Thanks, Day Twenty-Eight

Today, I’m thankful for candles. Specifically, pumpkin spice candles. I’ve mentioned before how despite the fact that I grew up in a season-less Southern California, we always had a lot of, for lack of a better description, fall stuff around. My mom was a California girl as well growing up, and after going to school in Oregon (um, yes, I see the pattern), she fell in love with the fall season with all the fun colors and scents, and kept them with her even when she moved back. Pumpkin spice reminds me of home, and it’s also a comforting smell in general. Best of all, I have the most gorgeous votives for my candles. Thanks to my wonderful friend Maren, who used to work for Glassybaby in Seattle, I have these handblown glass votives. Pretty, right? Hooray, candles!

Thanks, Day Twenty-Six

Sorry, I can’t help how much I love this quote.

Today I’m thankful for Community. And Scrubs. And Arrested Development. And How I Met Your Mother. And Parks and Rec. And Cougar Town (DON’T JUDGE ME). And any other TV show I’ve gotten into over the years. You see, all of these shows are more than just a mild obsession. Well, first of all, they’re huge obsessions. But the other key point is that they developed from friendships or have been a catalyst in a friendship. Community has been my biggest obsession of late (see here), but it all began with Scrubs. Christine lent me the first few seasons on DVD, and that turned into a “I know everything about every episode” obsession, especially when I interned in NYC without cable. It also started my background noise obsession, for better or for worse. Scrubs connected me to my first friend at my first job in NYC, Justin, who then turned me on to HIMYM. That show has let me down more than any other, but it still has a soft spot in my heart. Maren introduced me to Law & Order marathons and House. Arrested Development is thanks to Katie and an ex-boyfriend, which I later shared with future boyfriends and friends. Community was more of an obsession I brought on myself when I was unemployed, but it also later helped me make new friends in Albany. And thanks to social media and TV critic bloggers I can obsess in a little corner on my own — although for the record it is WAY more fun to nerd out over TV with friends. There are so many other shows here and there that I’ve picked up either completely or not (and while The Wire is a big obsession for me, I’ve only watched it once…), but I should stop before this because a really big rambling and reminiscing mess. I’m not in the mood to organize so you see a lot of stream of consciousness self-interrupted. Event that last sentence was a mess. Hey it’s a Monday. It’s been a serious case of the Mondays.

Thanks, Day Twenty-Four

A random mishmash of photo memories…

Today, I’m thankful for Oregon State University. This post is belated because I was busy watching OSU lose our annual Civil War game against University of Oregon. For the fifth year in a row. I drank a lot of beer last night. But the thing is, OSU brought so many great people, experiences, and things into my life. I never would have cared about football if I hadn’t gone to a (at the time) Pac-10 school. I met friends who are still some of my closest, even if we all live far apart from each other. From the very start a fluke last-minute change is how Christine became my freshman year roommate and we became best friends almost immediately. And over the years we’d reminisce about all the chance experiences and moments that caused a chain reaction leading us to something even greater. Thanks to OSU I worked on the newspaper, which lead to my internship at a small personal finance magazine in Corvallis which lead to my first job in NYC. Choosing a merchandising degree lead to me taking a chance on getting an internship at a fashion magazine in NYC, and thanks to working at the newspaper I had other friends coming to the city as well that summer, which is how I met Steph who became an amazing friend. The college experience is full of ups and downs, but I like that I can look back and see that a lot was put into motion during those years. Of course there are things I would like to change or do better, but I’m also pretty happy with the experience. And man, I REALLY miss the pacific northwest. It is so nice out there.

Thanks, Day Five

Let it be known, I like booze. But in terms of thanks, I am thankful for red wine. I love beer, but sometimes beer does not like me. I like an easy vodka drink when I’m out on the town, and despite many, MANY times of this going awry, I still drink vodka. And white wine, well, white wine is evil. At least it has been for me. But red wine does not let me down. It does not mess me up, tire me out, or make me crazy. So hooray, red wine! This should be hashtagged #lazypost.

This is a really old picture of being dumb in college (Christine and I didn’t have a bottle opener, probably drank glass, WHOOPS), and that’s probably white wine. But whatever. MEMORIES.

PS. I started my new job today. And it was cool. The commute will probably get old soon enough, but I kind of don’t mind it for now. As long as I can actually wake up early.

Reality Check

Having been a reporter in college, I’ve covered a variety of events. I’ve covered community festivals, student protests, police beats and even student deaths. But during my years at our small town college university paper I knew I wasn’t going to be a reporter later in life. Successfully covering a story is a great feeling, but the more serious stories and intense political issues inside as well as outside the newsroom weren’t my cup of tea. Becoming a journalist on the ground and reporting from dangerous locations? Never even crossed my mind.

My friend Andrew and I met at OSU’s newspaper. We became friends when we both went to New York for our summer internships. Andrew then went on to transfer to Syracuse and travel around the world as a photo journalist. This kid has had some amazing experiences. A few days into the conflict in Egypt he posted on Twitter that he was heading out to Cairo for an assignment. My brain is slow, so it first went “Cairo? I’m jealous!” then finally realized “Cairo… protests… Mubarak… oh shit.”

I’d been following Andrew’s updates and things were fine at first. Then I woke up to the news that Anderson Cooper was punched in the head as his team was attacked on the ground. I crossed my fingers that Andrew would be OK. Later that day, as it happens, Andrew ended up being attacked as well.

The last photo he took before being attacked

He was pretty lucky, although reading what he wrote clearly shows how extremely frightening it was. I mean, we’re both 24 years old, and I’m sitting at home whining about the weather while he’s in a volatile situation in a foreign country. Andrew’s story got picked up by several news sources, including NPR and he gave a phone interview to MSNBC. He later wrote another post about this assignment as well as coverage of another day out shooting. It’s so eloquent and it brings the situation at hand so much closer to home. I can read all the news reports and the soft features, but hearing about it from someone I know personally is so much more powerful.

This is a reality check in itself. Whining about how hard life is in New York? At least I’m not getting punched out by some thugs in Egypt. Then I went did something silly. I’m a chronic hair dyer and experimenter. But my one rule has always been to avoid permanent dyes, because I don’t like the maintenance. However, I had the urge to go lighter (blonde-ish) and decided to take that risk. I picked up medium ash blonde and finally went for it this morning. It looks… interesting.

Not terrible, but obviously not perfect. I’m sitting here, feeling woozy from the fumes and bemoaning why I dyed my hair a risky color when I have tons of plans for picture taking this weekend, so of course I tweet about it. Guess what pops up next in my feed:

Yeah, I guess some messed up hair color isn’t so bad.

It’s Civil War Time!

No, it’s not time for a throwback history lesson, but I do realize this comment confuses many people. One of my friends last year responded to my cheers with, “What? Oh… you mean football.”

The Civil War is between Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) and the University of Oregon (Stupid Ducks). The locale of the game trades off each year between Corvallis and Eugene. I was only able to attend one Civil War game, my freshman year. Maybe it’s better that I have one perfect memory, but I was pretty annoyed that my junior year the Civil War was on Thanksgiving weekend for TV coverage reasons. I didn’t think ditching my family for a football game was the best idea.

That one Civil War I attended was amazing, though. Sometimes there is the magic that comes from the freshman year dorm, if you’re lucky. We had a huge group from different floors who were friends, and we all gathered in a parking lot in the cold to tailgate and barbecue and drink discreetly (shh, don’t tell!). It was such a fun experience, and I think it sealed my love for OSU football, because having school spirit and cheering on your team with strangers who are just as enthusiastic as you is so exhilarating. I’m sure it helped that we also won the Civil War that year.

My digital copies are missing, so I scanned my scrapbook. Yes, I scrapbook.

Living in New York, there are a surprising number of OSU grads and football enthusiasts. I went to a few bar gatherings last season, and brought Collin along for his loving obliging support.

For the Civil War last year we wound up in a tiny dive in the East Village, full of mostly Duck fans and free pizza. The game was depressing but the Duck fan were surprisingly friendly. Collin has a Duck in his family, but I think I have a little more clout to turn him in to a Beaver fan. Or really, he just has no choice.

Drinking away the '09 loss

This year it’s an afternoon game, so in a few hours Collin and I will be heading to our favorite west coast style bar, Pacific Standard, to get our cheering on. GOOOO BEAVS!

OOOOO SSSSS UUUUU

Oregon State

Fight Fight Fight!

Halloween, Past and Present

Halloween is a fun time of year. If parties and costume ideas align, then I am so there. This is probably the first year since I was 15 that I really put much effort into to having a good costume. It was Collin’s idea, and I’m thrilled since last year we couldn’t go out together since there was that little NYC Marathon the next morning.

During my college years, I had varying degrees of success without putting in much effort. My freshman year my friends and I dug through the Goodwill piles, and I came up with an awesome sweater to cut and booty shorts. Putting on some bright makeup and wearing a side ponytail, and I was set as an 80s gal.

Brought to you by my disposable camera

Sophomore year my efforts were rather pathetic, but worked out well. I bought an FBI hat while visiting NYC, and paired it with a white collared shirt, shorts and boots. Boom! Costume. An added bonus is that one of my friends bought a kid’s SWAT costume. We were a great team.

SWAT and FBI out to get you

Junior year once again was all about one piece making the costume. My friend Ashley offered her ladybug wings, I found a shirt/dress to cinch at the waist (and yes, I’m pissed that I lost it because it rocked) and once again, instant costume!

Miss Muffet & the Lady Bug, killer beer pong team

Finally, senior year brought another round of simplicity. My mom sadly did not save many of her sewing creations, but she did still have a hot pink mini dress from the 70s. This costume came out again the next year for my first Halloween in NYC, as well. I consider it my effortless stand by, from now on.

Keepin' it Klassy

Last year I made a sad attempt as dressing up as a nerd (hard to do that when you live the costume! ba dum shhh) and didn’t go out so I could cheer on Collin the next day. It was totally worth it, I might add. But I am STOKED that we dressed up this year. Not only that, but we did it couple-costume style. Cheesy nerd alert, I love that so much. We had to buy costumes, but it was necessary. You see, we were Where’s Waldo and Where’s Wanda. I didn’t know the chick version had a name, but there you go. I found some $6 pants I cut into shorts and the rest of the costume was already set – hat and glasses being key items.

To be honest, I don’t think many people knew about Wanda either. Collin got approached the most, with people shouting, “I found you!” But we also received some mutual appreciation, as one guy passing us at a party said, “Excuse me, Waldo, Waldess.” We went out for dinner before the party and got free margaritas for dressing up (win!) and then went to a big photo studio for a Halloween party. Good times, Halloween, good times.

Waldo and Wanda

A little bit of this…

Sometimes I miss life in Corvallis. College town bliss, football season, fall leaves and generally awesome people. Then I discovered Burlington, Vermont, this weekend. Collin and I didn’t get to stay very long (don’t go on the most popular weekend at the last minute and realize there’s no where to stay except a smokey room for one night) but we loved every minute of it. The college students, the great architecture, the waterfront, the boutique style stores – the home of Ben & Jerry’s! I can’t wait to go back and stay at an adorable B&B to get the full experience of this town.

On the other hand, New York City seems to be self destructing. Tonight was interrupted by another random massive storm. And with hail this time? What. The. Heck. I’m just glad I’ve been inside for all these disastrous storms. Maybe I earned my credits after all the Corvallis storms that soaked me. Living in a place that rains constantly, but usually never hard, means I rarely brought an umbrella with me anywhere. When I moved to New York I was so confused by this constant need for an umbrella. Nasty, nasty storms, NYC. Not cool.

Flanders Nachos and Union Square

It’s great to have a any kind of Nordstrom store in NYC. I know rents are high and blah blah blah. I’m currently a little angry with Union Square, although its easy access off the Q will make me forgive it eventually.

I get that people with agendas, volunteer work or donations needed do whatever they can in a public forum. On my way to Nordstrom Rack, however, I witnessed some insane behavior. There were 6 or more people within a half block, holding clip boards and going up to people trying to shake their hands and motioning others to take off their earphones, and then the next person would harass them if they made it through the first wave. Seriously? Seriously?

I’ve even been that person, to lesser degree. I solicited donations in front of grocery stores in Oregon for Circle K (not the convenience store, but still, strange things were afoot). One key lesson I learned is that the method in which you approach someone actually matters. I only regret not finding out who they were working for to let someone know what douches their workers are.

Anywaaayyyy anger management knocking… I made it into Nordstrom Rack and had a grand ol’ time. The store has only been open 4 days, so I feel like in some time they’ll figure out all the kinks. It already is incredibly efficient with dressing room attendants and digital display for check out. In my usual no-nonsense shopping style, I was out in an hour with two cute new dresses for summer. (And a new desire to clean out my closet. Again.)

After a clearly exhausting adventure, I had to refuel with egg + cheese + salsa and Flanders nachos. Thanks to Netflix I’ve been able to rekindle my love of The Simpsons in their glorious early seasons. (Side note: I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV until high school, but watched The Simpsons with the fam since I was probably 10. Silly parents)
One episode has Bart and Lisa stuck with the Flanders family. Ned offers up nachos, Flanders style, in the form of cucumber and cottage cheese. I like these two ingredient separately, so why not try the weird concoction? Result: I should have agreed with the cringing Simpson kids. While not terrible, I’d rather cook up some real nachos any day.

And now the warm weather has returned, just in time for some fun Brooklyn activities this weekend. A Franklin Street celebration for Saturday and a street and record fair on Sunday. I’ll just have to do my best to drag C away from that whole “school” and “finals” thing.