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.