, Burns (which is actually now under new ownership and called Mrs. Rileys, but it will always be Burns to us) and it was packed with high school oldies. There was a band playing (they were actually okay) and we were forced to show ID, which is something I haven’t had to at Burns…ever. I immediately ran into my old friend, Laura, and her boyfriend, Ian. She introduced (to people we never met) and re-introduced (to those I haven’t seen in 8 years) us to Ian’s group of friends. Hayley and I were probably the only people in that bar that haven’t been there since last Wednesday Before Thanksgiving – this gave us an edge. We were new and mysterious. More people my age where there than Hayley’s (she is two years younger than me), but I am a brunette now, and am 15 pounds thinner than last year, although about 50 pounds heavier since my senior year at good ol’ Voorhees High school (where I weighed an anorexic 80 pounds) – so we were the “new” girls. Or at least it felt like that to us. After an evening of harmless flirting, one too many G&Ts and a fair about of ignoring those we hated in high school, Hayley and I called my bro for a ride home, where we passed out, totally aware of how awesome we are!

Me and Laura

Me and Hayley, my best friend since the day she was born (May 3, 1985, two years and 10 days after I was born)

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! For the sake of being cliché, for what are you thankful? Friends? Family? Your job? Your health? Those fantastic new earrings you just bought? Take some time and answer that question; be truthful and really think about.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I am claiming to be thankful for this year (I do spend about 2 hours on the train each day). My list is as follows, in no specific order:

- My health – Vegetarianism seems to have been the way to go – not only do I have more energy and less stomach pain, but I’ve lost weight and lowered my cholesterol since becoming an herbivore eight months ago

- My education – I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to get my bachelors and masters degrees

- My job(s) – past and present – they have shaped me into a pretty darn good communicator and can feel myself growing as a professional

- My friends – who have helped me so much over the past two months – I am indebted to them for their kindness and strong backs (as I have been leaning on them a lot). Some friends are old heads: Hayley and Jennifer are still my number one and number two; Bryan comes in a close third; my friend from middle and high school, Laura, has made a recent appearance in my life and am thankful I can call her a friend, again; David, Samantha and Carla are perhaps my newest friends and they are three of the most amazing friends I have ever met and am so happy to have them; some other older friends have recently made appearances in my little world, also; I am so lucky to have them all!

- My family – I am with my parents and brother at my aunt’s house in Neptune City, N.J. This is the first Thanksgiving I have spent with extended family (it used to be my immediate family and Poppy, but since Poppy died in 2003, Thanksgiving has been a rather sad holiday). We are at my aunt’s new house, which is huge! It’s right on the Shark River (see some photographs below) and is gorgeous. In attendance at this huge meals are: My mother and father (Jamie and Ken), brother (Brett), aunts (Kerry, Kim and Barb), uncles (Brian, Evan, Ken and Ken) and cousins (Kyle, Kasey, Alex, Rachel and Emily). Whooops, can’t forget about the dogs, Ranger, Reese and Honeybun.

So what are you thankful for? I hope you can say all the things I did and more. Happy Turkey Day everyone!

My cousins Kasey and Kyle jamming on Rock Band. We had a family jam sesh later on that night.

Some pictures of my aunt and uncle's property. It was gorgeous out there.

And me - oh yeah - I'm a brunette now!

20 November 2008

Quickie Post

So my weekly horoscope corresponds with some crazy dreams I have been having lately:
Old issues are likely to resurface and it could be that some unresolved feelings get yet another airing.

It's a good thing I don't really believe in horoscopes...

17 November 2008

Month 1: Gone By

It's been a month since breaking up with J. A little over a month actually, but who's counting (ummm - that's right, I am). The friendship we have been able to maintain is superficial. At least it seems like it to me. We used to actually talk about things - we rarely ran out of things to talk about. Now, it's the "how's life, what's new?" "oh not much, how are you" kind of conversation that seems to take place whenever we do interact. Our relationship went from filled with purpose and meaning, to a mere interaction. And that to me is infinitely sadder than losing the romantic relationship. I miss the friendship (well, I miss the sex, too, but that's besides the real point) and I miss his company. It's nice to know, though, that my broken heart still functions well enough to keep up with my six-mile runs...

Newest obsession

I have spent the last three autumns looking for the perfect pair of black boots. With high levels of patience (me - patient - weird - I know!) and diligence, I have finally found my dream boots. They come just a bit higher than my knee, but FOLD DOWN to be less sexy and more punky. I am obsessed. I planned my entire outfit today around this beautiful pair of boots.

Haunted church

Check out the below photograph. Taran took this photograph on a whim as we were walking past this church in Dublin. Now look closely at the window in the bottom left corner of the picture. It's a ghost! Seriously, doesn't it look like there is a ghost in that window! Ironically enough, I made a comment to Taran that night about how cool it would be to see a ghost in one of our pictures of a church or castle. Creepy!

13 November 2008

Another Quickie Post

My brother got a puppy earlier this week! Her name is Bailey and she is a gorgeous chocolate lab. She will be living with Brett at Penn State.

11 November 2008

Quickie Post

This is a view of New York from the office across the hall. Beautiful, isn't it?? I love my new job!

10 November 2008

Ireland is Brilliant!

There's nothing like a trip to Europe with a good friend to pull you out of a depression. And there's nothing like coming home to pull you right down that dark hole again.

From Nov. 3-9 I was in Ireland with my friend and sorority sister, Taran. We booked and planned our trip to the Emerald Isle about two weeks before we left. I was offered a new job and decided that I needed to go away for a while before slaving away in New York and selling my soul to the Satan that is Corporate America. Ireland was an obvious choice for one very specific reason. J and I had talked about going on a bike tour around the island next summer (he rode 300 miles on his bike around Ireland about 10 years ago, so we would retrace his route). I needed to know that I could go to Ireland without him and still have a great time.

Well, mission accomplished! Taran and I had an amazing time tooling around Dublin, renting a car and driving around the Irish countryside and shopping in Dingle.

Here I am on a beach on the Dingle Peninsula:

Me drinking Jameson in a pub in Dingle town:

Taran and I at Malahide Castle, just north of Dublin:

In Ireland I had this amazing view of my feelings for J. Despite being 3,000 miles away from New Jersey and not talking to him for days, I felt close with J, knowing that at one point his 17-year-old self rode his bike along the same streets down which I was walking. While in Ireland, I was able to accept that it is okay to still love him, even though I know it's over. By accepting that I still have feelings for this man, I am able to look back on the relationship, remember our good times and be happy that I was able to be with him for the short duration of our partnership. "When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it's not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end," writes Stephanie Meyer. And this is the truth! Or, at least it was, when I was in Ireland. No more than an hour after landing in Newark airport, my parents and I were driving down Route 1 in East Brunswick, and who drives past us? That's right...J. What timing! I wasn't ready to see the bane of my existence, the source of all this emotional pain, the man who made me happier than I had ever been. I freaked. And there, I was sucked back into the vortex of grief I was able to pull myself out of when I was 3,000 miles away. With one, unexpected look, I was sad again. Sad that he let me go. Luckily, Ireland was brilliant and I was able to deal with his absence better than I thought when I was hanging out with Irish lads...

01 November 2008

Florida in October

So I visited one of my best friends, Bryan, in Florida earlier this week. I spent two nights and three days in Orlando - I learned how to play poker, played lazer tag, went to Busch Gardens and, most importantly, got to spend some much needed quality time with a person who is very important to me.

Bryan and I go way back - to high school actually. We have known each other for 11 years. In those 11 years we dated, then didn't speak for months, became best friends, decided at different times that we loved each other, and have spent the last seven years living 1,000 miles apart. He has become a solid presence in my life, despite the geographic distance between us. I am so lucky to have such a great friend. You rule, BT.

Halloween in NYC

Happy Belated Halloween everyone! Halloween 2008 was one for the record books! My costume ruled! I was a dead bride - you see, right after my wedding ceremony, I stepped into the rectory to freshen up my makeup - as soon as I shut the door, my husband's ex-girlfriend stepped out of the shadows and slit my throat - my new husband came looking for me minutes later, only to find his bride dead on the floor, blood seeping from my fresh wound (see first photograph below for visual representation of this description).

After perfecting my tragic costume (which felt suspiciously like getting ready for one of the many musicals in which I acted), I headed to New York City with a group of friends, including J, David (a former work colleague and great friend), and Florin and Thomas (J's German roommates). We made our way down to the village to meet more Halloween freaks (as my friend Samantha calls everyone wearing crazy costumes), watch some of the famous Village Halloween Parade and hang out at bars on Bleeker Street. J and I had our picture taken so many times by random strangers. In fact, after posing for a picture with some girl, she proclaimed, "This is so going to be my myspace profile picture!" As J put it, "you made it!" Ha!

One bar at which we spent time was the Greenwich Treehouse. It was the second floor of a building and one whole side was windows looking out onto the street; from here we were given pieces of paper with numbers and phrases to rate costumes on the street. Following our stint as judges (which, by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed - I mean, we don't often get a chance to openly judge the way people look, do we?) we walked around Bleeker Street, scoping out costumers and taking some great photographs. All in all, Halloween 2008 was a great success!

Me in costume:

Thomas (as a stereotype) and J (as a geriatric zombie):

David as a couch rocker:

Dead Moose?

So my brother took the below photograph on his cell phone and sent it to me. You will see giant antlers sticking out of a tarp in a pick-up truck bed. It's not a huge deer - it's a giant moose! Some dude decapitated a bull moose and was hauling it along Route 322 in Pennsylvania. Oh Pennsylvania.

24 October 2008

New steps - old griefs - new life??

Yesterday was my last day at my job. I quit, and not a day too soon. I'm not sure how much longer I could make the hellish commute from Highland Park, N.J. to Collegeville, Pa. It was a delightful last day. My co-workers took me out to lunch and I spent the day transitioning my supervisor and colleagues.

I start my new job as a communications specialist in a financial services company on Monday, November 10. I will be working in Manhattan - a dream of mine for a very very very long time. It's amazing to me that just when one part of your life goes to Hell, another part of your life can go unbelievably smooth. As you well know, my romantic life is virtually non-existent. In fact, the thought kissing someone makes me want to vomit. I didn't have this problem when my last relationship dissolved - I jumped right into a new one, swiftly and easily. I guess that with my recently deceased relationship I just wasn't really ready to give him up yet. So, while my romantic life sucks harder than a hoover, my professional life seems to be making some great headway. Additionally, my friends are totally ruling right now. I had dinner with an oldie yesterday; spent today walking around Brooklyn and Manhattan with my future roommate, Kathryn (www.thesassykathy.com); had dinner tonight with my best friend from middle and high school; am working at my friend's booth at the Photography Expo in New York tomorrow; walking in the JDRF walk on Sunday morning with J and our friend Samantha who organized the J&J team; will be visiting Bryan in Orlando early next week; am hanging out with my brother at PSU next weekend; and just booked a trip to Ireland for Nov, 3-9! I am super busy and my life seems to kick ass, and it really does, but while I am content and feel very settled with everything, I can't help but be sad at the same time. The one friend I miss the most right now is J. I can't help it. We talk occasionally and email and text a bit, but dammit I miss that guy. I still can't believe we didn't make it. I just can't believe it. I'm doing alright without him. I'm staying busy and trying to not think about him, but he's still there. He pops into my mind at the most random times during the day. In many ways, this broken heart hurts so much more than the last one. But for some strange reason, I have been able to cope better this time around. Maybe it's because I am more confident in my ability to exist as a single entity; I know I don't need another person to strengthen my identity (wow -that phrase could be song lyrics!). I'm grieving (as evident in one of my previous posts) but the grieving process is manageable. Maybe, deep down, I am not truly convinced that he really wanted this to fail. And maybe I have been prepared for the relationship to disintegrate. Who knows.

So, the real reason I am blogging about all this stuff is the hope that someone out there who is going through a tough break up will read this and feel comforted by the knowledge that she/he is not alone. Because going through a break up is not easy and I often feel alone. Luckily, I have amazing friends and a loving family to help me through. So thanks friends and fam. You guys rock my socks off!

21 October 2008

The First Meeting

I saw J for the first time today since we broke up nine days ago. We had a long discussion via phone last night about our relationship, what it was and how we want things to look and feel. He has never been friends with an ex before. Me - well one of my best friends in the whole world, Bryan, is also an ex-boyfriend. Not only that, but he and I fell in love with each other at separate times during our semi-complicated relationship. But now, he's a dear friend and has been there to pick up the pieces of my heart each time it has been broken. And I have done the same for him. Anyway, I digress. So, J and I talked last night and both restated our intentions - to become friends and redevelop a relationship similar to the one we left behind when we started sleeping together. It's going to take time, but I'm confident that we will be able to reestablish a friendly relationship. Since we were friends for eight months before we started dating, I think this is possible.

I spent the afternoon working in Starbucks (the only benefit to being a consultant is that I can work remotely wherever I can get an Internet connection). He visited me and we actually had a normal conversation. What I found very interesting is that I used to get butterflies upon first glance - today, he was just J. Just J. That's it. The man I have known for more than a year. Yeah, we've seen each other naked. Yeah, he has seen my ugly boob scars (I had a breast reduction surgery two years ago) and wasn't disgusted. Yeah, we were in love and totally crazy about each other for months. But in the end, he's just J. My dear friend J. I looked into his eyes, like I had done a million times before, and for the first time I saw not just a man I love, but a man who is lost and confused. This whole break up thing has really opened my eyes to things about him I didn't want to see. Now that I see them, I am starting to realize that maybe I'm going to be okay without him; maybe breaking up with him is a good thing. I'm not totally convinced yet, but I think that as time goes by, I will believe this more and more. The really interesting thing though is that I still love him. I wonder if I ever won't. Knowing me though, because he at one time owned my heart, he will always have a piece of it. Let's just hope, for my sake, that the piece he owns becomes identical to the one Bryan owns, which is part of my heart dedicated to my friends.

The Face of Grief

Okay, I warned you it might be difficult to see/read some of the things on this blog... here is a picture of me after my nightly cry (which has been a daily occurrence since breaking up with J).

17 October 2008

My vendetta against me

The last time I suffered from a broken heart, I had a personal vendetta against myself. It was March 2004 and I was a junior in college. N (the ex-boyfriend) came to me one night and said he didn’t love me anymore and doubted that he really ever had in the first place. My self-esteem was in the garbage and I had blamed my less than perfect body, ill-fitting clothes, and chronic depression on the reason for our breakup. I thought I had done something wrong to make him not love me. Was I too clingy, not clingy enough, boring, bad in the sack, ugly, unmotivated? What was it about me that make him not want to be with me anymore? Rather than focus on getting my life together, I turned to alcohol, sex with inappropriate men, drugs and the friends who could provide me with this lifestyle. It was fun, for a while, to get wasted at some college bar, go home with an equally drunk frat boy or punk guy, fuck, and drag my sorry, hurt self home at the crack of dawn, only to fall asleep and miss another Finance 100 class. This may seem like a sad existence, but my lowest moment was months later; I was living in Manhattan for the summer and I woke up on Memorial Day next to a naked, sweaty, snoring U.S. Marine. He was the second Marine I slept with in two days and as my bedroom began to fill with light, I realized that I have to stop sleeping with men who have the potential to poison my body with some unholy sexually transmitted disease. And so, for 10 months, I still partied way too hard, but I was much more careful when choosing sexual conquests.

My heart was broken again just this week. But things are completely different. I know, this time, that this break up was not my fault. Well, in a way, I guess both parties are somewhat at fault in break ups because, let’s face it, it takes two to tango. So the unbalance in a relationship has to do with the connection between the two individuals in said relationship, but I digress. Anyway, this break up, which is proving to be much more devastating to me than the last, is not completely my fault. I know deep in my core that I could have done nothing different; that J’s inability to grow and his insecurity in his feelings for me, are the underlying reasons for our premature demise as a couple. And so, while I am unhappy about our split and am physically hurting from this heartbreak, I am in a much better place. I am, after 10 years of hating it, finally liking my body; I am taking great strides to build my career as a communications professional and writer; my health is at its peak and my level of physical and mental fitness is finally stable; my friends are more than amazing, as is my family; and I am actually beginning to really love myself. J, if you don’t want me, if you don’t want this pretty darn awesome person, then someone else out there will be more than happy to take me on, I’m sure of it. I am not comfortable saying, “well, J, it’s your loss,” because it’s my loss, too, because in so many ways, he is great and I miss him. J’s and my connection to each other was strong, our compatibility was crystal clear and the sickening level of happiness we felt when we were with each other will continue to haunt me as the days go by and as we get farther and farther from October 12, a date which has become my D-Day. Luckily, compared to D-Day, things can only get better.

15 October 2008

Helping me cope

I heard one of Kenny Chesney’s new songs today on No Shoes Radio (channel 18 on XM). It’s called “I’m Alive” and he collaborated with Dave Matthews on the arrangement. As many of you could tell from yesterday’s blog entry, my heart is hurting right now and when this happens, I find that a few good songs help get me through the most agonizing moments. “I’m Alive” is one of the songs I will be listening to on repeat when I get his new album on Friday. The lyrics are empowering and tell a great story (I included them below). “Womanizer” by Britney Spears is another song I identified as a good “break up” song, especially because my dear ex is such a cad.

"I’m Alive"
So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me, I'd like to thank my lucky stars that I'm alive and well...
It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me...I'm alive
And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life and I'm alive
And well...I'm alive and well
The stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's gonna fall a soul when there's not a soul in sight
This boat has caught its wind and brought me back to life now I'm alive and well

14 October 2008

New Britney Video

Check out Britney Spears' video for her new single "Womanizer." It is just so good! Welcome back Britney!



Some of us have too much, some too little. Me, well, I just need it to pass…quickly.

Two days ago I broke up with the man of my dreams; the man I wanted to have kids with; the man who, in so many ways, enhanced me; the man who had become my best friend. I broke up with him because he wasn’t sure about me. I broke up with him because it hurt way too much to be with him and wonder every night if it was the last night we would spend together. I broke up with him because I deserve someone who is sure that he wants me. And I am so sad.

I asked him why, three weeks ago we appeared to be happy and were best friends, inseparable and laughing all the time. His response: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” My friends are sure he’s going to regret losing this relationship. I know they can’t really be objective in this kind of situation, but I sincerely hope they are right.

Today is Day Two without J. And it sucks…badly. The pain of not having him to talk to is palpable.

How much time needs to go by until I’m okay?

08 October 2008

Rants and Raves

For some strange reason, I have started losing weight. I am doing absolutely nothing different. I still eat the same and my gym visits have remained consistent, but the pounds are just coming off. This rules for obvious reasons: look better, feel better, boost in self-confidence, etc. etc. However, all my clothes are now big on me. That sucks. I don't have that kind of cash to blow on an entirely new wardrobe, so I bought a new belt and am going to weight (pun intended and wrong spelling used on purpose) it out.

Dreaming of a new home

So I was offered a job at a PR agency in New York! I think I'm going to accept. This is the first step towards my goal of living in Manhattan. Step 2: Find an apartment. My friend, Kathryn (see her blog at www.thesassykathy.com), has willingly agreed to be my faithful roommate - I hope she knows what she's getting into there! Luckily, we are both relatively narcissistic, but not to the point of completely self-obsessed; enjoy the ballet; love great food; pretend to be writers (although, she's actually a great writer); and have semi-serious shopping problems. For example, we haven't even found an apartment yet and are still months away from moving, but I am already furnishing our new home.

I am obsessed with this owl lamp from Anthropologie:

And if I can't get these curtains, I might die:

I have been dreaming of owning a chair like this since I graduated college:

07 October 2008

Walking in my own shoes

They say you shouldn't judge someone, unless you have had the chance to walk in their shoes. Well, I judged 21-year-old Brie today.

So I went for a bike ride today in Johnson Park. During my relaxing ride, I noticed that I was wearing the sneakers I bought for my trip to France in March 2005. These tan and maroon Saucony sneakers have certainly been everywhere. I wore them in France - the countryside, Versailles, and Paris - and all over the U.S. When I first bought these sneakers, I was about 30 pounds heavier, had no self-esteem or self-respect, and was afraid. I hadn't ever really fallen in love, didn't have a degree, was never on my own, was not independent, and highly irresponsible.

Since March 2005, three and a half years ago, I have grown...a lot. I have created a banging resume, graduated undergrad and grad school, moved in with a boyfriend then out on my own, lost more than 30 pounds, gained a pretty great sense of style (at least that's in my opinion) and lastly, I fell in love.

So I'm older, I'm wiser, and, arguably, smarter - but it doesn't mean that things have been and are easy or easier than they used to be. In fact, growing up has been hard and will continue to be hard. I thought I found the one person that could make this hard, sometimes cruel, life fun and interesting and exciting. I thought he found that in me, too. But now, we are both not so sure. I miss him.

Visiting Buckley the Boxer

So I visited the newlyweds, Carla and Jason, tonight. They got married on September 12, went on a two-week-long honeymoon, came home and got a dog. I met Buckley, the newest addition to their little family. He is delightful!

Ahh how cute!

06 October 2008

The Seriousness of Relationships...

Being 25 is so weird. I feel too old to be considered young and carefree. Yet I'm too young to feel the need to settle, for a guy, a job, a home, etc...

I am chatting with an old friend on iChat right now. We are talking about marriage and relationships. Neither of us are ready to commit to marriage but we understand that, at this age, when we start dating someone, we need to think "is this someone I could potentially want to settle down with?" If the answer to that question is, "maybe" then give the relationship some time. If the answer is, "no way" then what's the point of being with that person. If the answer is "I'm not sure" then stick it out for a bit longer and see what happens. You know, if you think that maybe there is some chance that this person might possibly be someone you could see yourself with, you should not give up. At least that's what we decided.

We also decided that we are romantic cynics. We love being in love, but hate it at the same time. We allow ourselves to see futures with the people we date, but hate when we let ourselves see these futures. Additionally, we are in the same boat regarding the seriousness of relationships at our age. We both want to have fun, good sex and good times; we want to just chill out and have a good time with a person we feel could be a part of our futures.

05 October 2008


My friend, Carla, and her husband, Jason, just got a new puppy! This is Buckley and he is just beautiful! Congrats Carla and Jason!

Women worry more than men - study results...

Guess what everyone - it's true, women do worry more than men!


According to this article, if you're a woman, you are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than men, says the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Also, "women feeling anxious might be more comfortable talking to someone about it, while men, when stressed, might feel more comfortable going out for a drink with the guys." So guys, when we want to talk about our worries, it's just a natural thing, something we are all bound to do just because we are women. And all you ladies, when your man doesn't want to talk about his problems and the things that cause him anxiety, don't freak...that's just how he's wired.

Happy Times

My friend Carla got married a few weeks ago. Her wedding was soooo much fun! The boyfriend and I had an amazing time (this was pre-issues) and we got to hang out with the fun friends from his current work and my past place of employment. See some pictures below of our fun night in Summit, N.J.

By the way, the Grand Summit Hotel was so cool and the town of Summit ruled. We went to this diner for breakfast - the diner has been around for more than 75 years! It was cheap and delicious!

I also spent a long weekend at a family friend's beach house two weeks ago. J and I had some friends down to Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island for part of the long weekend and we went on a bike ride, out to dinner, the beach (he surfed and I just swam - I'm trying to learn how to surf, but it's hard), climbed the Barnegat Light Lighthouse, walked on the jetty and played a lot of cards. We had an awesome weekend!

Now, a question for you readers. Why would you want to kick someone out of your life that makes you happy, who does fun things with you and with whom you are compatible?

Carved Pumpkins

Check it - I want to carve my pumpkins like this:

Heart Ache

It happens when you least expect it. Due to confusion, your heart begins to break. You're not sure why or when it begins. But one day, you find out that he's not as happy as he seems. With life and because you are a part of his life, with you, too. But no matter what, you still love him and will probably forever.

I'm not sure how I feel about him anymore. Sometimes I love him; without a doubt in my mind, I love him. And other times, I'm confused. I don't know how to feel. All there's left to do is fight for love as much as possible, but let it go when the fighting is too much to bear. I don't know when that will happen. We were deliriously happy for more than three months. Now, I just don't know what happened. Real life maybe. Real life and adulthood. Wish us luck, dear readers. Wish us luck.

30 September 2008

Horoscope from last July

So I came across my horoscope for July 2007 - the month I moved in with my ex-boyfriend. The horoscope said: You go to the airport to find that the moving walkway is ending. My first translation: You think you are about to embark on a journey, but something about the beginning of your trip is disappointing, thus kind of ruining the whole thing. My second translation: The best part about airports are the moving walkways - but the best part is ending, caput, no more, gone. I don't typically believe in horoscopes, but for some reason this one just was so poignant and telling.

08 September 2008

Rants and Rave

I hate the bags you get in Gap. I hate them. The drawstring is always way too long. I am too short to carry the bag by these strings and it is awkward walking around the mall with the navy and white bag slung over my shoulder. Gap, you should definitely make new bags.

Artichokes are just about the most amazing vegetable there is. They are so full of flavor and delicious. You can eat them cold by adding them to your salad or warm with eggs or pasta. The tanginess of an artichoke adds an interesting and unique flavor to any dish in which you add them. I just wish they were easier to cook from their raw form.

Crazy Bachelorettes

So my good friend, Carla, is getting married on Friday. Her bachelorette party was ten days ago in New Brunswick (I posted some ridiculous pictures below). She earned both her undergrad and grad degrees at Rutgers, so she felt that partying in New Brunswick would be the best way to celebrate the last days of her single life. And while she may be legally bound to another person in four short days (fourteen from the day of her bachelorette party) she is not the type to not have girls' nights out after saying her vows. Anyway, Carla's "last night out" started with drinks at the Heldrich hotel, where she and some of the b'ette party attendees were camping out for the night, followed by dinner, drinking and dancing at my man's (and Carla's good friend as well) show (he plays in a band called Scream Hello). Anyway, here are some pictures of the craziest New Brunswick night I have had since being a resident of dreary Middlesex County.

Left is Carla, I'm in the center and to the right is Juliet (one of Carla's bridemaids and best friend). Notice the subtle progression from content looking young women to slightly hostile girls on the town...

Photo 2 - Me after a few beers and...

Photo 3 - Yeah, I'm licking Carla's penis. Whatever it's a bachelorette party people! Stop judging us! At least I wasn't wearing any dick stickers...

Photo 4 - Okay, there's kind of a complicated plot to go along with the below photograph, but let me try to explain in less than 100 words. Carla was drunk; she started talking to this guy who claimed he was just dumped by his girlfriend and decided he was gay. She wanted to give him a kiss on the cheek, but he would have nothing to do with her and said, "I have someone for you to kiss," and waved over some chick. This girl was, in fact, a lesbian. She kissed Carla right on the lips; Carla got grossed out and walked away. The girl is on the left high-fiving her friend, Carla is yelling at the "gay" man and I am to the right making a disgusted face.

Fun times fun times. The night ended in the hotel with some, let's just say, choice, possibly illegal, activities. Now, the night was a lot of fun. But so not what I want when/if I get married. I want a night of dancing in a fun, low maintenance club in New York with girlfriends who will promise to dance the night away with me. I don't want to end up passing out with my head in the toilet (no offense Carla and I'm sorry because it was our fault for continuing to buy you drinks). I want a night of fun, hell yes! But classy fun. Dancing fun! Lots of Britney and a hot dress. (Got it maid of honor, Hayley?? Hehe). Actually, I want this night now, years before I will probably ever get the chance to tie the knot. Anyone want to go out this weekend?

07 September 2008

South Amboy, N.J.

My dad grew up in South Amboy, N.J. and he works there as a police officer. My mother grew up in the town next to SA, Sayreville. They are Middlesex County kids and they knew they didn't want their kids growing up there. My brother and I were raised in High Bridge, NJ - in the v. rural Hunterdon County.

My mom and I went to the South Amboy Seafood Festival (SASF) today. It was, well, interesting. So South Amboy. By so South Amboy I mean shabby stands and crappy vendors with tons of people walking around paying way too much money for awful clam chowder and ice cream. Anyway, we made fun of the SASF and then visited my Mom-mom, my dad's mother. Here are some pictures of my family - Mom-mom first, then Dad in his uniform, Mom gesturing wildly while telling the story about the time the mouse she got from the pet store to feed our snake got out in the car on the way home and wound up crawling up her neck while she was driving, and me, hardly able to believe how ridiculous my family can be.

I love Woody Allen

So I just saw Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The movie, to me, is genius. One of his best. But I may think this because I can relate to both Cristina and Vicky's characters in an eerily intense way. Vicky is engaged to a man who is, well, he's just "fine." She is a righteous young woman who thinks she knows what she wants in life and love, and after spending the summer in Barcelona, realizes that what she thought she wanted, might not be enough. In Barcelona, she falls in love with a bohemian artist who is romantic, passionate and in love with being in love. His name is Juan Antonio. Cristina's character is lost. She knows what she doesn't want, but doesn't know what she does want. She has tried acting, writing, directing, painting and, in the movie, she finds she is a decent photographer. She floats from one adventure to another, never staying too long in each place because she starts feeling restless. The movie opens with Cristina and Vicky arriving in Barcelona. Vicky thinks she is content and happy with her pending marriage and is studying Catalan culture for the summer; Cristina just needed to get away. They both meet and fall in love with Juan Antonio. Vicky spends two days and one night with him; the night ends in the two making love. Knowing the relationship can go nowhere, Juan Antonia moves on to Cristina, who, shortly after beginning their love affair, moves in with him. Vicky, meanwhile, realizes she is in love with him, but being the righteous woman she is, agrees to marry her fiance that summer in Barcelona.

Now, how this pertains to me is very straightforward and easy to see, if you know me well enough. Like Vicky, I thought I knew what I wanted in a husband and I thought I found a person that encompassed what I believed I wanted. And then I met J. And I realized that I hadn't ever really been in love, not in the way I wanted to be. And we became great friends and I slowly fell in love with him. And I found out that, in his own way, he would be able to fit all of the things I thought were most important in a mate and more. Like Cristina, I have been able to identify what I know I don't want in a relationship and in a partner. However, I still don't know if I would be able to tell you what I definitely do want. What I don't want is to settle and I think this is very apparent especially since I could have done just that; I was weeks away from being asked the question most women want to be asked, 'Will you marry me," or some variation. But I chose uncertainty. I chose love. I chose a path where I couldn't identify how the end would look. But I chose the path that would teach me more about myself in the span of four months that I learned in 25 years. I chose the path of the most resistance. And it has been worth every second. Is J going to be in my life forever? I don't know. But I do know what I don't want-I don't want to take the easy way out and I don't want him to do that either.

So, people, go see this movie. It's thought provoking and romantic, yet realistic.

04 September 2008

Rants and Raves

Why are 98 percent of Pennsylvania residents terrible drivers? And why do they have to drive in the left lane on the New Jersey Turnpike when they refuse to accelerate to more than 68 mph? These drivers are kamikaze drivers - they are not afraid to die and aspire to take some New Jerseyians with them to the grave.

Princeton Record Exchange rules my life. I need a lot of CDs for the hours of quality time I spend with my car and I can find many great CDs from the Record Exchange. Today I bought Beastie Boys "Licensed to Ill," Coldplay "Parachutes," Snow Patrol "Eyes Open," and the soundtrack for Rushmore, all for less than $25!


Twenty-somethings have so many decisions to make. Seriously, the stress is enough to put me into a coma. 99 percent of the time I am high energy, my decision-making skills are at expert level, I thrive in high stress environments (I'm a clutch tennis player for sure), and I don't need a lot of sleep to function, but right now, I would pick a coma over having to make some of these decisions. Many people my age are feeling the same pressures and are forced to answer these questions:
1. Am I in the right job?
2. Should I go back to school?
3. Should I look for a different job?
4. Is this the right city/town for me?
5. What comes first, a relationship or a career?
6. Does love conquer all?
7. Should I start saving for a house in the country, or stay in the city?
8. I'm ready to settle down, but my boyfriend/girlfriend is not? Should I stay or should I go?
9. When is the best time to procreate?
10. What is the most important thing to me right now?

My own father asked me number 10 yesterday. It took me about 7 minutes of talking nonsense to fully answer that question. While every ounce of my scarred heart wants the answer to be love, it is not love. Well, it is in a way about love, but not in the loving-another-person-enough-to-plan-your-life-around-him/her way. It's the I-have-to-learn-to-love-myself-and-do-what's-best-for-me-before-I-commit-to-another-person way. So what's best for me? Well, I am going to continue to build my career, work hard, and make a name for myself in a surprisingly small professional field. But, it would be nice to share this journey with someone else.

03 September 2008

Blog Posting #1

I don't even know how to start this off today. I had a post all written out - planned, outlined, edited and ready to go. But, eh, you don't want prewritten edited stuff. You want this, my weirdo mind. So, I'm going to start off by telling you a bit about me and what's going on in my life now to make me start this blog.

Okay, so I'm 25. I'm not going to describe how I look - I'll just post a picture. That's me on the left and my friend Norris on the right.

I am a general communications specialist at a pharmaceuticals company in Pennsylvania. The commute is awful - more to come on that later. I worked at a large healthcare company in New Jersey for three years and finished grad school in May of this year. I was living with my ex-boyfriend for a year before I, the maneater and heartbreaker I am, broke up with him. He moved and I moved on, into the arms of a co-worker and dear friend. Let's call him, J. J and I had a fantastic summer together and I am hoping that we can push through the stress of this fall to remain the ridiculously perfect couple we both think we make. Only time will tell what happens. Even though I love him, sometimes love is not enough. Cross your fingers people and root for us, okay? Thanks.

I hope these strange ramblings of my life can help you to get through yours. At the v. least, I hope you get a kick out of my stories, because I have a lot - some are heavier than others, but whatever, you'll see what I mean.