Monday, March 17, 2014

Shaken and Stirred

An earthquake isn't the best form of alarm clock that I know of. I would much prefer something a little more soothing and that doesn't freak the crap out of my cats.

I actually was drifting back to sleep as I had decided after my alarm went off at the normal 5:45 that my aching feet from an event I worked yesterday didn't need to hit the treadmill quite yet. The shaking started and it rattling the windows pretty hard. A little before the shaking started, I heard the cats scurry from their shelf-perches. Then they all ended up in bed with me. Chef, on the other hand, didn't wake up at all. That man can sleep through just about anything.

But the earthquake was just the start of a jarring day. It wasn't particularly bad or remarkable or even unusual in the sense that nothing happened that was out of the ordinary. But for some reason I was a little shaken in more than the physical sense today.

I thought of a question on my way out to my car. Pondering life and art and all those things that only seem to pop into my head when I'm trying to think about other things, less important daily duties, I thought to myself: Do you have to sacrifice something for your dreams?  Is that a prerequisite?

I honestly don't know the answer or am not sure there really is an answer. Do you have to sacrifice family to be a true artist? Or a career to have a true passion (assuming it's not in that career field, of course)? Clearly, there's no secret formula to making dreams come true. Other than luck. I'm a firm believer that luck (or timing or coincidence or faith or whatever you believe in) plays a bit role in making things happen. And yes, the harder you work the "luckier" you seem to get. I've heard that.

But I guess I found it appropriate on St. Patrick's Day to wonder: Is it luck or sacrifice that plays a bigger role in making dreams a reality?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Indecisiveness Strikes at the AutoMall

It's time to get a new car. The Sentra is up and running like a champ, but it would better serve Chef than me at this point. Knowing this, I ventured out to my local Carmax last weekend wanting to look at about six different car models.

After careful consideration, I am no closer to choosing one than I was before.

I like one because it's fuel efficient and newer and from a  reliable brand, but it doesn't have as many luxuries for the price. One is slightly older has more luxuries and is also reliable, but is rumored to require the sale of a kidney for upkeep in its later days. Some are new but basic, others are older (less than 3 years old) but pimped out. And frankly, I just can't decide.

So I've decided to put off the decision, because that's what all reasonable people do.

What kind of car do you drive? Would you recommend it?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

I Got Called A "Bitch" By A Total Stranger. . .again

I was unloading my groceries as my car was parked on the street outside my apartment building when I was approached by a wiry, shirtless man who had been pacing the sidewalk while carrying what looked to be t-shirt that was wrapped around something and held tight by duct tape.

"You going into that apartment complex?" he asked.

I nodded.

"Will you let me in? My son lives there," he said.

"I don't know you, dude. I don't let people in that I don't know," I replied.

At this point he was still pacing around me on the sidewalk.

"My son lives here. He lives with his grandma who is like 85 and can't hear the phone to let me in. I can go by the leasing office with you if it makes you feel better"

Me: "How about you just call the leasing office from the main gate and have them escort you to the apartment?"

He didn't wait for me to finish, but bounded down the sidewalk away from me towards the front gate. Thinking this was settled, I grabbed my bags and headed to the side entrance that's locked and for residents only. I was unlocking it when I noticed the guy was right behind me.

"You don't mind, do you?" he asked again.

"Yes. I absolutely do mind. But I guess you're not going to care about that at all and just do what you want to do."

At this point he followed me into the complex and started raising his voice that FINE. I could follow him down to the leasing office and he'll prove that he's been there before if it makes me feel better. Fine. I told him that it would be great if could go down there and at least have them escort him to the apartment he was to visit. He started to head down there and then he stopped when he thought I wasn't looking and muttered "Fucking bitch."

Me with groceries still in my arms: "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"

"I said you're a fucking bitch. All uppity and shit. I told you we could go to the leasing office together but you still didn't want to let me in and then you gave me attitude."

Me: "I didn't give you attitude. I told you twice that I wouldn't let you and yet you still followed me in."

At this point he came back towards me and went from being about 20 feet away to about three feet away.

"You had to say that 'I was gonna do what I wanted to do anyway," after I said I'd go to the leasing office and everything."

Me: "I would say that I had a pretty accurate accessment since you did what you wanted to do and we're sitting here with your finger in my face instead of actually going down to the leasing office. But come on. Let's go."

We proceeded to go to the leasing office where Alex, our leasing agent, verified that the man had a son who lived there (and wasn't a resident himself) and the guy acted like he was vindicated.

"Should he be let into the premises against a resident's wishes?" I asked.

"Well, no,"  Alex said.

At this point, the guy bounded out and towards the apartment he was visiting. The leasing agent told me he'd call the apartment and make sure everything was okay. To make things doubly creepy, the kid he was visiting was the family that lives in the apartment across from us. And when I say across from us, I mean that our doors are about 4 feet apart. 

Next time, I'm calling Chef out to help. Although I have a feeling if Chef had been there, there might have been some hand to hand combat.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Unintended Consequence of Traveling Alone: Selfie Abundance

Amsterdam was awesome. The city was beautiful, the people friendly and the food (for the most part) delicious. It was a great work trip and I was really lucky to be able to go. The only thing that would have made it even better was if Chef was able to go. Maybe if I'm lucky enough to go back to this conference I'll plan far enough ahead to bring him along too.

Anyway, one of the things I learned after looking through my pictures was that I apparently took a lot of selfies. I think this was mostly because I was alone, vain, and have been taking them before they went digital and had a name. I literally have hundreds of pics from holding the camera out in front of me all my life. So it really is no surprise that I have selfies galore from the trip.

Since I had them, I thought I'd tell the story through myself. Or my selfies.

This was right outside of the Anne Frank House. It was touching and amazing. And no photos allowed inside. 

Me and a piece of art at the Rijks Museum. I wanted a Rembrandt selfie or a selfie with Van Gogh's self portrait,
but they were always busy with crowds.

Selfie with a Kendra, my DC co-worker on our last night

Last Dinner selfie. I have to say that the tablescape was prettier than any wedding I've been too (sorry, friends)

"I'm on a boat" selfie. We getting ready to glide through the canals with champagne.

Selfie with my NYC colleague, Ed, while we made some pastries and chocolates.

Not technically a selfie because my hands were full. Here I am filling chocolates with a ganache.
Chef would've been so proud. 

Again, not a selfie, but me and another DC colleague Amaris making Dutch Apple Pie (of course)

So, I went to McDonald's. So what. After 4 days of meals with 10 ingredients per dish, you'd probably want a cheeseburger too. Plus they're a client, so that's technically just doing my job, right?

This used to be the Capitol building in Amsterdam
but the prince decided at one point it was too nice to be government and took it over. It was pretty sweet. 

Some large statue that someone told me was important.
There were always people gathered around it, so I bought in. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Do You Want Me to Bring You Back From Amsterdam?

Don't say hookers or hash. I won't be able to get either back in my luggage.

I've been so busy preparing lately that I haven't been able to blog or even think about my trip. I'm heading to Amsterdam this week for work. I'm so excited to go. At my last job, I left a mere two weeks before a trip to London was scheduled. So the fact that I'm getting to go to Europe (again) and the Netherlands for the first time is awesome. (Another bonus reason I LOVE my job.)

I'm going to escort and help a brand I work with present to some very exclusive movers and shakers in the food world. But the whole conference is set up to be fun and with free time, so I'm looking forward to going to the Anne Frank Haus and the Rijksmuseum. Have any other suggestions? When someone mentioned the red light district to me in front of a client, he replied "she can't go there. But she could go to the red head district." It made me smile.

Anyway, I leave on Thursday and come back next Thursday. If you don't hear back on an email or text, just wait. I will have Internet (theoretically), so I hope to post some pictures and document the trip. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Birthday Wrap Up

I took it nice and easy and even took a day off for my birthday. Which meant that I've been buried in work to catch up since I got back (it's that time of year--but honestly, it's always that time of year in PR). So instead of blogging, I've been working off cake and a week of decadence.

But here is the long overdue recap of the wonderful, awesome, super relaxing birthday that I got to share with Chef.

Nothing says party like some bubbly on the actual birthday. 

It sparkles so nicely. Champagne went well with the dinner he cooked me.
Apparently I ate that too fast to take a picture. 

The beautiful flowers he also surprised me with. 
This was not about cat CPR, but a book on screenwriting I've wanted forever. Good call by Chef. 
I managed to work in a much needed root touch up. Gotta keep red on the head.

I used my Sephora gift cards to do my annual "on my birthday" Sephora trip.

But the birthday just kept on going! I took off Friday to have some fun and we celebrated on Saturday too. That's how we roll in our household.  Below are more spoils from being spoiled (that included a two hour massage--somehow I've managed to tighten up again). I'm a lucky gal! Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Maybe it's Not So Bad

Yup. I'm loved. Thank you!
Let's be frank: Working on your birthday sucks no matter how great your job is.

But that being said I am having a terrific birthday so far. My friend Meredith made me the BEST. CAKE. EVER. I'm one of those plain people: white cake with white butter cream icing. It's a challenge to showcase talent with that, but she did. Meredith made me a Tahitian vanilla cake with coconut custard filling--mixing my favorite desserts--white cake and coconut cream pie. And she got an assist from Alexis. (As an aside, the coconut cream pie is from Dick Clark's--grandma's recipe is still the best. If you find yourself in Princeton and hankering for pie, go with Coconut Cream every time. You're welcome).

Tasted even better
Anyway, I am still at work (yes, I'm blogging at work but it's my birthday and I finished a lingering project today so I can celebrate with a 5 minute post--I'm not billing time for it).  Getting ready to head home where Chef is preparing a home cooked steak dinner, but not until after I make my annual Sephora trip. I always go in on my birthday so I can get my free gift. Yes, I'm one of those. Plus I got some birthday gift cards burning a hole in my pocket.

More posts to come from my further celebrations on Friday and Saturday. It's not been so shabby so far.


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