Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gee, Off-Icer Cup-Kie

On my 28th Birthday, I went to work, I washed a sink-full of dishes, I made a pasta salad.

But two days before...

This happened:

I met my friend and we acquired a Crumbs cupcake, an Insomnia cookie, and Emack & Bolio's ice cream

The cupcake was decapitated and hollowed out, and filled with ice cream.  The cookie capped it off, then was covered again with the cupcake's frosting.  What kind of dessert monstrosity is this?  We dubbed him (for he deserved to be a proper noun) "Off-Icer Cup-Kie".  Like "Officer Krupke"?

Only in Manhattan.


I want to drink my first martini, eat my first ceviche, and learn to walk in heels.

I want to own my own furniture.

I want to set a goal, work towards it, and achieve it.

Vacation Recap: Grandma & Me

I was supposed to be born on my Grandma's birthday.  But I took a little bit longer than most to leave "home."  Story of my life.

Grandma and I both tell the same stories over and over again.  We both try to cheat at cards - only she gets away with it more than I do.  And we both fall asleep during movies.

We have a family tradition with birthdays.  It's a bit tricky to explain.  When cutting a birthday cake, the birthday boy or girl puts the knife in the cake, and for good luck, the person with the next most recent birthday takes the knife out.  When it's Grandma's birthday, I always get to take the knife out.

There's another family tradition:  when saying goodbye after a visit, Grandma starts to cry, and then everyone else is crying.  I'm amazed we can back out of her long, tricky driveway while the waterworks are flowing! 

And that's where we were while I took this picture.  So, no harsh judgements, please.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mani Mondays - I'm Old Gregg!

Okay, first, watch this:

Now, check out my Old Gregg-inspired nails:


Vacation Recap: Duds the Stud

In the middle of my life falling apart, I went up to Buffalo to visit my family, as I do every year.

I expected to be miserable - wallowing in sadness and loneliness the whole time.

And then I met someone.

My aunt was pet-sitting for the neighbor's dog and guess what.  He is a pug.  His name is Dudley.

I spent one whole day photographing him and taunting him to make his head tilt.

And petting his soft, soft softiness.

And, in less proud moments, threatening to uncurl his tail.

I didn't mean it though.

I just liked seeing his reaction.

Here is something about Dudley.

At first, he's very shy.

When I first saw him, I thought we'd be instant friends.

It was not so!

At first he was afraid of me.

Perhaps I came on too strong.

But soon, we became good buddies.

I loved his tilty head and his buggy pug eyes.

And his funny ways.

If you stood too long at the sink ignoring him, he'd stand on the back of the couch in the sun room to peer through the window and spy on you!

Did I mention his tilty, tilty head?

And I helped teach him how to shake!

Did I mention buggy eyes?!?

As you can see, in only a day, he won me over.

But not everyone was as impressed....

Sorry, Dudley.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vacation Recap: Shuffle Off to Buffalo

Whenever I ride up to Buffalo, I feel as though perhaps I know every mile of the journey by heart.  The landmarks always come in their familiar, predictable order.  Hills and farms and forests all burned into my memory.

The journey seems to take forever, but it's really only 3 and a half hours - much shorter than some bus trips even, ahem, ahem.

Even shorter now that my mom discovered a shortcut through some small towns that cuts off half an hour of Freeway driving.  I would much rather see humble houses and small town high schools than pavement and guard rails, how about you?

When you're in New York for a while, you get used to crushing throngs of people everywhere, every inch of space being landscaped and built on.  The bus ride to Binghamton is the first step in removing yourself from the city - slowly through the NJ Turnpike then out the other side to a small suburb.  The ride to Buffalo winds through farms and hillsides, in between creepy terrifying windmills and through a tiny town that smells like farts (I swear on my life).

The pinnacle of excitement around the trip to Buffalo is The Big Blue Water Tower.

As kids, my brothers and I would often pester my parents, "Are we there yet?"  The answer was, "Not till you see The Big Blue Water Tower!"  As with many recurring events among siblings, this soon became a game, and then a contest.  Eventually, being the first to spot The Big Blue Water Tower on the horizon made you the Winner of the Trip.  BUT - only if you see it first and say the approved phrase:

"I see The Big Blue Water Tower!
1, 2, 3 on you!
I win!"

I am pleased to report that this time, I won.
Winning was especially sweet.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Vacation Recap: Bus-y Work

Riding the bus is hella boring. Even with all the modern amenities of electric outlets, wifi, and questionable bathrooms! Passing the time is difficult. Especially when you, ahem, get stuck in traffic and your bus ride doubles in length! I like to pass the time taking pictures. Mostly self-portraits and landscapes.

Leaving my city.

Feelin' good and lovin' the open road.

Open skies and doin' fine.

Starting to get a bit bored.

Starting to get a bit hungry.

But, as it turns out, six hours on a bus didn't bother me much, cuz at the end of it, my dad picked me up in his slick BMW convertible and we drove around the neighborhood blasting The Who's greatest hits and howling "Whooooooo are you WHO WHO, WHO WHO?"

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gonna Make It After All

So, now you know my terrible secret that I've been keeping for a month.  I've been dumped.  Surprise.  Sure was to me.  So I'm going day by day, and it's getting easier all the time.  The trick is to stay productive.

Today I made:

A totally ghetto but surprisingly satisfying pasta salad out of a box of pasta, two cans of olives, a container of grape tomatoes, and a bottle of Italian dressing.

A puzzle of Times Square.

Plans to celebrate my birthday with a friend.

Two phone calls (well, I didn't make them, but I didn't hit ignore, let it go to voice mail, and sob uncontrollably instead).

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday: SGR

1.  I am  single for the first time in nearly 7 years.  That was hard to say.  I'm having a hard time talking about it, it's been a tough three weeks going from having a wonderful partner in life I thought I was going to grow old with to being kicked out of my apartment and seeing my life as one big question mark.  I have never felt so hurt in my entire life, and I can't hide it anymore from my blog family.  Thank you all for laughing alongside me in the good times, I'm sorry to burden you with my sad news.

2.   I have always   wanted to live in New York City.  I'm not going to give up on my life just because I'm going through therapy, a breakup, and finding an apartment in the city is so difficult that it's been a running joke for decades .

3.  I hope to  find my passion and dive into work that I enjoy and find fulfillment in.  OH, and find a new apartment I can afford, and ideally a roommate because I hate living alone.

4. I can survive.  I found the apartment I'm living in now, I can find a new one, right?  Right.  I can sleep on an air mattress and live out of boxes.

5. I dream of  months or years later when I can be my own person, apart from all the hurt and emotions I have right now.  I dream of forgetting the good times and making good times of my own.

6. The way to my heart is  troubled.  I don't know if it's possible to trust anyone, because years later they may tell you they don't love you anymore and laugh about it.

7.  I am passionate about  proving that I have something to offer, and am not just a millstone.  Making something awesome of my life.  Living to the fullest and not being angry.  Continuing to blog.  Facing my fears with fresh perspective and coming out the better for it.

Linking up with Lauren at The Little Things We Do
And in case you were wondering,
"SGR" stands for "Shit Got Real."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Romantics Anonymous

Watch this movie and cry your eyes out.

No, seriously.

It will make you....emotional.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't Mind Me...

I'm just getting a massive sunburn by my aunt's pool on Grand Island. Coffee and paper by the pool!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I'm going to be out of town for the next week. I hope you don't miss my brilliance too much.

Leaving NYC is bittersweet every time. Whenever I come out of the Lincoln Tunnel and see it across the Hudson, I always feel like I've made a huge mistake - NO! TURN AROUND! Take me back!

But no. I'm leaving for my family reunion. With a roll of nickels I'm sure to lose playing cards and more clothes than I'll have occasion to wear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's Play Saturday: Family Tradition

So you know, I'm in Buffalo this week with my family, for our annual get-together celebrating my Grandmother's birthday (and this year, my youngest cousin's high school graduation)!  My extended family has always bonded around playing games together.  That, and coloring contests.  Anyway, here are some of my family's favourite games!

Po-Ke-No - like BINGO, with cards and chips!  As a kid, the first thing we'd do upon arriving at my Grandparents' house was run upstairs, grab Po-Ke-No, and start playing until we got bored and then stack the red chips as high as we could until they fell over.  Po-Ke-No is the greatest!

Five Crowns - hard to learn, and you better know math, this game is super rewarding.  This game can turn at any moment, being anyone's game. 

Source: holdson.com via Debs on Pinterest

Phase Ten Dice - this game is mostly impossible.  The last few times we played it together, we ended up having to call the game a truce because it went on too long.  Don't ask me why we still play.  It's just a much more difficult version of...

Yahtzee - I never win.  I rarely win any games, except the card games we play (which I'll talk about later!).  Yahtzee is still fun to play, I've been playing since I couldn't hold all the dice in my hands at once and HAD to use the cup.  Here's a tip:  hold the dice in your hand and whisper to them what you want them to land on.  That doesn't work much, but when it does, it's epic.

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