Deck the Halls!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where I work is already decked out in a ton of decorations. Each building has it's own unique theme. For example, I work in the building with a Scandinavian theme, and frequent a Jungle themed building that has an "Indiana Jones" hallway. There's also a New York-themed building with a Subway hallway, a Western themed building with a huge snake statue outside, and an Asian themed building with the dragons I posted here.

Anyway, you get the idea. All the buildings are carefully decorated with beautiful art meticulously placed. Now that Christmas is quickly approaching, there are Christmas decorations up too! Be warned: this post has a lot of pictures :) And yes, co-workers, I am that girl walking around campus unapologetically snapping pictures on my iPhone camera. #sorrynotsorry :)

Here are some pictures from the main building, where the receptionists welcome visitors, recruits, etc. As you can see in the first picture, there is the standard tree behind the Christmas tree!



























And here's the huge tree in our cafeteria (it's hard to tell how big it is from this shot), I like this picture because it shows the cafeteria empty - between 11:30-1 it is bustling with people, and smelling great!:



Each building has a tree to match its theme, and I wanted to share a couple of those with you:

Here's the tree from the Western-themed building:


And the one from my Scandinavian themed building:


And, although I haven't seen all the trees yet, I'm pretty sure this is my favorite (from the garden-themed building):


here's a close-up. I love the bird and butterfly ornaments :)
I just love the blue and pink! And the detail that went into decorating each of these trees. Another reason I like this particular tree is that it is right by the coffee cart - where I buy a special drink and a pastry, yogurt or oatmeal every morning :)

I know my sisters and mom decorated my house today - and my mom is working on putting thousands of lights on our tree! I tried to spice up my office a little bit:


Don't worry, the marker board count down is now up-to-date!

And I wrapped some gifts for my fam tonight:


I am excited to give my sister and parents their gifts - but am afraid they will take up all the space in my luggage!

Wishing you all the best with your last minute Christmas decorating and gift buying/wrapping :)

Christmas Songs Gone Wrong

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Let me start this post by saying, generally speaking, I love Christmas songs. And if you don't believe me, here's my tweet from yesterday morning:
If twitter isn't the ultimate source of truth, I don't know what is. I know some people tweet entertaining things about their day. I seem to err on the side of tweeting about activities of daily living. Waking up? Totally tweet worthy in my book. I must sincerely apologize to both of my followers. Today I tweeted about health insurance. The light at the end of the tunnel is clearly the "unfollow" button.

Regardless, although I'm not the joyful psychopath who starts blasting Jingle Bells the first day of November, I appreciate a good Christmas tune to put me in the holiday spirit. However, I've stumbled upon some highly questionable Christmas lyrics over the years, so without further ado, I present to you:

The Top 3 Most Senseless Christmas Lyrics
3. Later on, we'll conspire     
     As we dream, by the fire
       To face unafraid, the plans that we made
          Walking in a winter wonderland.

Someone needs a vocabulary lesson. According to dictionary.com:


If the word "conspire" was intentionally used, I find this an interesting twist to a seemingly innocent song about playing in the snow. Perhaps they were doing more than knocking down snowmen? 

2. There'll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories
     of Christmases long, long ago
      It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Correct me if I'm missing some prevailing Christmas tradition, but does anyone use this "time of the year" as a venue for telling ghost stories?  First and foremost, I hate ghost stories and have to change the channel when a preview for a scary movie comes on. (Read about how you never want to watch Law and Order with me here).

Second and second most, if I did want to pencil in ghost-story telling onto my Advent calendar exactly when should I do this supposedly "festive" activity? In between the stockings and the presents? Before the Christmas Even Candlelight Service? 

Although everything else in this song sounds, more or less, wonderful, the whole ghost story bit sounds a little less wonderful and a little more "horrifying." Even if one person somewhere does exchange spooky stories over egg nog, I say leave it out of the song because it's not helping your case of proving this time of the year superior to all others.

1. The ox and lamb kept time
       Pa rum pa pum pum

This one truly takes the cake. I believe in the story of Christmas. But now the barnyard animals are acting as musical conductors? Also, isn't the entire point of percussion instruments at large that they keep time? Do we really need to recruit four-legged creatures for this task? Clearly, you demonstrated the drum's time-keeping ability by saying pa rum pa pum pum 57,000 times already. 

And, of all animals to direct the little boy's song, how did we settle on the ox and lamb combo? Seems like a fairly unlikely team, if you ask me.

***

I hope that I didn't permanently ruin your appreciation for these songs :) I will end with some holiday pictures to prove that I am not a scrooge:

centerpieces my crafty roomie made!!
pretty Christmas tree from a hotel lobby in St. Louis (where I just traveled for work)

I have many more Christmas decoration pics that I have been embarrassingly snapping on my iPhone in public - so maybe I will share some more in my next post! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night :)

People Problems Part 1

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recently, the human species has just been constantly annoying me. I'm starting to prefer almost any other species. Like, dogs. Or rocks. Or...pillows. What's that? Pillows and rocks aren't species? I must assume you're an obnoxious human because, if I had a dog, it sure as hell wouldn't be criticizing my classification of beings on earth. It would be licking my face and trying to make me throw the tennis ball for the one hundred millionth time. I'm sure you cheated your way through one baby Biology or (dare I say) rocks for jocks science class in college and now you think you're a certified Einstein. Whatever. I like inanimate objects more than I like you anyway, remember.

The weird part is, I definitely consider myself a people person. Every time I take a personality assessment it's one thousand percent sure that I'm extroverted. Usually, it's not really certain about much else about me. But I get an A+ for being out-going. (Which is the politically correct way of saying "loud and obnoxious.") But lately, I've just had no patience with people. I'm trying to narrow it down to why, and I think it's all stemming from my commute to and from work.

I'm convinced that there are no driver's license tests in the state of Wisconsin. They simply make all their residents sign a binding contract agreeing to always drive 10 miles per hour below the speed limit. Which, I guess would be okay if people here followed what I assumed to be a basic driving commandment:

But apparently, although this concept prevails in the northeast, it's totally unacknowledged here. There is no concept of a passing lane.  The other day I was on a three lane highway and all three lanes had cars going 50 miles per hour. It was like they were holding hands through their windows and singing Kumbaya together. Which was cute and all except, I WAS TRYING TO GET SOMEWHERE. Which is usually what I'm doing when I'm driving. I'm starting to feel like I'm in the minority. At least gas is cheap.

I don't know who taught you to drive, but I distinctly remember my dad telling me, "Remember, Joyce, it ends in 5. So you always round up."

See? My engineer father was teaching me math and how not to be annoying at the same time.

I'm seriously considering writing a book called, "'If You're Driving 57 miles per hour Get the Hell out of the Passing Lane' and Other Pearls of Wisdom to live By." Either that or driving around holding up this sign: 


In conclusion, I think my commute is definitely one reason I'm generally becoming pretty irritable lately. Perhaps those of you who know me well found this post somewhat hypocritical because I'm not the world's best driver. But, seriously, I'm starting to think I'm one of the best drivers here. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. It's like that one bball season where for a time period I had the best free throw percentage on the team. We didn't exactly have a winning record.

But, honestly, most of my problems come with parking, curb hitting, backing in, three point turns, things like that. I'll admit that I may be in the running for world's worst parker. Even so, if I'm ever going 57 in the fast lane I give you full permission to never read one of my blog posts ever again. I'm sure my imaginary dog will continue to loyally follow me :)

First World Problems: The Sequel

Monday, November 21, 2011

I posted briefly about first world problems here before, but my friend posted this hilarious video on my wall of this boy doing the first world problem rap. If I knew anything about blogging, I could embed the video right here:









But I don't. So there's a lot of blank space where a video could be. I am inspired by people that make a living off their blogs (Heather B. Armstrong at dooce, Allie at hyperbole and a half, etc.) and then I realize: those people actually know what they're doing. Me? I right dumb stories about my life. And I spelled "write" wrong in that sentence. I was going to change it, but case in point..

So, although I cannot embed a video because I have the technological IQ of an Amish grandmother, I do know a fancy way to google that for you. It's the first video that comes up of the 13 year old nerdy boy in the white T. And yes, by nerdy I mean totally awesome. Let's face it, this kid is probably in 8th grade and is WAY funnier than I'll ever be.

Also, because of him, I looked at my life through a different lens. I challenged myself to spend the afternoon thinking of all the first world problems I experienced, and found that my life is basically a list of them. From the point I watched that video, on:

First world problem #1: My auto correct on my iPhone kept messing up my texts/my battery was dying.
                           
First world problem #2: I had crappy letters on Words with Friends
          four E's are you kidding me?! Side note: according to Words with Friends, "Jew" is not an acceptable word. Huh. Too bad, too because that J is worth a lot of points! Also, if you read this, pleassseeee play words with friends with me. :) (Could I be more desperate?)


First World Problem #3: There were NO free good treadmills at the gym

         I don't pay hundreds of dollars a year to go on an elliptical, thank you very much. Also, the little tiny treadmills? I legit think I'm too big for. It sounds like a Mastodon stampede every time I attempt to run on one of those midget-sized machines.  What's a Mastodon you ask?


This:


Now picture a herd of those running on a machine built for a 90 lb cheerleader. I'm not trying to pick up guys at the gym, but I'm also not trying to deafen everyone there with the pounding of my feet on a shitty workout machine. I might not fix my hair, but I have some standards.


First World Problem #4: After waiting for like 20 minutes (read: 7) to get a treadmill, I'm running, and I can't find the song I want to hear on my iPod.
         Does anyone else have this problem? It's like I'm desperately searching for some Drake and somehow Carole King is singing? I thought Apple was all about user-friendliness. Apple should come out with a new, better iPod that's easier to work out with. Oh, they did make something new and better since this guy?:


Well, they should come out with something new and better and give it to me for free. This is America, for goodness sake.


Anyway, I could continue but I will save you from the pity party. And I know most of my posts are basically dumb....but it made me think... I do have a lot to be thankful for if these are my biggest complaints about a day :) So, in the spirt of the holidays that are quickly approaching us, I am wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving week! Count your blessings, and don't forget to "rejoyce" :)

My day in iPhone photos

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My favorite feature of my iphone 4s is the camera. By far. Sure, it's fun asking Siri (my personal assistant) every single day if she will marry me and hearing her variety of different responses.  I like "Let's just be friends, ok?" As well as "That's not in the contract." Nothing like getting consistently rejected by an inanimate object. Yes, I remember when my Furby hated me and wouldn't talk to me. Some things never change.

But I just love snapping random pictures throughout my day. For instance, on the way to work, I had the honor of sitting behind this vehicle at a stoplight:



An enormous Budlight bumper sticker? That's taking the motto "Mini Van, Mega Fun" to a whole new level. I couldn't actually tell if they were advertising for Budlight, or just really adament fans. But I'm leaning towards the latter. (Have any of you seen BL vans driving around, kind of like the Oscar Meyer Weiner-mobile or the Good Year Blimp?)

Once I got to work, I snapped a pic on my way to the company cafe to purchase my morning latte and pastry:




I often take for granted that I work on an absolutely beautiful campus, that many of my friends/family/readers have never seen! So I'm going to try to include more pics w/ my posts!

Then, for lunch, I waited in a very long line to get the chef's special:


Apple Cider BBQ ribs, mac & cheese, and slaw. Totally worth the wait.

Hope you enjoyed these little glimpses in to my day. I'm taking on an absolutely impossible challenging feat tonight and this weekend. I am going to take a stab at cooking dinner tonight (chicken parm). And then, this weekend, I am going to TRY to bake 4 pies for a little Thanksgiving celebration. When I called my mom to ask her for her famous pie recipes, her response was, "You know, honey, you can always just buy pies." That is definitely plan B. But I bought 4 pie plates, a rolling pin, and an electronic mixer yesterday (because, honestly, why would I have those things?) Wish me luck!

Flying Fun

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last week, I got to experience the wonder of taking 6 flights in 5 days. And I never rode middle seat. That, my friends, is a small miracle. Now on Thanksgiving, when we go around the table, I'll finally have something to say.

Of course, technically, it was 3 trips (3 different connecting flights), but 6 flight numbers, 6 boarding passes, 6 chances to fight over the arm rest with wonderful strangers mid-air.

Most of my seat - mates were pretty nice, though the first guy was kinda over friendly. He introduced himself and told me all about his kids, grandkids, etc.  Which was totally fine. But at the end of the flight he kind of caught me off guard. Right after we landed, he asked out of the blue, "What's your last name?" Here's a challenge: try lying when someone asks you that. Impossible.

By far, my best seatmate was on my flight to Atlanta to Little Rock. When I didn't have one. The plane had over 100 seats, and there were only 21 people on the flight.

What's the chances one of those 21 people would be a screaming child? 100 percent. Still, it was nice that my legs were semi-comfortable for a couple hours. I said it before, and I'll say it again. Flying is the revenge of the short people. I don't think there's ever a flight where I don't hit my head.

 I told one of my friends about the ridiculously empty flight to Little Rock, and she commented by asking, "Can't they plan that better and get you on a smaller plane?" which was what I thought on the way there.

However, that question was answered on the flight back to ATL. Packed. They need the plane there - because everyone wants to leave ;) (Just kidding, Stephen!)

Also, when I was leaving LR, there was some problems with my carry on luggage. Namely, they kept running it through and then searching it, unable to find the hidden liquid. They ran it through THREE times. Searched it each time, and then ran it through again. I figured out that they were probably looking for my non-travel-sized toothpaste, but just let them keep running it through, hoping it would "pass" the next time.

I was torn because I knew my toothpaste was in the front zip compartment of my roll-on, yet, I didn't want to have to give it away because it wasn't travel sized. So I let them keep aimlessly searching the big compartment, until the paranoid part of me that likes being at my gate AT LEAST 30 minutes early kicked in and told the cheap part of me that didn't want to buy a new tube of toothpaste to suck it up. I told them where to find it, and sacrificed my tube of Crest in the name of punctuality. I told the TSA man and woman to feel free to use it. The woman responded, "We aren't allowed to keep anything." The man responded, "I don't use Crest." Not exactly sure what that last comment was all about.

So, of all the security gates I've passed through with my non-travel-sized toothpaste, Little Rock finally conquered me. I bought some travel toothpaste today at the grocery store. Along with 70 dollars worth of random food. That's what I get for shopping while starving!

As much as I hate on Arkansas though, it sure is pretty. I posted some previous pictures from my first trip in March and my second trip in May. It truly is a naturally gorgeous state, and it was beautiful to see in the fall!

Stephen and I legit climbed Pinnacle mountain this time. The other time we just walked on paths. Kind of like "Mountain climbing for dummies." This time, rocks, rocks, and more rocks!! And they were STEEP! It was hard to capture how steep, and how many there were, in pictures. There were lots of serious hikers/climbers there, since it was a beautiful day, and we were in the minority since we had tennis shoes on and not fancy hiking shoes, but we held our own.

One of my favorite pics from the climb

I hope each of you enjoyed your weekend, whether you spent lots of time traveling or never left the house!! This weekend, I'll probably shoot for the latter - and stay home, where I can use liquids that come in > 3 oz containers! :)

Happy Halloween! God Bless the USA!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I realize that it's much closer to Veteran's Day than Halloween, but I've never served in a war before. But I do like wearing costumes! So I decided to post on the Holiday that has the "reason for the season" of CANDY before it gets too awkwardly late to post about it...

Of course I have kind of bad timing with, well, everything - so now, in addition to thinking I'm a fatass, you all think I'm an unpatriotic fatass since I dismissed Veterans Day like it was NBD in sentence #1. Let me tell you, my grandfather served in WWII and he is boss. He got remarried when he was like 80 years old, so he clearly has game. He just turned 91 and has been to all 50 states and tons of countries too! Remember when I told you about my 50 State Goal? Inspired by him! Remember when I got stuck in Detroit while crossing off a state? That sucked.

Additionally, I am a big supporter of all branches of the U.S. military. My boyfriend in 8th grade wanted to be in the USMC, so I used to envision myself as a military wife. Remember when we were all going to marry our 8th grade boyfriends...when did that fall through?

As if you have any doubt about me being patriotic, here's my July 4th tweet:



I also just now changed the title of this post, it was originally merely "Happy Halloween!' Neither title make sense at all, but at least NOW no one thinks I'm a terrorist.

Anyway, Halloween in Madison was crazy! My only regret is that I didn't walk around and take random pictures of random people so I could now post them. It would make for a better blog post, that's for sure. THOUSANDS of people come to Madison for Halloween. We're talking buses from Northwestern, Minnesota, etc! And everyone gets decked out dressed up. It's very entertaining!

I had 3 criteria this Halloween for my costume:
1. Must be cheap
2. Must be warm
3. Must not in anyway be perceived as me trying to look attractive

I know the last one seems lame, and it's not that I don't think I could pull off a cute Halloween look - I just totally hate the pressures society puts on girls on Halloween. So I resist them. And I know I sound like a feminist liberal, but did you forget I majored in English?

I once overheard this conversation at Bucknell while walking into the caf:

Bucknell Girl 1: What are you going to be for Halloween?
BG2: I'm not sure yet, but the secondary costume is going to be a whore.
BG1: Like, what do you mean?
BG2: You know, a nurse whore, a school girl whore, a fire fighter whore...something like that.

That right there? Reminds me of one of my favorite tweets:


Anyway: warm, cheap, and not cute. So, basically how I dress everyday anyway! I decided to go in my second grade costume that my mom sewed me...Behold, the world's largest candy corn:

 And, the night before, the world's least badass Steeler:
I can only hope that next year I can come up with 2 costumes that perfectly meet my triple threat of criteria.  If my two sisters come up next year...I have some ideas of another set we could rewear...


Happy (late) Halloween! Happy (early) Veteran's Day!

[Hey, look on the brightside, I haven't mentioned Christmas yet, like every national retailer out there!]

What's my Age Again?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I never had any type of “coming of age” celebration.  I’m not Jewish, so no Bat Mitzvah. I’m not Spanish, so no QuinceaƱera.  I’m not rich, so no super sweet sixteen broadcasted on MTV where I bought 14 different dresses, rode in a limo, and my daddy gave me a Porsche at the end of the night with a bow on it.  I distinctly remember getting a volleyball t-shirt, Altoids and a “cell phone to share with your twin sister” on my 16th birthday, but that’s a-whole-nother story.

If I had to choose though, I’d definitely choose Spanish. Seriously. Because I can roll my R’s like a boss. Fun fact: in 8th grade, my Spanish class had a trill-off.  It involved standing in front of the class and competing, bracket-style, who could roll their r’s the longest. I got second place, thank you very much.

You see? Right when you think I’m totally unaccomplished, I go and blow your mind with a story like that.

Anyway, nope, no coming-of-age celebration for my boring self. No milestone in my life to symbolize my grand transformation from youth to womanhood.  However, if anything, I have noticed that my transition to adulthood is a gradual one. And it’s happening to me right now. Symbolized by the gradual change of the contents in my Target bags.

In college, I was notorious for going to Wal Mart (let’s be honest, central PA didn’t have a Target til like my junior year), and, literally, buying out the candy aisle.

I shopped like every day was Halloween and I was going to have hoards of trick-or-treaters stopping by my dorm room, and I’ll be damned if I ever let one costumed kid go away without at least 3 take-five candy bars and 4 bags of skittles.

Only problem being, never did have any trick-or-treaters in the Bucknell dorms. So it was pretty much just me and my roommate left to consume the candy. But mostly me. Because my roommate? Didn’t inhale Reese’s Pieces like a crack addict.

Here is some proof from February about the whole candy-problem.
Don’t believe me? Here’s one of my first tweets from my collegiate glory days, from November of my junior year of college:

..side note: do you know how long it took me to scroll down to my tweets from 09? The things I do for your people...
Anyway, I can tell that I am finally seamlessly transitioning from my college days by examining my purchases at Target. Two days ago, I went to Target and bought, as follows: paper towels, Tide, dryer sheets, healthy granola bars, and I think that was it. I don’t know if you understand the magnitude of that shopping responsibility on my part.

Then, yesterday, I finally had my entering into adulthood shining moment: I purchased a vacuum cleaner. Not just a cheap college-dorm type either. A (relatively) expensive one that you have to assemble and everything.

Buying a vacuum totally made me feel like an adult. The fact that I then had a hotdog and fruit snacks for dinner, makes me feel like I’m actually 5 years old. [Yes, it was another hotdog from Target's snack bar]

I be up in the gym

Monday, October 31, 2011

...just working on my fitness.

I found a fool proof way to make myself run on the treadmill! I've been getting better at running long distance since my basketball days came to an end. And by "long distance" I mean 2 miles.

And usually at about mile 1.5 I have to start playing the beginning to "Superbass" on repeat and picturing myself rapping on a stage so I make it through the last painful 800 meters. Don't act like you don't do that.

But yesterday I managed to go 3.25 miles on a treadmill without stopping!! That's more than a 5k! If it wasn't so embarrassing, I'd let you guys know that that distance could possibly be the longest I've run without stopping in my whole life.

What inspired me to run such an impressively long distance? A desire to get in shape and improve my health? Nope. In short, the Steelers were on TV.


It was amazing how I could get so into the game that I forgot about running. The only problem came when I forgot I was in a public gym.

I was cruising along on my mill, jammin to some Drake, when the Steelers made a big play and I exclaimed "GO!" I was trying to yell, anyway, but I have a feeling it was extra loud considering "Up All Night" was blasting from my headphones.

This wouldn't have been too much of a problem, the gym wasn't too crowded since I bet most people were watching football from their couches. However, one lady in front of me seemed very perturbed by my outburst.

I don't like making fun of people while they work out, but that's not going to stop me from doing it right now. She was wearing a fleece while going on an elliptical at approximately negative 2 miles an hour. But really, had she been going any slower, she would have been going backwards. And turned around and glared at me for a solid four eliptical strides. Which was like 45 minutes.

But that's not the worst part of it all. The worst part is, on her little mini TV screen attached to her elliptical...she was watching NASCAR. Enough said.

Happy Halloween!

From Food to Adjective

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I learned something today.

I feel like that sentence should be a stand-alone paragraph. It's not every day I start a blog post with a declaration like that. Keep reading, you'll be less impressed, I promise.

I'm at lunch and one of the girls I'm with is describing a guy I've never met. She's using the typical adjectives one uses when describing a new crush - you know, in the phase before you find out he also leaves the seat up and obsessively texts his ex-girlfriend.

This guy is "nice" and "funny" and "crunchy" and "granola" and I'm all "Excuse me, what were those last two?"

She explained that "granola" is a totally acceptable term to use when describing a human...you know, just your typical vest-wearing, water bottle-toting, outdoorsy, free-spirited dude. And the weird part is, I knew exactly what she meant. But still, GRANOLA? How should I feel if someone calls me that? Can you really categorize someone as a breakfast food?

So, I got back to my office and immediately Urban Dictionaried it and, turns out, my friends aren't liars! It's actually legit

Granola: It's not just for breakfast anymore


As weird as it sounded, I decided to embrace this wholeheartedly. Thus proving that you can, in fact, you can teach a 23 year-old dog new tricks. Turned the big 2-3 yesterday, and I'm still learning things right and left. The best news about this is that I am now determined to transform more food items into human characteristics.

"Sure, she's nice, but she's so salad."

"If he wasn't so pizza all the time, maybe I'd consider dating him."

"I love her! She's just pretzel."

I'm super excited about this revelation because it allows me to indulge in two of my passions:

1. Food
2. Judging people

I'd feel better about my life if that list wasn't all-inclusive.

Adrenaline

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I started this post two weeks ago. This happened to me on 10/13. Last week I was in California on a trip for work! So I have had very little time to post! Anyway, here's a story from a couple weeks ago:

The strangest thing happened to me today. For work, I was helping out at a clinic in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Or, as I like to say Wauke$ha. I only wish that my name had an "s" in it. "Joy$" doesn't quite work out.


Side note: I was considering going as Ke$ha for halloween, but I was afraid people might see me and think I wonder why that girl with gross hair didn't dress up.


Anyway, at this clinic, I was circulating between three areas: 2 areas on the third floor and one on the fourth. Now some people may have taken the stairs when ambulating from the 3rd to 4th floor, but I am not one of those people.

So I'm getting onto the elevator on floor 3 and here's where I'm going to start recording details that I usually wouldn't notice:  The elevators are near a corner. 2 other smiley people are in the elevator already when I enter. One male and one female, standing near the back. I'm standing near the buttons, I press floor 4, and the doors begin to close.

Suddenly, around the corner comes running a little boy, probably no more than 3 years old. His mother is trailing him by a few steps, and he's running, arms outstretched, smiling. He's running straight into the elevator, through the closing doors. And it was like things sped up and slowed down at the same time. Before any thought crossed my mind, I was quickly squatting down and my hand was shooting through the door to the little boy's chest and pushing him backwards. I pushed him with the exact right force: he got out of the doorway, but didn't fall over. His mom caught him, and called out "thank you." And the 3 of us in the elevator all watched the doors close (their motion sensors clearly unaffected by my hand or the boy), and then looked at each other and said phrases such as "Oh my gosh, I almost had a heart attack"

The weirdest thing about it all is, I'm the opposite of smooth. I often hit people with my bag when walking down the aisle of an airplane. I drop things. Constantly. I run into walls like it's my job. But in that moment, when I couldn't even think straight, somehow, my hand just knew exactly what to do. Hundreds of neurons must have fired in my brain for that action to be possible, but everything happened so quickly.

Anyway, I'm convinced that I did a terrible job of re-telling that story...but I wanted to record it here since it was such a strange moment.

Since I'm finally in the office for a whole week straight - I should hopefully have more time to post this week :) I know I've been slacking in October!

First World Problems

Monday, September 26, 2011

I had a sad realization the other day after I posted some pictures of Facebook. I was glancing through some pictures I took during the day, when I went to the Badgers game, and that same night, when I went to the bars - and a strange thought crossed my mind "My hair looks better than usual."

here's a picture of Camp Randall just for kicks, clearly not featuring my hair

Saying that my hair looks better than usual is kind of like saying the Pirates are playing better than usual or that Hitler is being nicer than usual. But still. Then I remembered that when I skyped my boyfriend (in the time between the UW game and the bars) that he had complimented me on my hair.

Now, when my boyfriend compliments me this means one of two things: 
1. it's the sign of the apocalypse
2. he did something wrong

And, in all seriousness, he never does anything wrong - so I knew that the stars must be aligned. 

So I started thinking... why does my hair look different? And realized the harsh, ugly truth. I had blow-dried it that morning after my shower. Usually I wash my hair before bed, sleep with it wet, and wake up    and it's basically dry so I run a brush through it and put it in a pony tail. 

But, clearly, my appearance could benefit if I blow dried it once a blue moon. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT. Obviously, this pisses me off, because I hate hate hate hate hate blow drying my hair. It sucks. I can't hear my music, my head gets hot, my arms hurt. No, military presses don't hurt my arms but blow drying my hair does. I can't explain it.

A side story to illustrate how truly miserable hair drying can be: the other day I was blow drying my hair and blasting music and my roomie came in (I of course didn't hear her), and when she walked over to the doorway of my bathroom and I shrieked and collapsed in a fit of terror. 

So, I've added "I hate drying my hair" to my list of first-world problems, and just currently realized another one while writing this post. "I'm addicted to flavor-blasted cheddar goldfish." The bag is now empty on my floor and my keyboard is crummy. At least my hair is dry?



The Real Deal

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Friday evening I was eating a hotdog in Target. Madison has a plethora of wonderful restaurants to choose from (I mentioned a few here), so you may be wondering why I chose processed mystery meat from a corporate retailer as my meal of choice. Well, I've eaten at Tar-jay twice so far and always for the same reason.

I enter Target with the intention of getting a couple things: hangers, a picture frame, milk. And come out with: hangers, a picture frame, milk, a clock for the wall, batteries, an air freshener, a new shirt! I could continue but I can always look at my bank statement if I want to be depressed.

As I check out I think to myself: shoot, it's dinner time. Where can I get the cheapest meal ever to compensate for the decorative clock I just purchased on a whim?! And then I realize I'm walking by it on the way out: the Target snack bar.

So, I'm eating a hot dog alone at a table on a Friday night in a Target (could I get any cooler?), when I notice the napkin I'm using from Starbucks has a special message:


Apparently, I am supposed to be comforted by the fact that Starbucks now serves real food.

The small text at the bottom reads: "We've got good news. We removed the artificial trans fat, artificial flavors, artificial dyes and high-fructose corn syrup. Now your food not only tastes better, it is better. We hope you enjoy the difference."

This is an interesting marketing tactic. Basically, here's a reminder of all the shit you've been drinking for years. But now it's gone! Aren't you happy?! No, I'm not happy. I'm regretting the hundreds of Caramel Macchiatos I've consumed in my life and wondering what the hell else is in my coffee that you aren't telling me about.

Three years from now you're going to run a new marketing campaign and your napkins are going to say "We've got good news. We removed the cigarette ash and natural gasoline that used to be in our food." And then I'm supposed to be happy?

Don't forget, this is all coming from the person whose opting to eat a hot dog - which is anything but "real."

Once Upon a Time

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At my work this week, many customers are here for our annual customer convention! 5,000 staff + 6,000 customers = one crazy week. And, don't worry, it's Fairy-Tale themed!

I did not take these pictures, but one of my co-workers did and said I could share them with you! (Thanks :) )

a beautiful shot of the campus

people, people, people!

horse and carriage rides for the customers!

It has been a crazy, but very exciting week. I've been volunteering to help out with things around campus everyday...room monitoring, doing food prep/catering, and tomorrow I'm going in at 7am for beverage prep! I got to meet my customer today, and that went well! I don't really want to blog too much about work - but wanted to share these lovely pictures! Hope your weeks are going well!

Cable Conundrum Continued

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Read the previous post if you haven't already, before continuing.

When the long-awaited August 20th comes along, I wake up, run a 5k with friends, come back, and walk down to the farmer's market. (One of my most productive Saturdays, so far).

I spend my time browsing the farmer's market fresh selections with a friend, when I realize: it's almost 1 o'clock! I better hurry home so I can wait for the cable man to arrive as promised. 

After 2 and a half hours of sitting around in my apartment on a perfectly beautiful Saturday afternoon, I call up the cable company.  After being on hold on and off for about 15 minutes I am informed at 3:45 of their status. 

Apparently they are "very overbooked" because I live in a "college town and a lot of students are moving in" ...so my person is a little backed up....and won't be able to come....until SIX or SEVEN.

I pretended that I had pressing dinner plans, mainly because hanging out with the cable guy on Saturday night wasn't my idea of a good time. Of course, my dinner consisted of heating up a microwaveable meal of spaghetti and chicken nuggets. (Yes! That is a real combo. It was $1.29 at the grocery store. I bought it as a joke. My arteries didn't find it so funny.)

Regardless, they said they could come the next day between 10am-noon. So at 12:30, August 21st, I go to call up my favorite cable company after another solid 2 hours of chilling in my apartment. (All the waiting around in my apartment wouldn't have been so bad had I had cable and/or internet. )

Then, as if on cue, I get a phone call from the cable company! The guy on the line is anything but friendly:

Me: Hello
Angry Cable Dude: Are you in your apartment?
Me: Yes.
ACD: You are?
Me: YES
ACD: Well, the dispatcher is there and he's tried to get in contact with you, and can't.
Me: Really? How?
ACD: He's tried to contact you. It is now your responsibility to make your presence known.
Angry Me: I'm sorry, HOW has he tried to get in contact with me?
ACD: He's tried to contact you.

Of course, I have been sitting in my living room this entire time. No one has buzzed up to my apartment, no one has called me (other than Mr. Angry Cable Dude), and as far as I can tell - no one has thrown any rocks at any of my windows.  My owl had been out flying around for a while, but had yet to return with any scrolls.

To top it all off, 2 of my friends had used my buzzer this morning, so I knew there was nothing wrong with it. But apparently, not only can this cable company not come anywhere on time, they can't handle pushing the little button next to my room number either.

It's actually making me annoyed writing this, so I'm going to practice safe conversation and wrap it up. Let's just say - even though I let the cable guy in at 12:30 ....I didn't get cable and internet until 4.

Only 21 days after moving in and 27 hours after the original appointment. Living the dream in my first real apartment. 

Wherein a Vent about Cable: Part 1

Monday, September 12, 2011

I never so much appreciated how easy it was to get cable when you lived on campus at Bucknell, until I moved here.

It all started when I got the long list of cable providers I could choose from.  And by long list, I mean one. Sure, I had the option of getting direct TV, and then finding a separate internet provider...but when it came to companies that offered both cable and internet services to the general Madison area, I had one option. Uno.

I put off calling them for as long as possible, since, generally speaking, I'd rather stick my hand in a blender then call customer service. Or, drop my phone in a toilet? Oh wait, been there, done that.

Finally though, when I could no longer steal wireless internet, I bit the bullet and dialed up the monopoly company in our area to schedule an appointment. I believe it was August 8th when I did so, about a week after moving it.

Conveniently, they had lots of open time slots! On weekdays! During working hours! Our conversation went something like this:

Customer Service Dude: How about Thursday from 3pm-5pm?
Me: Sorry, that won't work, I work weekdays 8am-5pm
CSD: Oh....okay...let me see....well we have a time slot available on Monday from 8am-noon!
Me: Sorry, that won't work, I work weekdays 8am-5pm
CSD: What about Friday from 4pm-6pm?
Me: Could you guarantee they come on the later side?
CSD: No, they'd come between 4pm-6pm.
Me: Sorry, that won't work, I work weekdays 8am-5pm

etc, etc, etc, etc.

I felt like I was talking to a 5-year old who was continuously asking me "why?"

Finally, I found an open slot for Saturday, August 20th, between 1pm and 3pm. (Because I have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon then wait around for Mr. Cable Guy) This was the first available slot I could be here for: a mere 12 days away from when I was calling. I could have ordered something online from Austrailia and it would have arrived at my apartment sooner.

I wish the story ends here...but it doesn't...to be continued...

Hallmark Dilemma

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It takes me an unnaturally long amount of time to select greeting cards for people. Not only is this flaw beginning to infringe upon my free time, but it is also becoming an expensive habit. Kind of like smoking, but less relaxing and more stress-inducing.

And less cool.  Yes, I think smoking is incredibly stupid and disgusting, but I still think there's some coolness factor to it that may be keeping tobacco businesses in company (or perhaps that's the nicotine).  Case in point: James Dean never posed in an aisle of Hallmark, did he?

So the other day I walked to the CVS near my apartment to pick out a birthday card for a friend.  Since the CVS is conveniently super close, I assumed this task would be a brief part of my day, composed of merely minutes, and hardly worth mentioning. Sadly, I forgot I was me.

Because I can't just read one card. I have to read every single card that's there.  Even though I know, going into this, that 85% cards ever produced I DESPISE.

For example:
1. Cards that have mushy poems in them that make me want to gag myself.
2. Cards that have cute messages but HIDEOUS ILLUSTRATIONS, causing me to ask questions including, but not limited to:
            Why does that cat look like it got run over by a truck? Why can't I tell if that cartoon figure is male or female? Why the hell is there a deformed squirrel on this card?


3. Cards that have a stupid, annoying flap of paper randomly inside of them with the message printed on it, causing me to ask the question: WHY?
4. Any card that is over $5. I would much rather have a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald's, the DMV, or ANYWHERE.
    
Now that I think about it, if it's over $3, I'd much rather have 3 packs of Skittles than a folded piece of paper with a generic message.

Anyway - back to me in the store. After reading every single card and wasting away minutes of my life that I will never gain back, I usually narrow it down to two. One that I find funny and one that is basically boring, but simple. And then I debate. Should I go with the one that is out-on-a-limb, but I find funny, or the "safe bet"??

The worst is when my indecisiveness conquers me and I buy both. Hence, the expensiveness of this habit.

But, not the other day - I finally just sucked it up and bought only one:  the funny card.

Only to return the next evening to buy the "boring" one.

Bye Bye BBM

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I can officially say that I feel like a college freshman.

First off, I'm working at a company with tons of new friendly, faces of people my age.

Second off, at work I sometimes feel overwhelmed with information and find myself making excessive amounts of post-it notes.

And, finally, last night, for the first time in my life, I dropped my phone in the toilet.

Is that not a rookie mistake?!

I wish I had some elaborate story about the death of my blackberry. And even though I'm pretty sure that a story ending in your cellular device submerged in toilet-water doesn't have much potential to be cool to begin with, mine is definitely the most boring of all cell phone eulogies. So naturally, I'm sharing it with you.

I picked my cell phone off the sink, and dropped it in the toilet. If someone were watching me, it probably looked deliberate. Because that's how naturally clumsy I am. I look like I'm trying to drop things/trip/lose things (not clumsiness, but natural)/etc.

This sad story aside, only one question remains....

...should I switch over to the dark side?

Hiatus

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I have not been blogging in so long because I moved in on the 1st, and didn't get internet until today! I know what my loyal followers are thinking, I blogged on the first. This is true. I was also stealing someone else's internet. When i moved in, I experienced 2 days of free wireless bliss, leading me to believe I might not have to call the most annoying cable/internet company known to man kind (more deets to come in a later post). And then, I no longer could find the network. It was stolen from me. And I was so mad. Because I was entitled to that free internet service, damn it. I did absolutely nothing to get it so HOW DARE YOU TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME.

I don't really have time to blog now - I'm trying to prepare for my first-ever business trip tomorrow! I am going to Syracuse, NY for a trip as a learner and I'm excited to travel but hate packing.

But I really wanted to post a little update and share this picture of a view from work. I took it after a meeting one day when I spent an hour sitting on a porch swing and doing some work on my lap top:


I love this picture, because even though I live in a city, which I love, it's nice driving 10 minutes and seeing beautiful farm after beautiful farm. So peaceful! 

Well, I have much more to update on but it will have to wait for another day ...maybe I'll post tomorrow night at the hotel!

Move In Day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Today, I MOVED INTO MY APARTMENT. Caps Lock cannot capture how incredibly excited I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Neither can 15 exclamation marks. But I decided to give it a try.

When unpacking my belongings that my wonderful parents drove here for me, I noticed something. I have a lot of totally excessive possessions.

Behold, my scarf collection:
yes! my room has both a door and a light switch.

I have no less than 12 scarves. One for each day of Christmas, I suppose.  My boyfriend has been giving me a hard time because I don't have a real winter coat. Apparently those come in handy for the Madison winters. However, as clearly illustrated above, I seem to have copious amounts of winter fashion accessories.

Sadly, about 75 percent of these scarves are as thin as kleenex, so they won't stand a chance against the icy Wisconsin weather. But they're so cute!

I know you're probably wondering why I don't have a real winter coat. I've been putting this off for a while. In short, I would rather call Verizon customer service than go winter coat shopping. And I would rather be run over by a mack truck than call Verizon customer service.


When you're tall, winter coat shopping has the same result as talking to Verizon people about how you're screen doesn't work and yes I already took the battery out 15 times. Very time consuming. Very frustrating. Leave with nothing but a feeling of utter violation.

*Note to self: I'm going to have to post about some of my splendid experiences with Verizon.*

If you're a tall female you can probably relate to this. So basically, my mom and sisters can relate.  Department store winter coats NEVER have long enough sleeves. Most shirts, generally speaking, never have long enough sleeves. So I just avoid buying long-sleeved shirts. If you'll notice, my wardrobe consists of almost entirely short sleeve shirts. Sure, must are T-shirts that normal humans wear exclusively to work out in, but you get the idea.

The problem is, when it comes to winter coats, you must get long sleeves. Unless you want your wrists to get frost bite.

So that's it, that's why I don't have a winter coat. I like my wrists. So I'm thinking I'll just need to invest in about 32 pairs of gloves and I'll be set.

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

That used to be the name of my original blog. Of course now I am changing that slogan to "Mo' Money, Mo' Furniture."

Today, I bought my first-ever very-own QUEEN SIZED BED. After 22 years of sleeping in a twin-sized bed, my six foot two self will finally be able to (almost) fit where I sleep. It's a Christmas miracle.

Even though beds are basically basic needs, they definitely cost a pretty penny. Even though I've been very busy at work, I've found a little free time each day to draw a little inspirational message on my marker board in my office:





This is also the countdown to when my roommate and I move into our apartment...and the day our beds get delivered! Let the countdown continue!

Gotta Get Down on Friday

Friday, July 22, 2011


I hope that each of you woke up this morning and did what I did. Turned on Rebecca Black's "Friday" music video of course. 

Even though my work is casual dress Monday-Friday, I went all out today. Last night, I thought about packing a bag to take to the gym after work today. Instead, I just wore my gym clothes to work :)


This is a little birdman statue outside of my office that is wishing you a happy weekend :)!!

A Taste of Wisconsin

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I have never mentioned it before, but I'm basically obsessed with food. I guess I try to keep my love for eating on the down low.

One fun aspect of moving to a new area is trying all the local foods. Madison has many restaurants that serve meals made from locally-grown ingredients, which is super cool because it makes me feel like I'm healthy. There is also a reoccurring theme here in swissconsin: cheese. (which kind of counter-acts the healthy feeling). I've heard that, when some people go out to dinner with friends, they take pictures of who they are with, perhaps a shot of a group of smiling friends. Something along those lines. I'm more into photographing pictures of my plates, as you will soon find out.


Above is a turkey sandwich I got at a restaurant right on Capitol square called "The Old Fashioned." Those of you non-WI residents out there may be unfamiliar with the side dish to the right. Well my friends, that is a staple to every Wisconsiner's diet. They are called "cheese curds" and are served at almost every restaurant. The concept is so fantastic I'm surprised other states haven't jumped on board. Basically, it's fried cheese. Think mozzarella sticks, but so. much. better. In my opinion as a fatass food critic, anything fried = good. And anything with cheese = better. Thus, cheese curds and I are getting along quite splendidly. 

Oh, and here is another "meal" I had a famous Wisconsin brew pub called "The Great Dane":


In case you were wondering, Wisconsin Macaroni and Cheese served with a side of a soft pretzel, if perhaps not the most balanced meal, is the definition of comfort food. If you're having a bad day - EAT THIS. I ordered this when I went out to eat with my roommate and office mate - both who are awesome! I was having a good day, and then it got better! I got really lucky as far as "mates" go :)

And, last but not least...

We had a company picnic yesterday, and this is what they served. Yes, it was free. And there are over 4,000 people who work there. I think this picture speaks for it self. I'm seriously considering making it my back ground on my macbook. Nothing like a little Surf & Turf. Obviously, the lobster and steak were delicious, but I have to say  I have not had corn like that probably since I lived in Iowa when I was 7. Only improving the situation was that,  the lady who served me the corn asked if I wanted butter on it, and then dipped the corn into a vat of melted butter. I have never seen that before, but I could get used to it. I'm considering investing in a personal portable butter vat for the next time I get cheese curds. ;)