I AM

I’m going through a bit of a writing slump and while it’s fun to completely ignore my blog and my reader, I think it’s time to dust off these shelves and do a fun writing prompt that I once had to do my first semester in college (i know, we’re going WAY BACK) We started with the phrase I Am and wrote whatever we…were. You know Eminem’s song, The Way I Am? “I am whatever you say I am, if I wasn’t then why would I say I am?” Don’t worry this white girl isn’t going to try to rap and I’m certainly not as angry as Eminem…so just…go along with this.

I am.

I am passionate. I will give you my all and then some. I will fight for what I believe in, especially for love.

I am emotional. This goes hand in hand with the above sometimes. Sometimes when I laugh too hard, I cry. Sometimes, I cry when other people around me cry. Sometimes, I cry at sappy movies. Sometimes, I just cry for no reason. And when in a confrontation? You bet I will cry.

I am a Marilyn Monroe quote. “I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control, and at times, hard to handle; but if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me when I’m at my best

I am scared I am too much of a Marilyn but I know I could never 100% be a Jackie either. (And why am I listening to an article?!)

I am talkative. I can talk your ear off if you let me. But…

I am quiet. Some people have told me I come off as a bit stand-offish because when I first meet people, I’m quiet. I take a while to warm up to people sometimes and it more often than not makes me come off as a bitch, I’m sure. I’m working on that.

I am a sucker for animal humor. This video is a good example of something that will make me laugh till I cry. (See? Crying with laughter.)

I am a horrible singer. But that doesn’t mean I won’t sing at the top of my lungs to cheesy ’80’s music and the Glee soundtrack while driving in my car.

I am a collector. I have a large assortment of pretty party dresses, cute heels, a boatload of jewelry and a coat for every occasion.

I am not the girl next door.

I am an emotional eater. I’m also a bored eater. My old boss was one as well and we would often find ourselves in the kitchen at the same time, not knowing why exactly we were there but that we needed something and laughing at each other.

I am a flirt.

I am outgoing and friendly but…

I am shy. I love to flirt but I have a tendency to turn a few shades of red when pushed to actually go talk to someone. Refer to I am quiet…

I am a wine, cheese, and chocolate lover. At my work christmas party a year ago we had chocolate cheese and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever had. I NEED to know where to find that again or how to make it, or both.

I am spontaneous but I like plans. I may take off for Europe for three months and live day by day, then up and move to another state with no plans but deep down, I like knowing what’s going to happen and when and where.

I am a series of bad choices as far as men go. The amount of times I have gone after the wrong guys, the unavailable guys, the same wrong guy over and over and OVER again (some of you may know who I am referring to), it’s a miracle my heart isn’t a barren wasteland. I’m a little bitter, a little jaded…but I still have hope.

I am a fan of kid movies. Specifically: Harry Potter, Up, Wall-E, Ice Age, Monsters Inc, Disney movies, ETC. They never fail to make me happy.

I am a lot happier now than I have been in a while.

I am a ridiculous assortment of goofy. I talk to my animals in goofy voices, I throw dance parties by myself in my room even though I can’t dance, and make up silly nicknames for people (it runs in the family).

I am perfectly ok being a “green” skier my entire life. I have been skiing for ten years and I know I can do blues but I much prefer the slower pace of the greens over the death grip the blues put me into.

I am a work in progress. I care too much about what people think about me, I have insecurities that need to go away but I am working on all this and I have gotten drastically better since last year, even from just six months ago.

I am a photographer, a graphic designer, an interior designer, a blogger, a daughter, a sister, a friend and other silly titles that can be used to define us as a person. Most importantly…

I AM ME. (And I am pretty damn awesome.)

I am also very modest. ;)

LOVE HARDER.

The quandry:

We feel terrible. Just horrible. And oh so helpless… if only there was something we could DO for them.

The answer:

Ummmm. Did you forget that WE ARE THE INTERNET?!?!!??! And also, Yes We Can!!!

The result:

Brandy and your Hot Awesome Dude… this one’s for you. Love, The Internet.

Our Plea

Our friend Brandy is a brilliant writer, a wonderful teacher, and a generous friend.  And she is in love with a man who has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

We are raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund in his name.  For the price of a cinnamon dolce latte, half-caf, hold the whip, you can be part of an effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.

http://www.loveharder.org

Every dollar brings us a dollar closer to a cure.  And every donation brings a sliver of hope to a girl who needs all the hope she can get.

Love Harder,
Ashley

What You Can Do

  • Give. Be part of a worldwide effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.  Every dollar helps.
  • Pass it on. Forward this story to five people.  Share this blog post.  Become our fan on Facebook.
  • Love harder. Life is short, love is unbending, and no one knows what could happen next. Tell someone you love them today.

Where Your Money Goes

  • The American Institute of Philanthropy recently named The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation one of the best organizations to give to in terms of their accountability and use of resources.
  • By working closely with researchers, clinicians and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, the MMRF has helped bring multiple myeloma patients four new treatments that are extending lives around the globe.
  • The MMRF has advanced twenty Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. They need your support to advance these clinical research programs and accelerate the development of better, more effective treatments.
  • The MMRF’s Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative recently became the first to sequence the multiple myeloma whole genome in its entirety.
  • A whopping 98% of your donation to the MMRF will be used immediately to support high-priority multiple myeloma research.
  • With diminishing funding for early stage drug development and the next myeloma treatments not expected to be approved until 2011, the MMRF desperately needs your help.

DONATE: http://www.loveharder.org
CONTACT: theloveharderfund@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: http://facebook.loveharder.org
MORE INFO: http://www.themmrf.org

For more on Brandy and H.A.D.’s Story go here.

I could not be more proud of the internet than I am right now. We love you Brandy!

Chicago and the Blog Love Fest That Was

Chicago.

I don’t even know where to begin. Chicago was…crazy, fun, exhausting, laughter inducing, glee-infested, good food stuffing, plain old AMAZING. This recap will probably not do it justice since it fell in January and January is the month where I forget how to write and publish shit that a monkey could write. With their toes. But I’m going to give this my best shot.

First, some things I’ve learned:

1. Chicago is in another time zone so it is not necessary to wake up at 7am to get there by noon. You will arrive an hour early and feel like an idiot for unnecessarily missing out on sleep.

2. No one really knows who I am or what my old blog was. If you are curious, I will email you what my old blog was.

3. I apparently look nothing like my twitter and blog avatar.

Being that I was early into the city and didn’t realize it until I hit the city limits, I went out for coffee with Matt from Life Without Pants. He probably thought I was a pretty huge idiot when he got the text being all ohhh wait i’m in the city early because I didn’t remember the time difference. Yet he still met up with me and we chatted about my move and blogging…you know what us bloggers usually talk about. It was awesome to meet him and I was so glad I was able to swing by on the way to Jenn’s place! And ok, fine, glad I was retarded and got to Chi-town early.

Friday was kind of a time warp/bermuda triangle type of day in which time was eaten and I had no concept of what time it was at any point during the day. I know I went to lunch with Jenn at Panera, made a header for her blog and ate dinner with her family. I also know we got all dressed up in new party dresses and heels, did our makeup and tried finding necklaces that weren’t eaten by our boobs (we both failed). We then drove down to her friend Mo’s house and that’s when time gets a little fuzzy. I swear it had nothing to do with the champagne and wine we got drunk off of there. Ok maybe it had everything to do with it.

After a lot of laughter and some great stories, we headed out to the bar where Derek had parked himself at. He’s leaving us for Canada (damn Canadians) so this was his goodbye thing. Derek was awesome of course and I am not just saying that because he told me I was a celebrity, like Lady Gaga famous. (That was once he figured out who I was in regards to my old blog.) I am so not famous. He obviously was drunk. But I can’t say I wasn’t tickled by that.

I proceeded to mix vodka into the wine/champagne mix and you can imagine just how drunk I got. We closed down that bar which I’m assuming put us at 2:30 when we got to the next bar of choice which was insanely packed. At some point we abandoned that one too and ended up back at Derek’s old apartment with a few of his friends. There were card games, talking about 20SB and how I don’t look like my avatar at all and there may have been some Mary Juana involved. All of a sudden, Jenn looks at her watch and is all IT’S SIX THIRTY.

Say what?

I had been up 24 HOURS. I wasn’t tired before, amazingly, but as soon as it was realized just what time it was, and the sun started coming up, we became walking zombies. We drove back to her house, instead of going to sleep, with a quick stop at McDonalds for some greasetastic breakfast sandwiches (which we of course screwed up the first time. Who eats a sausage sandwich? My brain automatically goes dirty with that one but i had to write it. Sausage sandwich. Teehee) We then crashed for a few hours before heading to Erin’s Glee party. I was half alive at that point and pretty sure I was still drunk/high and my body was having difficulty deciding whether it wanted to be hungover or not. I’m all about first impressions among some of my favorite bloggers.

It was great fun and these ladies are seriously hilarious. There was video making, blogger round tables, song singing, a lot of Glee watching, doggy loving and I may have eaten my weight in dips, rice krispie treats, donuts and chips. Thank god for conveniently non-form fitting sweaters to hide it all. It was another time sucking day where we all exclaimed at 10:30 at night how we had no idea where the time went!

Renee and Jenn performing Defying Gravity for Ben and Peter

I could have gone out that night but once we walked into Jenn’s house, my extreme lameness came out and I passed out like a brick on my bed while Jenn went to party with her friends. Which was probably good because the next morning we drove downtown to have my very much missed meal of the day (BRUNCH) with the lovely Jamie. There was champagne and chocolate chip pancakes involved and it was all sorts of awesome. Not to mention the restaurant was VERY pink and very cute.

Have I mentioned I’ve never been to Chicago before? I mean, technically I have. I was there about ten years ago for an auto show that I went to with my best MSU girlfriends and we got lost downtown. That was the extent of my first “Chicago trip.” Which is why I never count it, I didn’t see ANYTHING of the city. Sunday after brunch we went down to Millennium Park and the Bean, took lots of pictures, wandered down Mag Mile and then, sadly, parted ways. I wandered back down towards Grant Park to hang out with an old friend from FIT who moved to the city at the same time I left NYC for Europe. She apparently loves Chi more than NYC but it still hasn’t convinced me that I need to move here. I AM convinced that all the Chi bloggers need to move to Colorado with me though.

A reason why I won’t be moving to Chi anytime soon

The night was capped off by a four hour drive back through the dark to Michigan and involved a lot of singing at the top of my lungs along with Glee. Lets just say I had no voice by the time I got home and was also convinced that Glee needs to cast me in their next season. Watch out Lea Michele. It may have been the only reason I didn’t pass out and drive off the road to my death and when I got home I passed out and my mom yelled at me for not coming downstairs and telling them all about my weekend AS SOON AS I GOT HOME.

I had SO much fun in Chicago and cannot wait to visit again. Of course the people were the ones who made this city and this trip so great and I am so glad Jenn convinced me to come down there! It wasn’t hard to twist my arm though. :)

Now I must go figure out a new avatar.

Living With My Parents is Pure Entertainment

I am currently in Chicago but thought I’d share this lovely tidbit with you all from my drafts folder.

It was only a couple weeks ago that I wrote the first post about how crazy it’s been living with my parents. You can read that here. Now here’s part two. I didn’t think I’d have enough for two of these but apparently the entertainment my parents can provide is unlimited. I’m sure there will be a part three, even.

  • My father has a bad habit of falling asleep in his favorite chair in the living room, while watching TV. Especially if he’s under a blanket. At 8pm. And regardless of how tired he is, my mother will beat him with a magazine until he wakes up and takes away his blanket. Ah, love.
  • My mother will get angry over the silliest things. Like how I’m not friends with her on Facebook. Doesn’t matter that she’s not actually on Facebook. It’s the worst offense I could possibly commit, not being friends with her online. It’s not like I don’t see her EVERY DAY.
  • My dad is remodeling the bathroom. At random times he’ll either start talking to himself or will start singing songs about tiling to the tune of some christmas carol. It’s official. We’re related.
  • My mom has this bad habit of waving out matches after she’s done lighting candles. She learned her lesson the other night when the lit match head when flying and her bedspread went up in a burst of flames. Luckily it put itself out pretty quickly but not before everyone started screaming bloody murder.
  • My dad dropped a beam on my head and nearly knocked me unconscious (everything went black for a hot second). After he finished laughing hysterically, he asked if I was ok. I then ran into the door frame, the banister and it was decided I should sit down. I’m pretty sure he gave me a concussion. And a mild case of whiplash.
  • I’ve noticed a trend with my family and books. If we’re reading a book we really like, we’ll often wander around and find someone to read a particular passage that we enjoyed. I thought I was the only one who did this (and it’s very rare that I do. Only when reading two particular authors–Augusten Burroughs and now Jonathan Safran Foer) but my brother, dad and mom all have been sighted doing the same thing.
  • My parents’ pets are so incredibly spoiled. My mom’s dog sleeps in his own  full-sized chair, the cats have ten million beds to choose from and remember the retarded cat? He sleeps with me usually in my small little bed. You wouldn’t think cats take up much space but this cat SPRAWLS. I found him on his back with one arm hanging off the bed the other day. Imagine trying to sleep with that AND have to deal with claws. His new thing lately has been the mirror in my room. It’ll be 3am and I’ll hear a soft scratching noise. I’ll look over and find him scratching at his own reflection in the mirror, over and over and over again. You may think ohhh that’s so adorable! But no.  IT’S ANNOYING.
  • You know those little shower caddies that hang over the shower head? My father had an epic battle against one the other day. I don’t know why, I don’t know how you can even have a battle, but it there was a lot of swearing involved. I believe my father referred to it as a motherfucking piece of shit. I had to shove my fist in my mouth to keep from bursting out laughing.
  • The one thing I’ve learned is how to drink by myself. I’ve gotten stellar at the glass or three of wine “at dinner”. My mother really introduced this concept to me but I think I’ve taken it to a whole other level. I have three open bottles of wine in the fridge that are solely mine. THREE. Alcoholic? I have potential.

Now I must go do Chicago things with the wonderful Jenn in CHICAGO. Have I mentioned I’ve never been to Chicago before? BECAUSE I HAVEN’T. I don’t know if Jenn is prepared for this kind of excitement.

Old Friends, Bargain Shopping, Chicago and a New Lens

I went out for coffee with one of my very best friends yesterday, one whom I don’t see nearly enough. It’s always an adventure with her and I constantly laugh, which is always appreciated. The two of us together usually is a lethal combo of fun, crazy and questions about what drugs we are currently on.

We always meet halfway and usually I am the one who has issues with GPS or Mapquest giving me the wrong directions. If I remember correctly, the last time I almost got in an accident because my GPS was taking me in the wrong direction and the time before that? The GPS man was telling me to turn around and get back on the highway while I was pulling into the parking lot. But this time, Mapquest failed BOTH of us and we ended up doing a search and rescue which ended up with me in the Kohls parking lot and her in a cemetary. Neither of which housed a Starbucks. Eventually we found each other, held up traffic and then made our way towards shopping.

At the mall we found a Starbucks (not THE starbucks we had been searching for) and proceeded to leave the baristas laughing hysterically at with us as we asked them for their addresses. When you’re with us you never know what’s going to happen.

Like when we were in Coach and talking about the prices of jewelry and comparing them to house and car payments. Those sales ladies are still thanking us for making them laugh. And when we were in Macy’s and I tried on a ridiculous pair of sunglasses, made a comment about how I wore them when I was 8 and made some random stranger laugh at me in them. Or when we were in another store discussing Ryan Reynolds and how HOT he was and Sarah insulted the girl behind the counter by saying he hasn’t ALWAYS been hot. (INSULTING, right??)

Maybe this stuff is only funny to us. Or you have to be there to appreciate us. That’s probably it. My retelling abilities? They kind of stink.

I did participate in some retail therapy, which I haven’t been able to do in a while. Got some nail polish with large chunks of silver glitter in it which makes me feel fifteen again and fabulous and a new journal in this years color of choice: teal. But the best purchase, la piece de resistance, has to be this lovely, sexy thing:

That dress was originally $120 at Banana Republic. I only paid….wait for it….$1.50. You read that right. ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS. Thanks to a great sale, an extra 30% off and $30 in coupons. I am so proud of myself. I’ve had my eye on this dress for at least a month so when I saw it in my size? I grabbed that shit up. My boobs look fantastic in it.

I plan on parading this dress around Chicago this weekend. You also read that correctly. I said CHICAGO. If you haven’t heard the news via Twitter, I am taking over Chicago by storm this weekend with Jenn. Since I got a new car, it was decided I would drive that down to the Windy City, the city I have never been to before. Might as well make use of my close proximity and ample free time right now! I already have my soundtrack picked out for the drive down (the Glee Soundtrack. I predict epicly horribly sing-alongs) and a lot of plans involving every blogger I can find and old friends from NYC. I AM SO EXCITED. Especially about the fact that I’m totally having a sleepover with Jenn. How jealous are you? :)

I don’t predict much sleep happening, but who needs that when you have a good bottle (or two) of wine and some really awesome people, all under one roof?

In other exciting news, I got my new lens, a Nikon 50mm, in the mail a couple days ago and I couldn’t be more excited. I haven’t had the chance to reallyyy play with it so I will definitely be dragging that bad boy out and about with me in Chicago. Be prepared.

I can use my DSLR again!! Ashley is a VERY happy lady.

Have you signed up for my Be My (Blog) Valentine? You totally need to. Last date to sign up is January 19th and that will be here before you know it!

Where in the World Wednesday: Positano, Italy

It’s Wednesday and I am taking part in Classy in Philadelphia’s Where in the World Wednesday series!

The idea of WITWW is to post a picture of you in someplace in the world…it doesn’t have to be somewhere foreign or tropical. Just a picture of you somewhere that you consider traveling.

Three and a half years ago I took my first trip to Mainland Europe (I had been to Ireland before). My brother was backpacking his way across Europe for 9 weeks, much like my latest adventure, and he was in Italy when I came over to visit him. It was my first time staying in hostels, first time doing any sort of budget travel.

We started the trip in Sorrento, a gorgeous seaside town near Naples. I highly recommend visiting it. Located about 4 hours south of there was this place called Paestum. It has the oldest Greek ruins in Italy and we had to take the perilous bus ride out there. We went along the Amalfi Coast and while it was raining, I absolutely loved it. It was so beautiful. We had to make several bus transfers and on the last leg we met a Canadian couple who also were staying in Sorrento and ended up traveling around with us the rest of the day.

Paestum was awesome:

On the way back we ran into a bit of traffic and missed our connecting bus in Salerno. The bus we missed was the last bus to Sorrento. So there we were, 3 hours away from where we were staying and being faced with the reality that we may be sleeping in a church or on a street somewhere. Instead, we started hitch hiking.

Initially we had problems. We just couldn’t get anyone to stop for the four of us. So me and the girl, whose name escapes me right now, stood out by the road while her husband and my brother hid in a doorway. Immediately a man stops for us and before we got in, our sidekicks jumped in. Obviously he was hoping he was going to get lucky with two lonely girls but was not happy at all when he realized we weren’t alone. He drove us to Positano but refused to speak to us, even to my Italian-speaking brother.

In Positano we were faced with the reality that a) it was raining and b) there were no cars going by. We stood out in the rain for an hour and a half, taking turns dancing in the middle of the road. That picture up there is from my turn out in the road.

Here’s her husband and my brother:

My brother had to buy food since we hadn’t eaten dinner and he needed to eat every hour.

We eventually got a ride from an off-duty limo driver who was very chatty. We encountered one problem with him though: he hated Americans. Luckily, when asked where we were from, the Canadians answered first. He growled about how glad he was we weren’t Americans and all of a sudden me and my brother are all oh yeah we’re from Toronto…. I had to listen to him bash Americans for an hour and a half the whole way back. But we made it and to top off the night, we had hot chocolate.

Except its European hot chocolate which meant MELTED CHOCOLATE. So thick.

Looking back at the pictures from this trip I cannot get over how YOUNG both my brother and I look. I barely even recognize myself. Is that bad? I now also really want to go back to Italy. I had so much fun! I’m sure these aren’t the last pictures you’ll see from that trip…

Organize My Days

It took me fifteen minutes to pick between a red faux alligator print or the silver. Both were similar in style. What was inside certainly was the same; 52 weeks, 365 days. Blank spaces waiting to be planned. Kind of like life, in a way. A blank slate, waiting for life to happen.

January 2, 2009. Dinner and drinks with Kevin and Katie.

I remember that night. I had sushi for dinner with my old coworkers, one of whom an old fling. Other guests included young girls, teenagers practically, who had taken over my old job. I felt old. I had way too much to drink. We went bar hopping. I let a man probably in his early 50’s buy me a drink and chatted with him way too long. I stumbled home and threw up sushi into my kitchen sink. Seaweed doesn’t digest very well. I don’t remember much of the night. I woke up the next morning terribly hung over, my father laughing at me when he arrived to help set up my new furniture.

I pondered the size of it. Did I want something small and compact, that I could easily carry around with me? Or did I want something that could hold more? More plans, more things to do. I fingered the soft leather of one, but liked the metallic colors better. I checked and re-checked prices.

February 27, 2009. Meeting in AC. Cubicle Shuffle.

I used to joke that I worked in the coat closet. My cubicle was located right off of the kitchen, in a sliver of space that also housed the coat closet. I would see everyone come in, I would see everyone leave. I could see my boss come in and out of his office. It made me the perfect target for playing secretary. I hated it. We were supposed to go to this big pep meeting in our other office. It was supposed to help raise our spirits during the tough economy. Instead we changed the cubicles around and I got a nicer, larger cubicle. One that I would rarely use. Barely 7 days later we found out our pay was being slashed, three people were laid off and suddenly I was playing front desk receptionist.

In the end I went with the silver, the same model as last years only a different color. I worried that maybe I had gotten the wrong one. I’m funny like that with my daily planners. It’s silly, really. To worry that your planner is perfect. It probably sat on my dresser for three days before I took off the packaging.

March 22, 2009. Amazing Race @ Jen’s-6:30. *Ice & Dessert*

My coworkers Steph, Jen and I discovered one day that we all loved Amazing Race. We decided that every week, we would take turns hosting a dinner party at our respective apartments to watch the show together. This was the first one. I can’t even remember the dessert I brought. I think it was No Pudge Fudge brownies, with frosting on top to totally cancel out the fact that it was supposed to be healthier. I had gotten into making that around that time of year. We had our favorite teams and it was a highlight of an incredibly depressing spring.

Last year’s was purple. I picked it up from Borders, the same place I got mine this year. It was on sale for three dollars and I couldn’t resist. It wasn’t my favorite but everything had been picked through. I immediately started filling in the plans. All the dinner and drink plans. All the dates. I can’t even remember who they were, what they looked like. If I liked them or not. They have names like Jack, or Blaine or Dave. I dated a lot of guys while I lived in NYC. My 2008 planner had even more dates, more drinks with random men. But I don’t remember them.

June 10, 2009. Shakespeare in the Park. DUD.

My coworker Jen was laid off the Thursday before. I sat in the receptionist desk right outside the conference room while her and David got let go. They didn’t shut the door so I wouldn’t hear, they didnt lower their voices. Even when David asked if it was OK that I was privy to this. They didn’t care. I remember Jen’s face when I went back to her cubicle afterwards. She had the biggest smile on her face as she loaded up her box. This is the happiest day of my life. We made plans for 8am to meet on line. We arrived way too late for Shakespeare in the Park so we sat on the grass in the park and ate the picnic we prepared for ourselves in the sun. We talked about LEED, about what Jen was going to do. I had just broke the news to them earlier in the week about my quitting so we talked about that for a while. We walked south through the park and split up at the base. I bought a book at Strand’s small shop along 5th Avenue.

I write down the silliest things in my planner. Gym schedules. Reminding myself to take a run through the park. Get eyeliner! Lost season finale :(. Do your laundry already. Grocery lists for Trader Joe’s. Make your big meal for the week. QUIT YOUR JOB! Send Conor a birthday card. (I never did). Don’t forget to pack your iPod and camera charger. Phone charger too! Go yell at Verizon. My new camera arrives! I BOUGHT MY PLANE TICKET TO GERMANY!! I wonder if I thought I’d look over it later and actually listen to myself.

August 3, 2009. Lobster Dinner @ Monika’s!

I officially moved out of my apartment on July 27th. That left me hopping around, apartment to apartment. First I stayed with my bestie, Lauren in midtown. She had a cute little puppy chihuahua, Paisley, and we spent friday in our pajamas watching old episodes of The O.C. I then went to stay in Williamsburg for a week with Monika, my beautiful polish friend from F.I.T. and her cat Puka, which means Fluffy in Polish. The cat hates me. But I liked tormenting her a little bit too. Hiss. One night we decided we were going to make lobster. My friend Pearl sent me YouTube videos of how cruel it is to kill lobsters by boiling them. We were boiling them anyway. We took pictures with our lobsters.

I love to look back through the pages at what I had done, at what I had accomplished. Most things were just small, like drinks with friends, a dinner here, a brunch there. August through November were filled with big things. The thursday before I flew to Europe, I wrote in big letters: DDAY and underlined it. Then there was my trip. Plane to Munich! Overnight train to Berlin. Ferry to Norway. Flight to Scotland. Ferry to Amsterdam. Bought my plane ticket to Morocco! Overnight bus to Paris. HOME :( :( :( December is depressingly blank.

Another year has come and another planner with it. It’s blank now but will soon be filled with plans for the big move across the country, plans with friends in Colorado. Interviews for jobs (hopefully). A trip to Vegas. To Wyoming. To New York. Countless dinners and drinks. Parties and events. It always makes me feel important to pull out my planner and “check plans.” To look like my life is actually organized. That my days have structure.

Right now, my days consist of staying in my pajamas all day and watching episodes of HGTV’s House Hunters. Not quite exciting fodder for my planner. I have high hopes, though.

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