A few years ago, I unearthed a travel journal from a month-long trip to Europe that I took in 2006. As I reviewed its pages, I was struck by just how many details of the trip I had completely forgotten. And if the memories of a once-in-a lifetime trip that was so impactful to me could fade away – how much of my day-to-day life is lost? Sensations, emotions, achievements, losses, experiences from the mundane to the exceptional, all transforming from that specific moment in time to become that day, that week, that year, that life…

As I get older and gain a better understanding of how fragile, how brief, and how precious life really is, it's become even more important to me to me experience it to its fullest and to try to retain all of those little moments that might otherwise get lost. It's with this idea that I started the process of recording these moments – a travel journal, of sorts.

A travel journal for life.

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIE LAUGHING...

I saw this in the store tonight:

Now, I'm all for laughter.  I like it as much as the next guy, maybe even more.

but

1. How freaking annoying would the person that actually does this be?

and
 
2. If you did, wouldn't you die?

I guess if you're gonna go...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HURRICANES AND HALLOWEEN

We all hunkered down and prepared for the worst, but luckily we, and all of our family and friends, emerged mostly unaffected by Hurricane Sandy.  Even though we barely got touched here in western PA, Mike still got called up for the Guard to work on some communications stuff in NY following the storm.  So, while it’s great news that we didn’t feel the effects of Sandy here, it means I’m left all by myself with cabinets full of hurricane snacks.  (It’s not o.k. to sit in front of the TV with a bag of pretzels and a jar of Jiff – it’s just not.)

This is what our living room looks like whenever Mike gets ready to go somewhere with the Guard - a sea of camo.

uh-oh.
Also, it’s Halloween – and that means candy.  Since we don’t have kids and we’re of the “turn-out-the-lights-and-hide-in-the-basement-during-the-designated-trick-or-treat-hour” ilk, we don’t have to worry about candy at home. But my “we-have-a-metric-shit-ton-of-candy-and-my-children-will-bring-even-more-home-so-please-dear-god-don’t-let-me-eat-ALL-the-candy”coworkers bring in their excess treats and plant them around the office so that they are simply unavoidable.  (They jump right into my hands, unwraps themselves, and hop into my mouth…  Unavoidable, I tell ya.)

Oh, the nutritional perils of hurricanes and Halloween!


This is actually my friend Megan's treat-holder.  She's a "hide-in-the-basement" type too - but this was just so stinkin' cute, she had to put it out and I agree!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

FRANKENSTORM IS COMING!

I learned from my smart and beautiful cousin, Tracy, that the best part of a hurricane is the snacks.  I also learned from her that the best way to ensure that an impending storm amounts to nothing is to be well-prepared.  So Mike and I went to the store last night and stocked up on batteries, candles, and snacks. 

Mustn't forget the snacks.

Hatches = Battened

Saturday, October 27, 2012

IT'S FUN TO LAUGH

Mike and I had a great date night last night...  We went to see Kevin Hart at Consol Energy Center. He always makes me laugh until my stomach hurts - There's just nothing more fun than laughing like that. If you haven't seen Kevin before, here's an example of his stand-up.  (strong language!)


Friday, October 26, 2012

SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE NICE


Sometimes I think that the majority of people in this world are assholes and I spend a lot of time being angry at them.  The thing is though, if I really think about this critically, these asshole people aren’t actually in my life or even really people that I ever encounter at all.  They are mostly people in the media (Except for you Soledad, I heart you.), people on the interwebs (I should just never EVER read comment sections on blogs and/or news pieces.), politicians (can this election just PLEASE be over so I can stop being so angry all the time?), and a few randoms on Facebook (I regularly get all belligerent and delete-y on there).

But the people close to me in life on a regular basis are really quite delightful.  They are kind, they go out of their way to be helpful, they are creative and bright, they do fun things and say smart stuff, they make me laugh, and they help me feel grounded, connected, and not alone.  They are nice.

Most times, even random strangers are nice. 

There is an elementary school at the bottom of my hill which employs a crossing guard.  She’s an older lady with a beaming smile.  Every morning when I pass the school on my walk to work, even though we are both busy and have never spoken, she waves and smiles at me like I’m a long-lost friend and hurries over to help me cross the intersection, just as though I was one of the students.  She’s nice.

Monday there was a girl who was new to the gym who was trying to find her way to the Spinning studio.  I was headed there too, so I offered to show her the way.  On the way, we struck up a conversation about health food and she started telling me about a new salad recipe that she had recently found, tried, and loved.  I told her that I thought it sounded fantastic and then we both went about our workout.  The exchange was completely forgotten for me until Wednesday when she showed up with the recipe printed out for me.  “I thought you might like to try it” she said.  She’s nice

Yesterday was a perfect 78 degree fall day.  My friend and I decided to make use of the outdoor courts one last time before the anticipated cold and rain drives us inside for the winter.  When we arrived, the courts were thick with leaves.  Being the troopers that we are, we forged ahead and played – though very cautiously since the leaves were slippery under foot.  About 15 minutes in, a voice shouted to us from the row of houses across the street…  “Can you guys hold play for just a few minutes?”  We shouted back that we could and he promptly appeared with a leaf blower and cleared off our entire court.  He’s nice.

So here’s my point.  I need to stop feeling so angry and clenched. So I’m going to make a concentrated effort to focus AT LEAST as much of my energy on the nice people that make me happy as I do on the mean ones that make me mad.

Because really, people aren’t ALL bad.

Because sometimes, people ARE nice.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I LOVE YOU, I’M JUST NOT in LOVE WITH YOU…



Fall.  

Everyone always gets so stinkin’ excited about fall.  “Ooooh,” everyone says, “pumpkin lattes, fuzzy socks, and boots, I can’t wait!” But I rail against it every year because you know what pumpkin lattes, fuzzy socks, and boots indicate to me?  Cold.  That’s right, icy-fingers, numb-butt, cold. And I. Don’t. Want. It.  Trust me, you’ll be gagging on pumpkin and lusting for sandals three weeks into winter.

Fall staples: Pumpkin beer and football.
The individual qualities of fall, I truly do enjoy:  Crisp, cool, sunny days? Yup, delightful. Pumpkin flavored breads, coffees, and beers? Yuuuummmm. Leather boots and tights?  Some of my most favorite fashion accessories.  Halloween parties and football?  Bring ‘em.

It’s more about what fall represents that I detest.  The end of summer.  The onset of cold, gloomy, winter.  Plus, fall is fleeting - fall is a tease.  It’s like a two-week delightful experience before all hell breaks loose and ruins your life for five months.

Fall is like ‘that’ guy to me. You know, the one who had all the right qualities on paper, the one who was super good to you, who you liked a whole-whole lot and even felt love for, but just never quite fell completely in love with because something felt wrong - you could just foresee something not quite right in the future…

So, it’s like that, fall.  I love you, I’m just not IN love with you.

I only give up sandals and accept boots when the anticipated high is 40.
Self-soothing with pumpkin beer.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

DC'YA LATER...??


I had to spend part of the week in DC for work.  Mike came with me since he already had Columbus Day off.  It was kinda cool.  We got to stay right downtown since the event that I was working was at the National Press Club.  This meant walking distance to all of the museums, monuments, and National Mall.

Whenever Mike and I visit DC, we always talk about whether or not we would like to relocate to the area.  Mike’s decision is an unflinching, “YES!”  He’s so ready to be out of Pittsburgh and he could so easily get a job there.  My decision is a more hesitant, “Maaaybe?”  And even that shaky maybe comes with a long list of qualifications – all, for the most part, centering around finances and commutes. Could we live in an adorable, yet spacious, two bedroom loft in Georgetown where I walk around the block to my job in a cute little gallery where they think I can do no wrong and pay me a ridiculous salary, give me awesome benefits, and only make me come in when I want to, just to keep me there?  Then, YES! Otherwise, I’m not so sure I can handle the crowded, hectic pace or compete with the social/career ladder-climbing set.

But Mike seems confident that we are much more suited to DC than to Pittsburgh and he thinks we would be happy there.  I’m so desperate for a change of some sort, for an adventure, I might just be ready to concede.

 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

CRAWLIN' AND POPPIN'

Pittsburgh’s cultural district hosted a gallery crawl and a pop-up market this weekend and the normally, ummm, let’s call it sleepy, downtown area came to life.
There was art, there was music, there were drinks, there was fun, and there was super-amazing-eyes-roll-back-in-your-head-delicious-dessert. (Seriously, I'm thinking about taking my toiletry bag and camping out at Bluebird Kitchen for several days. or weeks.)
Pittsburgh, let’s do it again.  Soon.

Sean indulging me by posing in front of Cell-Phone Disco
He said it made him feel like a dorky tourist.
I told him not to worry - only part of that was evident to others.

I really liked this picture I took in the pop up market.
I'm really sorry that the I and the P of the
"I want ___ to pop up" got cut off.
It makes the picture a lot less cool.
And a lot more sexual predator-y.


Some cool installation pieces at Space and Future Tenant, respectively.

Friday, September 28, 2012

IT'S MY ANNIVERSARY!


 At work.

Blah.

Ten years.

Double Blah.

But I got a really nice gift... 

That was exciting.

A gift that comes in the little blue bag is never NOT exciting.