Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crime Scene in Deptford,NJ....culrpit? Icing.

 Ahh the hectic-ness that is my life at Halloween has calmed and stilled finally. When I had originally found time to write up a blog post and save it in a word document it had been about all the reasons why I love October - reasons that included but were not limited to Halloween. But alas, that word document has managed to remove itself with a little Halloween magic from my computer. I feel, since it is November, a post on why I love October would be a tidbit inappropriate or Inaprpro as my Bravo campers would say.

So this post has become about something near and dear to my heart now - the dangers of icing. Yes icing.

Photographic Evidence 1   
Now that you've gotten to have a good laugh and think things like, "She thinks icing is dangerous? What kind of nut job is she?" But honestly, it comes across like a sweet and innocent treat topping to many delicious baked goods. But it is really a double agent, something sinister used to suck up security deposits. I think anyone at my apartment for our Halloween party, as well as anyone who has been back and seen it since, would hastily agree.

This could make a great crime scene investigation story so I think I will let you all in on it that way.
Photographic Evidence2

#1: Seemingly innocent icing tubes.

#2: A semi decently iced cake for my husband's birthday. Not all the orange icing and the blood red used to do the writing on the cake. (Ignore the sprinkles - they aren't the culprit.)

Photographic Evidence 3

#3: The time when I decided it would be cute to shove my husbands face into the cake. If you take note, at this point I am in no way involved in the actual crime.

Photographic Evidence 4
 #4: The point where I realize it isn't working and I quickly pass off the camera and jump behind my husband in an attempt and thinking that a third person pushing his face towards the plate while two others push the plate towards his face, would work.

Photographic Evidence 5

#5: A point at which, sadly not captured on film, the cake burst into multiple fragments from the hands of so many on the plate and grabbing at little pieces of it to shove onto his face. Also, the point where things went down hill and many were injured by the icing.

Photographic Evidence 5

 #6: The point at which we all realized my husband was holding an empty plate and that the cake was up for grabs - and throwing.


 After one week, spot treatments, and two cleanings with a rented carpet cleaner the sneaky red icing is still lodged firmly into the fibers of the carpet, the beige on my costume and the entertainment unit in our living room.

I have presented you with the evidence and will let you decide just how the culprit should pay. For me, the answer is simple. Line the floor with plastic table clothes -so that cute Christmas tree cake I was going to make for our Holiday Party- end up splattered all over it and not the carpet in a few weeks!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pick, Pick, Pick

So of course I am slacking with this....slacking and blogging are my middle name. Though I admittedly have gotten past the first post....9 times :) And  that is a feat I was not able to do the few other times I attempted blogging. Now that you've read my pathetic attempt at making myself feel better about slacking onward!

One of my favorite parts of the east coast has been my discovery of Pick your Own farms and Orchards. Now I'm sure the west coast has them splattered throughout. But out here, they seem to be everywhere you turn. I have a theory that it's because the west was developed as city and the east had been developed as farm land .... old habits die hard and all that.

When my mom brought my dogs we made a trip to a local Orchard, Linvilla Orchards. When we looked this place up it looked like the end all be all of pick your own areas. The list of things they grow by season nearly doubled others. From peaches to blackberries to eggplant and lots more. They have the traditional market where you can buy prepicked goods. But it didn't stop there. They had hayrides and even a fishing pond!

So those of you that have been to these are probably thinking: What does she enjoy about walking around and paying a ton of money for food she can get in the supermarket? The answer.... I have no idea! There is just something about being out in the countryside getting to pick my own fruit. Ok so maybe getting to watch my mom tug this around doesn't hurt. 

For me there is something so exciting about being out there and picking my fruit and in this instance my Veggies. There's just this joy when you look up into the apple tree and seeing a perfectly huge, dust covered red apple, just sitting there waiting for you to pick it. Or seeing them all on the ground, wondering how many of them were knocked over by hungry animals or dropped by parents who thought their kids had gone over board and picked too much.

Or looking down at feet searching for that perfect pepper and finding it, nestled safely between the leaves away from the teeth of the squirrels and the bugs. It's just rewarding.

And I know it's not like I grew the things myself, but getting to pick them that way (no pun intended) just feels so much for fun for when you cook. It's like "I picked this" each time you cut one up for an omelet or bite into a juicy peach.

Now just to make you all hungry I'm going to post the pictures of the beautifully vibrantly colored (and so far absolutely delish!) things we picked that day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Writer's Block or Word Vomit:Which is the worst demon?

writ·er's block (rtrz)
A usually temporary psychological inability to begin or continue work on a piece of writing.

Every writer I know has been subjected to writer's block. In that time frame they will moan, complain and just generally be mopey. It is a terrible affliction for any who consider themselves a writer to suffer.

So what happens when you have the opposite of writer's block? Do you jump for joy that you've got so much creative juices pumping through your veins? Or do you run and cower under your covers because you're going to subject your current piece of work to word vomit? Which is worse - staring at the blank cursor and getting nothing done or projectile vomiting useless ideas, over description and too many plots?

I can thankfully say that I have never undergone the terror of writer's block. When I begin to write a piece I see the entire thing in my head, beginning to end. I'm able to loosely outline all the details and get to cranking out the words. Sure I occasionally have to take pauses when a description doesn't feel right or a character isn't doing what I want them to do. But I've never stared at the blinking cursor on my computer's word program. Never for an essay and certainly never for a creative piece. This doesn't mean I don't empathize with those that do.

I struggle with a different issue, much akin to procrastination. I can never seem to finish a story. I will be on an amazing flow and then suddenly I just get bored writing it. I know all the directions it needs to go but the characters just stop "talking to me". I get "talked to" a litter differently than the authors I have had the great privilege to meet. Rather than floating around in my head all the time, I see my scenes and my characters while I sleep. So if that night I don't remember my dreams I lose interest in that piece.

Occasionally in a few days time the dreams come back and I get interested in writing again. But more often than not I will have a completely new dream and sit down and draft out a completely and totally new outline. Thus setting the old story away in  filing cabinet in my mind and it never gets reopened. The characters are left in limbo, not because I don't know what to do with them but because suddenly I am bored.

I currently have 3 longer works that have meet this terrible fate.

  • One is a story I began in 7th grade. It is over 200 pages of a young adult thriller that has not been touched since. Junior year of highschool I pulled it out and made some tweaks, a few more pages and then back away it went.
  • Another is an adult thriller that I sadly know has been laid to rest in a grave. The idea was wonderful and the characters great to write, but it is no longer the genre I wish to pursue and therefore has been put in a graveyard. 
Finally the last is a piece that I began in July. It was going to be the piece I finally finished. I had thought it so far through I had the characters for a three book series written out in me head - though only the plot for this one. I have been tediously pounding out a few chapters a week in my spare time.

And then....

Suddenly my mind tossed me an entire story in my sleep the other night. Every detail from clothing to shoe size, to the villian's tale. So now what do I do? I have sat down and outlined it in full as I was taught. But suddenly, the story that was going to be my first real work, is now not the most interesting to me.

Do I file this new one away and hope the juices return another day to finish it? Do I attempt to register and write in NaNo this year and do my best to return to the story that has held me for so long? Because that was not a bad, uninteresting story by any means. But sadly my brain has picked new characters to talk to me.

Now how to authors get only the character's they are currently working on to talk to them?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The importance of GNO's

You always see these outrageous girl nights in movies and on some tv shows. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about because everyone does - guys you too. The ones where a group, normally 2-6 girls does one of two activities.

The essential elements for a Girls Night In.
1. They grab a sappy movie, nail polish, facial masks and a ton of alcohol.
2. They put on strappy shoes, big earrings and hit the bar.

Either way they are a crucial part of being a woman. An element to the female gender that is needed on a multitude of levels. Sometimes it's just because of a long week and a need to unwind. Sometimes it's a way to cheer themselves up after a bad night. Any way you look at it they all involve three crucial elements: Alcohol

No one knows better than me how important a social life is. Growing up I was always that girl doing 10 million things in a given day. When I hit the age when it was all about GNO's I was a member of a sorority and getting together with my sisters happened often. It wasn't always the alcohol induced craze you see in the entertainment world but it always involved a ton of fun. Then at 22 I was back living home in Vegas and lets be honest....there isn't any better place to do GNO's than Sin City. Except maye Boston - 100's of bars and the ability to drink as much as you want with the knowledge that there were hundreds of taxi's as well as walking distance to apartments.

Then I moved to NJ. Don't get me wrong, being with my husband was always important and never not an option. But the first job I obtained here had me working with people at least 10 years my senior and while I loved them, they weren't the type to go out, they had kids. So nights out were far and few inbetween and typically occurred when I went on vacay to other areas where I had friends.

But now, with sorority sisters, Bravo friends and work friends so close, GNO's are much more likely to occur.

Ironic that something that looks like this makes you look better later.
Nights in can't be overlooked. There is something that is just so much fun about getting trashed for cheap and dancing around a living space giggling and having (what you think at the time) heart felt conversations. It helps as a great way to unwind and a much cheaper alternative to putting on the glitz and glam and hitting the bars and having to worry about wandering hands and watching your alcohol consumption level when you're out to have fun.

My suggestions for the ultimate GNI?
1. romantic comedies are a must -- think P.S. I love you, Something Borrowed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days type of movies.
2. Wine and tequila -- the wine is for the start of the night when you are pretending to be mature and sophisticated, the tequila speaks for itself.
3. A killer playlist to dance around too
4. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
5. Mudmasks and nail polish :)

Now while GNI's are amazing, there really isn't anything better than a straight forward GNO. Nothing beats getting glitzed up and really feeling good in your skin. Popping on that brighter shade of lipstick, those sparkling earrings and a pair of heels does an ego good. Now add in the fun of dancing with your girls and the attention and your ego is all repaired after just about any injustice. Yes I said it- we all know we like when a hot guy sits next to us and flirts, its in our genes to enjoy it. Besides we know we all love the random names bars give their specialty drinks...and what's more how good and how gross some of them are.

So it's the weekend. Go grab some beauty supplies and girly drinks and hit the town. I know I am.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Express Change

There's always this stigmata of working at a mall as an adult. Everyone has their own opinions on why "adults" shouldn't be employed at the mall.

"They don't pay enough."

"It's not a career job."

"The hours aren't there."

"It doesn't utilize your education."

Let's just say I had my own reasons for thinking that at 23, with a masters, it wasn't the spot for me. But, when I left my job I panicked and started to apply at the mall. I wasn't applying just everywhere, mainly the upscale stores I thought would be a better "mall job".

First stop: Express.

A store that I LOVE. They have it all - work clothes, play clothes, casual clothes - and the accessories to match. For the last 2 years (since I learned I can pull off most of their extra smalls) I have been living in their clothes. Perhaps more in the nightwear and business wear than the casual, but if you look down the wall of our closet 90% of the items are Express and every single one has some glitz and glam to it somewhere.

So when I interviewed and got the job I was so happy. I knew it would be a fun money job and nothing more but I was ready. Yes, a tad hesitant for many of the above stigmata but ready. And when I walked into the breakroom, past the musty racks of stock and to the table piled high with 5 folders and so many reading pamphlets I was in shock that this was all they did for a part time job.

Now I don't want to give away all the tricks of the trade but let's just say Express is not your typical retail job. This store is fashion at it's finest. The backroom is plastered with fashion do's and don'ts as well as magazine cutouts that feature Express clothes.

Maybe I was a little star struck at working in a store I love and everything but I can honestly say I'm excited. I love that it's so much more than just selling clothes. It's about helping people find that perfect outfit - and boy wasn't I shocked when in the few customers I rang up, 3 asked me for opinions and things they could add!

So while I sat on register that night, and straightened clothes, and got to meet some wonderful girls, my mind was mentally adding everything and anything that sparkled or shimmered into my list of what I'll be buying first.

Mall job, is it the most exciting thing for someone with a master's and loans? Of course not! But it's sure going to be an awesome way to make some extra money!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Natural Disaster or Media Disasters?

Having gotten my degrees in both Creative Writing and Journalism I have heard all sorts of paranoid delusions and slanderous things about the media. I tend to disagree and think that they are simply doing their job - what they're told to report on - and do it factually. That being said there has always been one aspect of the news that 90% of people rely on and I have a personal grudge with.

The weather.

I love when people tell me "Well the weather isn't a science." Perhaps they need to get to researching because it is a science! It's called Meteorology people!! Now perhaps it's not exact but it is indeed a science!

My personal grudge is that I use the forecasts to plan my outfits the night before. When I lived out west, where admittedly there aren't many weather patterns, I could count on it. But after moving to Boston and now New Jersey I absolutely can't. There aren't three days in any given week where the forecast is actually right!

So When pictures and results for the path of Irene came up, I'll admit I was a bit skeptical. Especially when the path of destruction continued to change. It was a mess listening to people freaking out one day and then sighing in relief the next!

Yet as the week went by and the reports kept spilling in with estimated force and damage reports I admittedly got nervous. I posted on fb letting people know there was a chance my power would go out and I wouldn't be around technologically for a few days. I sent my husband to Walmart Friday at like 8am to stock us up on food.

So how do you think I felt Saturday and Sunday when all that blew through was a tiny bit of rain and some strong winds? Like an idiot. Here's the part where a lot of people would go on to vent. I won't do that. The media in this instance, in my eyes, went overboard. But I understand the behind-the-scenes and I know it wasn't some intentful propaganda to scare the masses. But all in all I will give it to the little guys this time when I say I think the media overplayed.

This is not to say Irene didn't cause a path of destruction. Where I am temping at Torcon, plenty lost power for a few minutes. And lives were sadly lost, and trees and poles downed. So I am not saying the reporting wasn't needed - just that it was over kill.

But really? Who am I to say that when underkill measure caused the disastrous effects of Katrina?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A new trend....indoor BBQ

So I just might be onto something lol. Why stand outside in the elements and get attacked by bugs when you can sit in the nice air conditioned living space, listen to music and sit on comfortable couches instead of plastic or rod iron patio furniture?

But really, last Sunday we had a very tiny indoor BBQ because our community doesn't allow the real deal. But we won't comment on that because that isn't what this blog is about! So I bet you're thinking:

"Indoor barbecuing? How does that work?"

Good news is I'm here to tell you! First get a George Foreman. I'm going to recommend one of his bigger models because let's face it, it's normally a large event. From there make sure you have all the essential ingredients alcohol wise - and throw in some raspberry chocolate wine and alcoholic whipped cream, for a dessert drink. Then grab some Just Dance and a cheesy movie like Labyrinth and you're good to go.

ahh the perfect way to indoor BBQ

And that is exactly what we did this Sunday. I picked up Kasey at the bus and Chris and Mike were drinking cokes when we got back...cokes lol. It's funnier when you know what we had in the fridge alcohol wise.

That about sums up the amazingness that was that night in terms of blogging. There were some absolutely wondrous versions of Just Dance 2 by the four of us as well as some VERY big forms of cheating *cough cough*.

Around 2am we called the dancing quits and after a ton of complaining on my part for steak and eggs I got up and made us all some. Popping in Labyrinth, because a certain two of us had no knowledge of the amazing movie we cuddled down onto the amazing couch to watch, before crashing in various rooms for the night :)

So indoor BBQ - cool or lame? I'm going to go with cool, you be the judge.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A trip to the Big Apple

There is one thing I absolutely love about living in New Jersey - most likely only one thing as well- and that is it's proximity to NYC.

Having more than half of my family from Long Island meant a ton of trips into the city growing up. I was on the LIRR so much that when I was about 15 I even fantasied about meeting my husband on it. I was going to be 25 and running to catch it so I essentially jump on and spill Starbucks onto the lap of a very attractive late- 20-something business man. I would apologize and offer to pay for a new pair of pants once into the city. He offers me the seat next to him and after the trip we would get off and he would ask me out.

So somethings didn't work that way. I met my husband interviewing for a job at Hollywood Video at 17 and we were married 2 months ago (23 yrs old).

So I try to make a monthly trip in to see Bravo friends, family or now, sorority sisters. A sister recently moved into the city and I just had to go take a trip to meet her. We were in the same pledge class and insanely close will we were "new members".

Popping off the bus we had a little turmoil meeting up but finally found each other. Starving we made our way to my absolute favorite pizza place ever, Famous Famiglia. Ironically enough when in the city we always walk down to about 8th and Broadway Ave to get some. Turns out there was one quite literally diagonal from the bus stop.

After some yummy pizza we hit the streets to look around and talk some more. We hit a few of the tourist areas - like Times Square and the Library. In my defense I had to show her where the half price tickets were and I have totally always wanted to take a picture with the lions outside the library. After playing in the Hersey store and searching for what seemed like forever we found the perfect Irish Pub, Blaggard's.

And so we had our first of age drink together....and then another. The bartender was this adorable Irish man. He even told me that Magner's was really just the American name for Bullmer's!! Can you say happy Lexi? I had become completely addicted to the stuff in Ireland and crazy depressed when I thought it wasn't important anywhere. He totally let us come back behind the bar and take a picture a together!

Walking to the bus stop we passed by the Madison Square Garden Borders. The going out of business sale was too easy to resist and we wound up inside. Needless to say I wish we had some in Jersey. I walked away with 9 books for $44. Couldn't be happier!

All in all a very successful trip in and I can't wait for the next one in a few weeks!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red Group...Swag!!

I started this blog off by describing an activity done as a way to introduce people together at one of the most important places in my life, Camp Bravo. This place has been apart of my life for 12 years, yes literally half of my life. But more than that- this place has made me the person that I am today. Without it, who knows what would have happened to that shy 11 year old.

There is nothing out there that is like this place. And thank goodness for that because a person really should only have one refuge from the world. This place is mine. I went "up the mountain" as we call it summer from 6th to 7th grade for the first time. Nothing will ever be like it. I realize I'm saying the same things over and over without actually saying anything and that's because this place is not an experience that can be explained.

For 7 amazing years I was able to go up to this place of wonderment and forget about the day to day life. I was a camper then and had some of the most wonderful minds and talents to pick and take direction from. These staff members, along with David and Artur, the directors, shaped me. They taught me lessons in life that far exceeded that of an acting camp. The campers I met helped create the personality that I have developed. And many are still in my life so many years later.

And then the day came when I "aged out", when I was too old to be a camper. It was a bittersweet year because I had to race to UCR cheer camp and missed out on so many final moments. But there was salvation.

I don't know if I'll ever forget the shout I let loose that day freshman year when I had an email asking me to join the counseling staff. Let's just say I might have more than slightly scared Mike and his roomies.

Now, 5 years later I am without a doubt who I am because of my experiences as a counselor. The responsbility, and the fun that has come with the position are completely life changing. But more important is the relationships. Five years later I still talk with the first people I counciled with, still seek advice when I need it from the instructing staff.

Every year I come "down the mountain" with a fresh set of memories and a new love for my true sanctuary in this world thus far. Those people, that place, have been around for me when I have needed help more than anything.

So while this is a catch up post this really wasn't. So I guess briefly I will list some of the best moments of the week:
-Gleek staff collage
-doing Hairspray a la Rocky Horror Style
-watching my campers do their projects in each workshop
-killing spiders with sunscreen
-late nights in Craig's
-talking with my girls

There is nothing I can do but post a video and allow you all a glimpse into the craziness and wonderousness that is life of the mountain.

Bravo Swag

While texting one of the most amazing people ever tonight, the Shakespeare instructor Sarah, she jokingly said she missed Bravo a little and I laughed...missing Bravo a little after only being done for 2 weeks is nothing, like a blip. When the Glee staff collage video was loaded at 1am today I snuck into the bathroom and watched it which led to me having to review everyone of my 300+ photos. Which reminded me I needed to write this. So here it is everyone, a sanctuary for many of us and a family to us all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The not so entertaining days

And once home from the wonderment that was Ireland life settled into a very boring day-to-day.

When I returned to work I was immediately thrown into a fire that was one of our clients. They were unhappy with how ISSI was handling them as a client and was demanding a long list of changes. Which lead to me being told less than 5 minutes back that I would be going to Canada the next Monday.

The week toiled on with me sitting behind a computer - but yet making lists and lists on paper until it was time to travel.

The journey to Canada could not have been more complicated. When we got to the airport, lovely PHL had no air conditioning turned on in the middle of the July. Then after the long trek to our gate we found out the flight had been canceled. My supervisor and co-worker were safely booked onto the next flight, I was on standby.

After a few hours in a Chickies and Petes we headed over to the gate and miracle of miracles I made it on.

 Then at customs I was grilled... but my coworker was grilled far worse. Surprise #2, mine and my supervisor's bags were missing. Thankfully, they made it there around 4am the next day. The trip was a blur of notes and requests.

In fact, the next three weeks were a blur and half.

And then I left the company...

But more tomorrow because the next stuff is to much fun to put in such a boring update blog post!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A continuation on a theme

So now that I've possibly tweaked your interest with the details of my pre wedding summer, perhaps I can grab your attention with the wedding and honeymoon. So here goes.

Like with any wedding, anything that could have gone wrong did. But, all of those things were the cosmetic  things that only the Bride, her mother and maybe the groom would notice.

The start of the morning was at the hair dressers where they were of course, late getting my hair done. It resulted in me racing back to the hotel courtesy of my Aunt and flying into the tiny cottage with Jo'D where we frantically grabbed my things and raced across the lawn to the main cabin to dress me.

The bouquets...all wrong. The arch...beautiful. The centerpieces, nice but not as wowing as I'd thought. The Dj, didn't get our music list. The photographer didn't get all the photos we had wanted but did get absolutely amazing ones. The second wedding dress I bought because I couldn't breathe in the first...I couldn't breathe in that one either.

But the company was perfect and everything really was beautiful, even watching my new husband slightly intoxicated and playing with all the bubble wands he could fit into his hands.

We had an amazing Chinese dinner and then retired for wedding fun :) The next morning it was time to wake up and head off to the airport. We tried to make a Chipotle stop and after 3 unsuccessful stops we finally found one in Brookline that was opened and chowed down on some for the last time.

At the airport we met up with Jo'd who's flight was leaving right after us and found out my mom was delayed and his mom's flight was canceled all together. Thank you O'Hare! We took off and had the most amazing flight ever. Aer Lingus had all the bells and whistles - amazing food, a ton of movies and a lot of games.

Arrive Dublin! These were the most amazing 2 weeks ever. There are so many things I could gush over and so many things I could explain in detail. But really, they are things that words are not enough for.
Since I don't think words will do the splendor of the scenery any justice I will simply leave you with a quickly put together video with some of my favorite video snapsnots. Because in the end all that matters is the experience, and the experience was amazing.

Well I think that's enough to block your head up with for now :) Tune in tomorrow for another brief catch up post and soon after that you can stop reading about my boring past and get to current. Night all!