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Analyze This

The last few weeks have been very interesting. And the next few weeks will be even more interesting. Decisions to make, anxiety attacks, big life changes, etc. But in continuing my avoidant behavior, I’m going to do another meme! This time, my friend Sara has tagged me!

Here’s a look into my handwriting: I tried hard to present my best handwriting, and this is what happens. That should tell you a lot about why my handwriting looks like when I don’t attempt clarity. I just took a picture of what I wrote in my awesome hipster notebook.

I answered these questions:

1. What’s your name / blogger name?
2. What’s your blog’s URL?
3. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your favorite song?
6. Your favorite band / singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3 bloggers to participate. (I tagged 5!)

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Thoughts

I am tired. In a good way.

Even though I spent plenty of time in my apartment on the computer during unemployment, sitting at a computer in an office for 9 hours a day is much different.

I love that I keep finding coworkers who are also cool people.

I’m an assistant. At a retail consultancy. You can try to figure it out – I’m still working on it.

I’m temporary. Obviously it’ll take time before either side decides if we want me to be permanent.

I’m adding to my resume. I’m learning new skills in a new industry and I’m so excited about that.

I need to relearn  how to pack a lunch and snacks.

I like that my cat tolerates my singing and performing for her while I cook.

It’s much better the cat witnesses my belting of the Dr. Horrible soundtrack instead of Collin.

I’m no longer required to follow the news and read blogs all day for a job. It’s kind of weird.

I get to walk to work because my office is in Brooklyn, a mere 1.3 miles away from home.

I’m just coming up with reasons to ramble now.

I like margaritas.

Time to watch streaming TV with the boy, relax and continue to roll with whatever comes next.

Cat Lady · Ramblings · Uncategorized

Once, twice… fourth time’s a charm

No, no, I’m not talking about the evolution of my love life (ba dum shhh). It’s Valentine’s Day, but I love my boyfriend every day of the year, so today we’re talking about hair. It turns out that despite my understanding of real problems versus silly white girl problems, I still care whether my hair looks like a crazy mess or not.

I know that brunettes should not attempt to go blonde without salon assistance. I know this. But I also know that I’m unemployed and when I get bored, especially since it’s cold out there, I get impulsive about all things hair. My first attempt at going blonde-ish can be seen here. It seems, either as a fault of my application or my hair’s resistance, that the dye did not take evenly.

But you know, I’m fool hardy, so I tried again. Two days later. Lets just the say the thing I learned most through this experience is how much permanent dye kills your hair. The result I had was this:

It doesn’t look bad exactly, but the whole brightly lightened almost orangey roots weren’t doing it for me. So I accepted failure. And two days later I tried to fix my mistake. I thought using semi-permanent dye would be good enough. And I thought light brown would be good enough. It was not. My hair looked basically the same.

I then gave my hair a solid three day break before my final attempt. I bought permanent dark brown and hoped for the best. And well, success!

It feels so good to have hair that looks normal on my head! I was self-conscious going out with my beanie-clad head knowing I had weird hair business going on below. Now everything is sort of back to normal. Except now I get to wait and watch my natural hair grow back in and see what that looks like. You’ll all be getting updates, believe me.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! It’s a day to enjoy love, from whomever you have close in your life. One of my favorites memories is of the care-boxes of chocolates my mom would send me in college. Delish!

Ramblings · Uncategorized

New Year, New Adventures, New Notebook

Oh hey, we’ve stumbled into the year 2011! Lets see what’s going on.

Last year was an interesting one. I went to Europe, visited old friends, got laid off, did a bunch more traveling, got confused about my life plan, got confused about Collin’s life plan and have now crossed over into a new year.

This year will probably shape up to be just as interesting. I mean, we began it in the aftermath a huge blizzard! That’s got to count for something. I’ve got a new freelancing regimen as well as the light-in-the-dark search for full time work (what won’t people hire me for? oh right, anything). New possibilities pop up every day, and that means there’s still no answer to the great ‘where are we moving and when’ question. Although there will have to be some kind of commitment soon. There are several new musicals and plays coming soon that I hope to see. If I find the money, I’d want to do some more traveling. I could ramble on a lot more, but it’ll hurt my brain to cautiously and wittily present my thoughts to the Internets right now.

Therefore, I must share with you the most awesome of awesome notebooks. (Yes, I do like that adjective way too much.) My dad special ordered this from an Etsy vender. I feel cool and pretentious and ridiculous all at the same time. This means I must carry my novelty “pocket” notebook with me everywhere, and especially to coffee shops, possibly specific to Willamsburg. You know how it goes. Feast your eyes on the awesomeness:

Yes, that is my comfy hipster outfit

That notebook is 6″ x 14″ and as I may have mentioned, awesome. And as always, Mini finds her way into the shot. Famewhore cat is a famewhore.

And on that note, I’m off to carry on as I usually do. I think that 2011 will be a year of anything being possible. Who knows…

Ramblings · Uncategorized

Feasts and New Features

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Family comes together to eat delicious food and there are no gift-giving obligations. Plus, thanks to my mom’s obsession with fall and our practically season-less region, the house is always decked out in fall colors and smelling of homey spices.

Thanksgiving in the Bafico household

Unfortunately, living 3,000 miles away from home leaves me free (time- and money-wise) to come home only for Christmas. I spent Thanksgiving with Collin last year and planned to do the same this year. However, this year involved not one, not two, but three Thanksgiving feasts!

Feast #1

The weekend before Thanksgiving Collin’s family on his Dad’s side decided to host an early celebration in Baltimore. There was no holiday traffic to battle and we had a great time hanging out. In total there were 19 people present: we spent the day watching football, socializing and devouring a great deal of food and desserts. The next morning Collin’s aunt cooked a big breakfast as well and I got her recipe for sticky buns – I could eat a million!

Feasts #2 & #3

Thanksgiving Day Collin and I had two destinations. We were having a Thanksgiving lunch with his Dad and Thanksgiving dinner with his Mom. I think we both ate responsibly so we were able to enjoy both meals. Plus, there was variety. Our lunch consisted of the staples (for veggies like us) such as sweet potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin muffins. Dinner included Italian market lasagna and my contribution of my cousin’s broccoli casserole. A little bit of apple pie, wine and discussion about TSA new scanning procedures and the day was complete.

For our week of adventures, Collin and I rented a car to make life easier. We didn’t have to deal with bus travel and took advantage of making our own schedule. Most importantly, though, we made an epic trip to Trader Joe’s. Stocking up is glorious.

Home (er, Apartment) Improvement

Now, part of the reason we had to head back to NYC in the middle of our Thanksgiving travel was for Collin’s internship, but it was also because of the contracting work we were getting done. Whether we end up selling the apartment or not, the recent updates have been amazing. Actually, they may be the reason we stay in New York longer!

1) We got rid of our old, huge, refrigerator and bought a smaller one to put in the side closet of the kitchen. In the old fridge’s spot we now have an all-in-one washer/dryer.

Really old picture from when Collin and I started dating (note the giant wine bottle on the counter)

2) We also finally bought a brand new oven since our old oven bit the dust, oh, in February. Baking has never felt so good.

The lovely current state of our kitchen

3) The bathroom renovation consisted of re-grouting the shower tile, installing shower doors and re-tiling the floor of the bathroom. The whole project only took about 3 days. I spent more time than I would like working on my laptop in the living room, wondering what the clattering and Russian mumbling was about, but the work was stellar.

Before
After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it! We’re still waiting on a plumber to connect our washer/dryer, but that just might be my favorite addition once it starts working. Not having to lug my dirty laundry several blocks to get cleaned every few weeks will feel almost as good as our beautiful white bathroom tiles under my feet.

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It’s Birthday Time

Or, if you prefer, peanut butter jelly time!

Thursday night I received my early birthday present from Collin in the form of tickets to The Scottsboro Boys. In response to the flurry of positive reviews and protesting outside the theater, I did some research on my own to learn more about this story. It’s a fascinating and horrific story nine boys who were wrongly accused of rape and yet spent years on trial to the point where their lives were destroyed, even though they weren’t executed.

About the musical: it’s hard to tell the story of all these boys in an hour and 45 minutes. There are some great powerful moments. Josh Henry can make me cry and swoon with his amazing acting and beautiful voice. There were clever aspects and moments were each of the actors shined. Also, I’m a child, so I really laughed at the scene where Haywood learns the alphabet through drawing boobs. A few parts dragged, sometimes the minstrel format was a hindrance, and a few elements weren’t told exactly correctly for the sake of dramatic effect. The musical is supposed to make you feel a flow of emotions: you will feel uncomfortable at the blatant racism and the minstrel story telling format, and you will also laugh, cry and connect with the boys. I’m glad I experienced this show. I still believe it’s a hard story to tell in any format, but they did a great job.

I’m 24 today. I celebrated the 2-3 on a spooky Friday the 1-3 last year. This year I have no exciting plans, but I think I’ll save any insanity for the big quarter-(life crisis?)-century birthday. It’s weird to think I’ll be in Seattle for my birthday next year. On the bright side, though, Collin plans to run the NYC Marathon each year, so I can have a crazy party in NYC too! Coast to coast celebrations… I sound like a celebutante now. Now I’m off to enjoy this slightly fall-warmish weather and knock back a few (or more) celebratory drinks!

Ridiculous and adorable card from Collin
Ramblings · Uncategorized

A Long Story

I was attempting to write for my “About” tag and then this rambling pile of randomness came out.

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Sometimes I think my life has been a big jumble of coincidences and luck. I’m still figuring out where I stand in the world and what I want to make out of life, but I’m having fun and talking too much along the way.

I grew up in sunny, beach-y southern California, in a town called Palos Verdes. I don’t know how to surf, but I love the beach and demand to always live near an ocean.

My youthful days were relatively average, and while filled with the typical teen angst, the whole ‘figuring out my future’ thing never stressed me out much.

I was sure that I wanted to leave California when college application season rolled around. I wanted change. I thought about journalism and knew I loved making clothes. Long story short, I ended up at Oregon State as an apparel design major.

I chose my roommate before arriving at OSU. Then a few weeks before moving in, that roommate pulled out of the university and I was left with just a name… Christine. This Christine became my best friend almost instantly. She’s still one of my closest as I write this 3,000 miles away from her. Others on that list include Maren (first person I met moving into the dorms) and Ashley (via the Barometer).

Roomie love
Dressing up with Maren (sadly, my disposable camera phase yields blurry photos)

Soon I discovered I’m not a winner when it comes to artistic talents. My pull toward journalism became stronger, but I wanted a fashion-based degree still. I switched to merchandising and through the serendipitous fate of Maren*, I got pulled in the world of The Daily Barometer, OSU’s student newspaper.

*Extremely long explanation of events: Maren worked in the craft center, which has a door that passes the Barometer entrance. Maren knew a girl name Leslie from working at a dorm coffee shop. Maren knew I was chickening out over applying to the Barometer. Leslie happened to work for the radio station above the Barometer and was friends with many in the newsroom. As I exited the craft center with Maren, Leslie was at the Barometer door. Maren told Leslie I wanted to join the Barometer, Leslie pulled me into the office and I met Dan, the managing editor and BOOM: I was in.

I became a beat reporter, then an assistant news editor, then a copy editor, then an opinion page editor as well as an entertainment columnist, during the three years I was on staff. The newsroom life had its ups and downs, but it was a great experience professionally and socially. Believe me, if Overheard in the Newsroom existed when we were working, it would have been full of our ridiculousness.

Proofing the pages before print

Thanks to keeping my fashion-based degree, I interviewed for and somehow snagged myself a super awesome summer internship at a fashion magazine in New York. This is the summer after my junior year. And some of my Barometer coworkers had internships in the city as well.

I spent the summer living the crazy fashion closet life, making friends through my Barometer friends which lead me into the crazy NYC life, and I also made friends from my theater-going habits. I drank more than I ever thought possible and (almost) always remained functional. I went to Fashion Week. I came back to visit everyone for a week that December, becoming even more certain that I’d end up in New York very soon.

Fashion closet suspiciously not crazy looking

Back at OSU, finishing out my last year, I jumped to get a paid internship in town at a personal finance magazine geared toward young people. The decision to move to NYC post-graduation was official. I was moving one month after leaving Oregon. I had no real plan.

A kind friend took me in upon arrival in NYC. Six weeks later I had found another paid internship. In personal finance. Which became a full time position. Associate editor. At a young and fun start up. In a cool building with free snacks. With great people who would become friends.

I had crazy times with friends and coworkers, taking the subway home at all hours of the day and night. I found amazing roommates on my first apartment viewing in Park Slope via Craigslist. I used cheap methods to see musicals and plays as often as possible. I went on excursions, learning the city. I took in friends visiting and showed them what I knew. I got comfortable.

Almost two years after my start date, my first job went belly up with the rest of the company. I’ve spent the time since interviewing and trying to figure out where I want to go with my career and my life. I’m taking on some freelancing soon, traveling, and trying to get my crafty-ness on. 

Now it’s today. I’m not totally sure what comes next… but expect ideas and announcements and more mind-changing to come.

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26.2 Miles of Running and Cheering

Having a boyfriend who runs marathons might seem intimidating. I’m extremely proud of his awesome times and running skillz, but he’s what I would call a normal guy who lives with a running addiction. It does keep me motivated to stay in shape, though! However, unlike what I perceive to be extreme – runners who join track clubs, obsess over training and intervals and whatever else – Collin just runs. He runs short and long, to feel better or just because he wants to.

Sure, it can be frustrating during the peak of his marathon training when he goes off for hours on the weekends or just has to get a run in before dinner (and I’m hungry!). Really though, Collin is the ideal competitive runner to date. Running is clearly a part of who he is, and he’s great at it, but he doesn’t let it define or overwhelm him. He’s in grad school, working on awesome projects, has a career plan and a great network of people in his life. I could go on, but then it would just ramble on with more reasons as to why I admire him (can you read my insecurity about my future career here? I digress).

Before the marathon last year I had been a spectator once before. My friend Lisa ran the marathon in Newport, OR, right before we all graduated college. It was fun and was on the Oregon coast (beautiful!).

We have weird nicknames for each other

However, last November I learned that nothing is quite like the NYC marathon. My roommates and I stood on the sidelines of 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, at a spot I predetermined with Collin. Of course, I wanted him to know where I was so he’d see me, but we also had a plan. He knows himself well enough to know he could slow down for a few seconds to high five me. It was fantastic! (Unpictured, though, because I was just nervous about missing him and didn’t properly prepare my roommates.) I stuck around with my roommates to cheer on more people and look for their friends running. The excitement is so palpable out there between the crowd and runners.

My favorite moment: One runner came off-course through the crowd while his friend waited on the course. Was he hurt? Is there something wrong? That man comes running back to his friend with something light blue in his hand: cotton candy! I know some people’s goal in life is just to run the marathon, regardless of time, and you can tell a lot of people are just having fun out there.

After spending time with my roommates cheering on more runners, I rushed to Central Park to try to catch Collin at the end, around Mile 25. I was at a fair distance, but I succeeded in seeing him, although the picture is blurry. Once I knew he was finished, I started walking to meet him, but I wasn’t aware of the long process of getting out of the marathon. I wandered over the what was apparently the ‘elite runner’ exit before finally getting a call and walking about 20 more blocks north to meet Collin at his exit. He was a little blue in the lips but otherwise completely resilient!

One fast dude

We crashed at home for a little while (well, he crashed and I left him alone), and then we went out for a big Mexican dinner that night. The only amusing aspect was the exhaustion showing on Collin in tiny ways, like fumbling utensils and his words.

This year I’m just as excited to be standing on 4th Ave once again, looking for Collin to swoosh on by. Maybe we’ll have another high-five plan, or maybe we can come up with something else crazy to do. No matter what, it’ll be a fun time. Plus I’m looking forward to a great dinner afterward (to be decided), and this year we also have an after party with other runners and friends. Woo!

Ramblings · Uncategorized

Will they, won’t they…

Have you ever hoped – I mean, really hoped – for the positive diagnosis of a disease, injury or infection? No, just me? It’s been five months and I feel like super-crazy hypochondriac girl. But I have to assume that constantly having a high temperature and almost dying/being unable to breath/intense rib pain while running 0.4 miles is probably not normal. And those are just the major symptoms. And I may have exaggerated the “almost dying” part.

I’ve ruled out several causes this summer and I’m about ready to give up figuring this out. Actually, I had broken up with my desire to diagnose this ailment, but I went crawling back last week asking the doctors to try once more.

Now I’m waiting back on some more test results. And I have to consider filling a prescription to test another theory. And I have to decide whether or not to call in my referral to a cardiologist. I may have Cobra coverage for my health insurance after being laid off, but basically, all of this blows.

All I know is what I’m feeling is not right, but Googling only gets you so far in trying to put a name to your problems. (And it also always convinces me I’m dying. So. Not the best idea.) I might as well wait until some major symptom knocks me out and gets me diagnosed.

I love watching House. I’ve even got Collin watching it now from the beginning. (Score one more for my TV education of the boy!) I would love to have someone throw me in a room with a real House team and have someone figure out what the eff is wrong with me. I also love Dead Poets Society. Who else watched House for the first time and went “OMG, it’s that dude!” when they saw Dr. Wilson? I want to go watch that movie again.

On a lighter note, my cat has absolutely zero tolerance for change. Moving furniture around, vacuuming, taking things off the wall, cleaning the windows… it all disturbs her inner calm. Apparently. With the potential/likely move on the horizon, this does not bode well for the furry woman in our lives. Kitty Valium, anyone? Anyway, this is the look of a cat frozen with fear.