Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Over and Under on My Halloween Costume...

It's true, I've always wanted to be a bookie. So here's my chance.

My costume: I cut out a cardboard night stand, adorned it with a real handle, placed a small black book and a small alarm clock on "top". I can tie it halter style around my neck and wear it with a lamp shade "hat". It also reads "1 Night Stand," which is written on the shelf in glow in the dark marker. Oh and my tee shirt reads, "Please explain to me again why I need a boyfriend?" (All the credit goes to my sister and her roommate.) That is the premise.

Chris and I are taking bets on how many times I get asked to be a guy's one night stand this evening. I think the prize for best costume is $600.

Please place your bets as to how many times I get asked to be some one's one night stand and to which place you think I might win, if at all.

The winner gets a present from me to be determined by who wins.

Ladies and Gentlemen, PLACE YOUR BETS!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Introducing...

My Photo Blog:

www.livingincolorlaughingoutloud.blogspot.com

The link is also on the left under "Favorites" of this blog so you need not memorize another address. There are no pictures up yet, but I have a feeling by Sunday I might regret undertaking this project!

Change of Plans...






My dearest Megan said to me the other day:

"Don't give up, try something else" in response to my recent disappointment. At the time, I preferred to sulk. Usually, I allow myself a day or two of sulking before I start problem solving. However, I am one of the lucky ones because I have friends like Meg. I could not help but hear her repeatedly saying to me, "Don't give up. Don't give up." I could see it flash across my mind like a computer monitor in idle with a customized scrolling message. With her encouragement, I've decided to go to Quito, Ecuador instead. Alas, Ladies and Gentlemen, you can come visit me there (I hope just as many of you want to go there as did Chile because I'm expecting you especially since Budget Travel deemed it one of the cheapest places on Earth - not to mention the currency is the American Dollar:) Wish me luck!

"Live the life you've imagined" - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Celebrating Halloween

Friday Night:

I have to admit, this is the first time I have actually gone all out in celebration of Halloween. The weekend kicked off with an apple cider and pumpkin carving party on Friday night at my friend Jean's house. Lindsay and I ventured out with a new circle of friends, which turned out to be very entertaining. After imbibing more than we should have and eating enough to onset diabetes, we walked through the neighborhood with our pumpkins fully lit. I realized how therapeutic it is to use your hands to remove the squishy insides of a pumpkin. What a fantastic gathering. Gracias, Jean!

Drink of the weekend:

Two shots of Vodka
One shot of Hot Damn Cinnamon Schnapps
Apple Cider

What a fantastic drink that goes down like water. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Saturday Night:

Lindsay, Andrew and I packed my car up and headed to Boston for Meg and Claudia's costume party, which was my first grown up Halloween party. We spent some time wandering the streets of Cambridge in search of food and a tablecloth, then settle in to decorate before the party started. Despite all the contraptions, lights and visual affects we bought, the best decorations were the ones Linz and I made out of construction paper (with the exception of my skeleton. It was bad.) Go figure. Once the place was prepared, we all started getting ready for the soiree - COSTUME TIME!
Everyone showed up to the plate with their costumes. Of the 30 or so people who frequented the party, not one had bad digs. Please return for the picture and a vote on who had the best outfit.

The night was full of food, drinks, good people and awesome fun. Some things never change because by the end of the night, I was playing with the music and dancing in my white dress with the "FOX". Despite being adults, it was exasperating to play dress up for a night. My thanks to Claudia and Meg for the festivities.

Don't forget to come back to vote!

Dessert of the Weekend:

Butterscotch Rice Krispy Treats - just melt butterscotch chips and add to regular rice krispies. Heaven in a square! (Warning, be prepared to eat the entire pan.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Is this my life???

Oh my gosh I just cannot take it any more. Seriously, if I have to spend one more meaningless hour in a cubicle making spreadsheets about unimportant budgets or accounts payable for a development project, which is totally against all my morals and beliefs, I might run out of here screaming. I am so tired of self-absorbed shallow people and profit hungry narrow minded businesses. I just wasted an hour of my life in a meeting where three very reputable companies in the city were debating who is parking in their spots in the garage. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Is there nothing more important to you than who parks where? GET OVER YOURSELVES!!! I want more from my life. I want more from my relationships. I want more for myself and the people I love. I refuse to live a meaningless, conceited, and vacant life. There has got to be something more than this...

When I am 80 years old rocking away with my girls drinking gin and tonics, I will NEVER look back at my life regretting anything. I will not wish I had worked less, I will not wish I had spent more time with my family and friends, I will not wish I had gone there and done that, I will not wish I said I love you, I will not look back wishing I had taken a chance, risked everything to follow a dream or do something worthwhile because starting today, things are going to change. If you only get one chance in life, I'm taking mine RIGHT NOW!!. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Caspian




Most of the instrumental music to which I've listened was from movies until Meg introduced me to this band. Everyone should check out this cd. It's fantastic. Go buy it!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Utterly Disappointed...

Few things sting the soul like disappointment, which unfortunately, seems to be the state of things around here lately. Of course, the World Teach Program to which I applied is full, which means I will be put on the wait list at best. As you all know, all I have been talking about and thinking about for weeks now is going to Chile for the year. I have not been as excited for anything as I was to be part of this program. In an ambiguous and strange way, I felt it was something I truly needed to do - to be part of something bigger than myself. Looks like it is not going to happen. It was such a big deal for me to even apply and to become comfortable with the idea of living and teaching there for one whole year all by myself that it makes me want to cry. Once again, I remain lost in limbo. How utterly disappointing...

The Cat from Mexico...

The other night, I attended the latter portion of my sister's photo shoot. Upon entering the studio, I encountered a small cat patiently waiting outside. The photographer let us into his very alluring office to watch my sister finish up her head shots. I wandered through the warm and comfortable place to explore the work on the walls, which was exceptionally captivating. The images were all portraits of people with the majority of which from Mexico. He is definitely great at his job. After they finished up the pictures, the photographer showed off the previous shots he had of Sunshine. We chatted for awhile in English and Spanish, which is when we heard the story of the cat. Turns out she's from Mexico, which explains her very odd yet adorable behavior. Apparently, Rich found this cat while working in Mexico. She was very fond of him and he was fond enough of her to risk being detained in customs while smuggling her on the plane, however, not so smoothly as he forgot to take her out while having his luggage checked through security. Of course this caused a scene when the woman running the security contraption screamed when she saw Lupita's (I think that is the cat's name) bones on the x-ray machine. He convinced her to let them through and Voila! She's now an American citizen happily rolling around on the studio floor. For some reason, the fact that this man loved this cat too much to leave her behind in Mexico is strangely intriguing to me...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Well it's about time...

It's about time the people received some answers about this war in Iraq.

And to sum up my opinion about the article:

Waiting On The World To Change ~ John Mayer

"me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change"

I am very embarrassed to admit, I take this stance. Instead of doing something about it, I am "waiting on the world to change." Hopefully, I won't always be so complacent.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Santiago, Chile








"YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE--BUT IF YOU WORK IT RIGHT, ONCE IS ENOUGH." ~ JOE LEWIS

Homecoming Weekend

SUNDAY -

We headed downtown for brunch at Beau Monde, a creperie. While the service was questionable, the food was unbelievably yummy. I had a crepe with berries, Johanna had the fig salad, Melina had the smoked salmon crepe with veggies, and Beth had the ham, cheese, leeks, and veggie crepe with some divine red potatoes cooked to perfection. Beau Monde is definitely a delicious place for brunch.

After brunch, we reluctantly parted ways. I spent the afternoon visiting as many friends as I could. I was able to visit the family for whom I was a nanny. Of course this made me feel old. I met another friend's daughters, Ella and C.C. Then I headed back to Bethy's for dinner. I would not miss a meal at her house for anything. Of course her mom prepared a feast fit for a king, which was outstanding. For dessert, we polished off the cream puffs, had a mug of tea, and chatted briefly. Upon departing, I received an enormous doggie bag for my journey home, which was full of wonderful treats. I'm not good at the departures. It's my least favorite part of my visits, especially at my second home. Beth and her family are like my family. Their amazing generosity and hospitality are second to none. I truly feel like one of them when I visit Benjamin West. It makes me terribly sad to leave...

Despite the late hour and the long drive ahead, I made one last stop on my way out of town. I stopped in Ardmore to visit "Dan the Man." I am always happy to see my friend Dan. He is extremely funny and knows me too well. I was able to see his new chateau, which he is renovating. I give him a standing ovation on all the very awesome work he's done on the house. I feel like kind of we missed out at 121... Like old times, Dan made me cds for the ride home, played songs on the guitar, gave me advice, and playfully made fun of my friends while I filled him in on the gossip with the girls. Some of my favorite nights at Villanova were when I was out with Dan and the boys. I sincerely miss those evenings. (The cds were the highlight of the ride home, Thank you!)

When I finally made my way to the Penna Pike, I realized how lucky I am to have the friends I do. No one loves their friends more than I love mine, and I am humbly grateful for each and every one of you.

Homecoming Weekend

SATURDAY -

Of course this day began with lunch at the Farmer's Market again. It was just as amazing as the day before only this time pizza, pretzels, and chinese food were consumed. We didn't linger too long though because we wanted to get to the field at a reasonable hour since we weren't staying for the football game. Once on the field with tickets and beers in hand, I happily ran into my oldest Villanova friend and most favorite SAE boy, Brian. It was thoroughly entertaining and lovely to see him and his brothers. Of course he was full of charming and slightly inappropriate comments and gestures, however, he is the only boy I know who would is allowed to say "You are delicious" without receiving a knife hand to the collar bone. For some reason, Kristin and I are ok with his playful sexual harassment. (Brian, you know we love you). After some jovial banter, we parted ways and I bumped into my friends Gabe, Walt, and Katie. Gabe was his usual self, highly entertaining, and Walt and Katie looked great for being parents of two year old and three week old daughters. While being part of the festivities wasn't as exciting as it was the year we wore the "Big Wood" t-shirts, it was fun. I was very happy to see people I had not seen in awhile.

After the beer truck was closed and the field was clearing out for the football game, we headed to Bella Italia for pizza. For the record, this is not my pizza place, I prefer Garrett Hill. On the way, a special stop was made at WAWA for mac & cheese. I was in heaven and the girls were happy because I was quiet. After securing the biggest pizza box I've ever seen in my life, we meandered over to Justin's house for some very lively conversation, football, and high quality ambiance. We were so comfortable hanging out there, we did not go out. Instead, upon discovering Mrs. B. went to the bakery to get desserts, we returned back to "big red" for a scary movie (against my will), Law & Order, Saturday Night Live, and some of the best chocolaty peanut buttery crunchy goodness I've ever had. Oh, and the cream puffs were superb. These treats marked the last of our food consumption for the evening, much to my dismay. I tried to rally the troops at 11 to go to the Brew Pub to meet some friends then to Pat's, however, I was outnumbered 2 to 1, as the other girls were already in their PJs. Luckily, I received a phone call from my friend Dan, which cheered me up. After a lengthy conversation and quite a few episodes of Law & Order, we headed up to the glorious flannel sheets and, of course, another slumber party.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Homecoming Weekend...

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY:

As shocking as this might be to most, our weekend was all about the food instead of the drink, with which I was more than ok. I arrived early Friday morning, just in time to take a nap and get up for lunch at the Farmer's market in Ardmore. This place is one of my most favorite spots to eat. It's the shiniest, cleanest, and most pleasantly diverse gathering of food I've ever seen. I cannot even say enough about my love for Ardmore's Farmer's Market. I had a nice pad thai with a side of delicious spring rolls and tempura zucchini. The food was delightfully fantastic.

I have to remark on two venues in Suburban Square: William & Sonoma and the Apple Store. This was the best W&S into which I have ever ventured. I could have spent hours playing with the gadgets and reading the cookbooks. Did I mention the snacks? The Apple Store was also super. It is time for me to trade in my C & F laptop for a shiny new Apple. These particular stores are a must see.

After my diversion, I wandered over to campus to get copies of my transcripts and to peruse the bookstore. I immediately noticed two things:
1) Everyone looked SO YOUNG.
2) The girls are not as attractive as they were when I was there

It was astounding. Once I overcame my initial reaction, I happily accepted my role as an alum. As far as my fondness extends and my memories are joyful, I do not wish to be back there or back to that place in time. While walking through campus and observing the hustle and bustle, I was overwhelmed with the realization I am no longer the small town New England girl trying to figure out how to succeed at Villanova. For that, I was tremendously grateful.

After the registrar's office, I gathered Johanna from her grandmother's house. She, Beth, and I decided to attend happy hour in Manayunk. We had an unremarkable dinner and even worse drinks, but that did not stop us from having fun, as it had been so long since the three of us convened in the same location. After appetizers, we headed to get more drinks at Le Bus, where we proceeded to devour the homemade pretzels they keep at the bar. All socializing and catching up stopped when someone got the bright idea to go eat cheese steaks at Delessandro's. Needless to say, it was necessary to sit down after our excursion. We chose good old Erin Pub on the mainline. It was very nice to have a Yuengling and to visit with the girls. Of course I had another revelation, as this weekend was filled with them, but it's not so easy to put into words. Just seeing how everyone interacted with each other conjured up a flood of emotions, one of which was relief. It was truly enlightening...

We called it an early evening because Mrs. B had a cake for us at home and the prospects of "big red" were more appealing than another drink. We crawled into the comfy flannel sheets of the beds and chatted late into the night. Sometimes, there's nothing better than a good old-fashioned slumber party.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thought of the Day...

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting: "HOLY SHIT...WHAT A RIDE!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A very sad day...

Today is a very very sad day. My squishy magic eight ball burst. I've had this ball since I was in college and it never failed me on a question, caused a scene at work that would have made an excellent episode of "The Office", and overall, provided me with much happiness. I don't know what to do now...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"Live Free or Die "

I had the pleasure of spending this weekend with my friends from high school at a resort in New Hampshire, Crotched Mountain Resort. (No, I am not kidding.) The ride there was a little crazy because Amanda is sometimes directionally challenged plus we could not find a liquor store off the highway. Once we finally made it to the mountain, Whit checked us in at the front desk where the ladies gave her a map of the area that included suggestions about places to go. Had the front desk representative seen the amount of food and coolers we had in the caravan, she would have realized we had no intention of leaving the "up and down". We settled in at 5:00 pm. The rooms were fantastic. I could have moved in if I actually liked the state of NH (sorry Matt). We had two units, four fire places, four bathrooms, four bedrooms, two flat screen tvs, and two hot tubs between the seven of us. Our "bar" rivaled a New York City club. The drinks started flowing and the food started crisping just in time for the games. It was fabulous. We had two different kinds of dips, snacks, cookies bars, a cookie cake and ten different kinds of pizza. Allison produced some fabulous apple cider vodka drinks and a delicious breakfast. We discovered trivial pursuit on DVD is actually cool and easier than the board game, the hot tub was heaven, and there's nothing better than playing cards with people who knew you when. Needless to say, we didn't leave the condos.

Thank you all for a fantastic weekend. Pictures to follow.

P.S. Katie, I'm glad you weren't a serial killer because the woods were freaking scary!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Which are you?

There are two different kinds of people in this world:

Those who say "I can't..."

and

Those who say "How can I...?"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE...

One fine day, it won't always be like this. I won't always feel like this. I will realize people are not like me. Not every one is as loving as I am. Not every one is as brave as I am. One day, my tremendous love for dead smart literary men will be helpful. I won't always have a job I do not like. My dislike for eyebrows won't matter to me. My uncomfortable blindness will not bother me. Some day, my parents won't disappoint me. I'll have a wardrobe I actually like. I'll be able to reply back in Arabic. I won't need to worry about forts. Kate will have her vineyard. One fine day, I will see most of the places I've always wanted to visit. George Bush won't always be President. I won't be addicted to the Internet. The war in Iraq will have ended. Meg, PhD and Dr. Tim will be happily saving all the children in Africa. Hopeless will no longer be part of my vocabulary. Some day, I'll be organizing quilts, rocking chairs, and drinks for the ladies on a porch that faces either a downtown or a beach. I will succeed at the grueling five hour black belt test. The total constant amazement I see in the world every day will finally make sense. Six weeks at a cooking school in Paris will make me intimate with croissants. One fine day, somebody will finally see "eye to eye." Beth will be a famous journalist. I'll be able to tell my grand children the story of how I played bingo with my great grandmother. I won't always need to see things for myself when I already know what is true. Some day, I'll realize not every one finds happiness as easily as I do. Not every one is as easy going as I am. One day, home will have an address. I will admit stating the obvious is important. Living with no regrets will pay off. Global warming will no longer be an issue. I'll own my own business. People will take the tragedies in Africa seriously. Erin will meet Kenny. Portsmouth Lovers will take on a new meaning. My sister will be a famous model. Some day, I won't always be obsessed with the Economist. I will have the courage to say no. I'll have my passport just in case. I won't always over analyze. And I won't feel like running away to become a hermit. Some day, somebody is going to surprise the hell out of me.

It won't always be like this...

The state of the world today...

Is anyone else extremely distraught by North Korea testing out nuclear weapons? This is not good. I don't know why but this makes the jukebox in my head turned to a certain REM song.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Father's Daughter

Last night, I was heading to bed after a lovely shower when I received a phone call from my dad. He asked me a question, I answered with two words, he responded in his usual profound and simple way with one sentence. Nothing more was said on the topic and nothing more had to be. We moved on to the next subject. In that moment, I realized: I am my father's daughter.

I have yet to decide if this is an advantage or a disadvantage.

True Love...

Sometimes, I'm overwhelmed by my love for gin, peaches, a few dead smart male writers, champagne, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. My world would be a disaster if I did not have these things.

The strangest thing...

Friday night, I had the opportunity to dine with my friend Peter at his favorite Mexican restaurant in Detroit, Xochimilco. We patiently waited for our table upstairs in the lounge, which was filled with a group of men adorned with flannel shirts and helmets. One of the men was carrying around a big plastic rat. Yes, a rat. While we were trying to figure out what the hell they were doing or why they were doing it, a man yelled out, "I SMELL A RAT!" and all of a sudden, the 15 or so men fell to the ground. They just dropped like swatted flies to the bar floor. Turns out, they were some kind of rugby team from Ohio. (I think that is a strike against Ohio in the poll.) It was the strangest thing I've ever seen in a restaurant...

P.S. The food was awesome and the Voodoo juice is not for the faint of heart. Also, while the chips and salsa are fantastic, do not eat two large bags of them over the course of a weekend.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Departures...

Last night, I was searching the "Departures" board for my gate information at the airport when I was suddenly distracted by the flight to Paris leaving within the hour. If only I had brought my passport with me. I swear to God I would have walked up to the nearest gate, whipped out the Capital One Platinum MasterCard, and bought the ticket. I did not really care about what would happen when I got there or my bag heading to a different location. No one was waiting for me to come "home," work could have waited, I had nothing better to do, and no where I wanted to be. If only I had my passport...

Monday, October 09, 2006

"The Devil and Miss Prym" by Paul Coelho

"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny."

Friday, October 06, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSAY!!

Yesterday was Lindsay's birthday. To celebrate, a group of us went to her favorite restaurant, Asmara, to dine on some fabulous Eritrean food. It was my first time eating African food, which proved to be very interesting and quite good. The honey wine was fantastic. It's homemade and is served in a little glass jar. We ordered one of each dish and a vegetarian sampler. The food was doled out on top of spongy bread and delivered altogether on a HUGE platter. The communal eating aspect with your hands might not be for everyone, but we had no problems. The beef, lamb, chicken, and veggies were tasty and well seasoned. Despite not always knowing what I was eating, it was a great meal.

After dinner and a toast to Lindsay, we headed to Cold Stone Creamery to get Lins her free cone. Everyone ordered something different and all of the treats looked, smelled, and tasted divine. I find some of the flavors too decadent but not enough to forgo a dessert.

Aside from my episode with the parking meter, the night was super awesome. I can't wait to see everyone at the Murder Mystery Dinner. I hope you had a great Birthday Lindsay!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Choose a Location

I'm taking a Poll. Please pick one of the following:

1) Ohio
2) Texas
3) California

I greatly appreciate your feedback.

P.S. Lindsay and Kate need not vote. I already know what you'd pick :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My sympathies to the Amish

Having gone to college in PA, I have a fondness for the Amish. I love their food at the farmer's markets, especially the pretzels. I'm fascinated by the simplicity of their lives. Their survival in this world intrigues me. I remember the first time I saw them in horse drawn buggies out in the fields on the way to my roommate's house in Hershey my freshman year. I was astounded by the work, the community, and how basic it all was. I cannot imagine why anyone would take "revenge" on them. A 20 year grudge? Are you serious? What is wrong with the world today? Where do the children get the guns? Why do the children get the guns? Why aren't schools safe anymore? I find these expressions in violence deeply disturbing.