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Monday, September 16, 2013

September: Happy New Blogging Years!

In September a lot of things happen. (This is deep already.)

1. School. Well, school starts for some people. For others, their roommates are in school and then while someone is upstairs watching 10 Things I Hate About You, other people are reading illegally uploaded pdfs and doing math. And one person feels guilty but also secretly gleeful that her life of laziness allows her to not care.

2. Clothes change. All of a sudden it's cool but not cold but also warm and sometimes hot and sunny with sudden rain. Transitional! It's transitional. And you have to layer, and you get excited, but then you remember how much you're going to miss that perfect sundress you didn't get until August so you are just chilly a lot and you mock the people who are already wearing tights. (What?) Also your shoulders are still peeling from that dark burn/tan on Labor Day.

3. The people get excited for Fall. And as we have already established here, and on facebook, and my other social media, and in person, I do not like fall. I am the only person in the history of the world who proudly declares, I HATE FALL. It's the worst. Fall gets you all hyped up on pumpkin spice lattes (don't get me started now that I am a barista) and boots and scarves, and lets you think your life is going to be a freaking hayride of joy and stews. But what you need to realize is that fall is actually just mostly November which is grey and windy and crap. The good days of fall are actually Indian Summer (which is NOT NOW, guys...look at a calendar, because this is still regular summer for like, 3 more days!!), and then like maybe two random days in October where it is sunny and the leaves are still pretty and it's 65. The rest is just awful.

Okay so many other things also happen in September, but the point is, September is when my writing mojo comes back. It likes to randomly arrive on a Monday night after an 8 1/2 hour shift where we served 90 people in 60 minutes and I've googled the living daylights out of the Cincinnati bridal scene and all I've eaten since 6am are two packs of apple cinnamon oatmeal (breakfast), a thing of Wendy's chili (lunch), and a giant freaking calzone with red onions and sausage (dinner at 9:30pm) which will surely keep me up for at least another hour or so with the burps. Sometimes I think my mojo only arrives when I don't eat vegetables.

And that, is how this blogging year shall start.

(The title is going to change too, can't help that. It's the rule of New Blogging Years.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Moving

Where the heck have I been for a month? I know where I haven't been--packing. I'm due to move into my new house with a couple friends tomorrow (TOMORROW) and I have yet to place a single article of clothing into a box/suitcase/bag. I like to think that because I have half a room full of boxes from moving out of New York two years ago that I sort of am already packed. This is, of course, not true. And yet, here it is, the night before the 15th (Doomsday), and I'm hastily wrapped my collection of colored glass bottles in old Kroger bags.

It's been a busy month, for sure. I have had to deal with a multitude of changes at work. I've been creating schedules, working weekends, training new employees, and dealing with graduation crowds and summer lags. I took a road trip to visit an old friend in South Carolina with another old friend, which was a welcome distraction from my increasing restlessness (hello again!) in Ohio. We ate delicious seafood and I took pictures of every beautiful house I saw. We've had some beautiful weather here; we have also had some disgusting rain and chilly temps. And pollen out the wazoo. Spring, you are a fickle mistress. And I've got busy weeks coming up--more and more work schedule changes, a trip to Toledo for our estate sale, garage sale scrounging for kitchen chairs, etc. Oh, and did I mention I'm leaving for camp on June 11th? Yes.

(Also, I feel like I should say I am no longer dumped? The last post, while still relavent, no longer represents my current relationship status. Once again, my blog title is completely wrong. Yay!)

But first I have to move. I'm leaving the only place I've ever lived in here in Athens for the west side (but listen, west is NOT best, so suck it), and I am not ready. Here what is going to happen--I'm going to panic and just start shoving crap in boxes relatively soon, and then I won't be able to find stuff for work tomorrow. And when it comes time to unpack I will probably overwhelm myself again and come sleep at my parents' house because my room will be crazy messy. Eventually I will just end up throwing out half of the mementos I've stored up and vow to start fresh (aka go thrifting). It's gonna be great.

I would take a picture of my room but it's actually the cleanest it's ever been while moving...because I haven't started yet! I'm so good at being an adult.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Two out of Three

I know it's not Tuesday. Don't be pedantic.

I'm about to get really real with you all. This is the straight dope, straight from me. I'm not looking for pity or empathy or anything at all, okay? My blog is for me to express myself and you can take it or leave it or not read it or whatever. I don't really care.

So for a while my blog title was very inaccurate. I have a job, one that is maybe not perfect or terribly fulfilling, but "no job" is definitely not true. I'm not homeless, and my lease on a new apartment starts in 4 weeks. And until today, I was in a relationship.

Well, obviously, I'm no longer in a relationship. And it should be known that I am not writing this as payback, or revenge, or anything; this isn't about one person. This is about my role in relationships.

I think I've figured something out today, as a result of this break up. When I like someone, I like them wholeheartedly. When it boils down to it, what I am searching for in life is a person--not an ideal, not a candidate that fits everything I wrote on that list I made when I was 15. Maybe this person will be a forever-person; maybe not. But if I like someone, that is it, whether they are right for me or not.

But here's the issue: because I like someone, I will overlook their flaws. And I don't mean snoring, or being messy, or hating my favorite food. I mean that I will overlook basic things about them that make us incompatible; things they would have to change for us to be together in the long run. Things like smoking, or living far away, or not being reliable. Those things are "deal breakers" and I somehow refuse to deal with them head on. I guess I think the person will change? Or maybe my priorities will? And what it kind of resembles, to me, is settling. Maybe there just isn't a "perfect person" and maybe "all relationships have problems" and because I like this person, it will all turn out okay in the end.

So what I'm saying is, I don't think I give myself enough credit. I am awesome. I am! But history tells me good people are hard to find, and chemistry is harder, and good timing is, like, non-existant. And so I become happy with what I do have, even if I get those little feelings in the back of my mind that say, this isn't quite right. And then my brain responds that, well, okay, but it's good for now, right? But why do I ignore that voice? Even if I only hear it once or twice, is my subconscious not worth listening to?

Here's something interesting--I've never been the dumper. I've always been the one who was broken up with. Yes, I have stopped "seeing" people, but in any relationship that has lasted longer than a few dates, I am always the person who is dumped. Now, I haven't had many relationships, so this could be nothing. But I think it's worth taking a closer look. Maybe I don't like hurting people, or I'm afraid to be alone again. Or maybe I don't think I will ever find anyone perfect for me. I just don't know.  

In any case, though, I'm going to be fine. Listen, guys, I'm pretty resilient. I can't say that I wouldn't mind getting the heck out of this tiny town for a little bit, and luckily I'm going on a little mini-vacation next weekend. But yeah. That's what's up. This is what's happening. Straight up.

Thanks for reading.

(AND FOR THE RECORD, this is general and is about multiple relationships I have had in my past. And, finally, this is about ME--not anyone else.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Cold Coffee Drinks

I have very little energy this week because it is finally nice in Ohio. And do you know what that means for your barista?

We're making cold drinks.

The cold drink station is exHAUSting because you aren't JUST making iced drinks. Or JUST frozen. You're doing both. And it ain't pretty.

Smoothies are flying.

Melted ice everywhere.

Straw wrappers.

Oh you wanted decaf? And skim? And sugar-free?

And then ONE GUY wants a hot drink and the whoooole system falls apart.

----

So yeah. Today during a busy moment we helped 63 customers in 37 minutes. I didn't even check the later rushes because do you know what happens after you've been busy for 2 hours straight? You have to restock. And then you run out of cold brew. And then you die.

----

So after I came home and did my taxes (twice, because Turbo Tax is a huuuuge bitch) and picked up some new bookshelves and cooked dinner, I don't want to write any more about coffee. I am starting to dream about it.

(But GOOD NEWS: maybe a job opportunity coming up, the government said, oh you ARE poor, here's some money, and I am going on a little break with some lovely ladies in less than 3 weeks!!)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: I Love/Hate Pinterest

Do you use Pinterest? I do. I'm not ashamed. For the record, I do not have any creepy "future wedding" boards for myself. Or future baby boards. Sorry, but I'm not doing either of those things soon, so why on earth would I need pictures/"inspiration" for them?

So then what does one DO on Pinterest, huh? Wellllll...I've got a board for pictures of amazing places I want to travel to. I have a board of decorating inspiration for the house I'm moving into in May. I have a board of style-related photos, which consists of things I would eventually like to wear and/or purchase for myself. I have a board of pictures that I just like, for no particular reason. Like this picture:


Or this one:


Or this one:


Back in the good old days, I used to just right click and save pictures I liked onto my computer. I had a whole folder of them for a long time in college. Actually, I just looked, and there are crap-ton in my iPhoto. Well, hm.

Anyway, so I really like the ability to save pictures in an organized and easy-to-access way. It's awesome when I don't have to open iPhoto (seriously, why does it break my computer when I open iPhoto? is it the 17000+ photos?). 

But also....I HATE Pinterest a LOT.

Let me explain. About 97% of the pictures you find while browsing the site are absolute crap. They, most likely, are: a.) ugly, b.) the 7563rd post you've seen of the same picture, or c.) no longer linked to original sources, so are completely unhelpful.

Like, can we talk about things being overdone? Because if I see another generic living room with brown-ish-grey-ish walls with white trim and black picture frames/furniture, I'm going to kill someone. Adding a large letter or ampersand does not make it quirky or different.

Look:

are they or are they not the SAME HOUSE?

It just drives me absolutely nuts when we are at a moment in time where we have access to all sorts of different forms of inspiration--different cultures and countries, furniture from everywhere in the world, photos that date back a hundred years--and we can literally see them all RIGHT IN FRONT OF US ON THE INTERNET EVERY DAY...

...and people still want their houses to look the same. 

Literally. Mind-boggling.

Now, of course, there are amazing things to be found and pinned on the internet. But I have been pinning a lot lately, and do you know what we do NOT need anymore?

1. The following words and phrases: 
a.) "pop of color"
b.) "rustic" (describing literally everything: houses, shirts, cups, horses, shoes, hairstyles, flowers, etc.)
c.) "vintage" (especially because they so often mean vintage-inspired)
d.) "tablescape"
e.) "keep calm & ____"
2. Bridesmaids in cowboy boots, and brides in flip-flops (if you can't handle your shoes all evening, what does that say about you?)
3. Chevron, ombre, smokey eye tutorials, mason jars, mustaches, and fat burning tips
4. Those long pins that make the rest load slower and are pinned a thousand times everywhere
5. "Hilarious" e-cards

But listen, there is one thing Pinterest seriously gets right all the time:

Baby animals.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Annoying Things

1. Nail polish that chips immediately. Also, weak nails.
2. People who go 10 mph on Court St. because the bricks make it feel like you're going faster.
3. People who suck at ordering coffee. (ex. "oh...I wanted it iced"--then you have to ASK for it ICED)
4. Overheating laptops.
5. The fact that it is still winter. (Notice how by the actual first day of winter it's been winter for like a month already? Spring...where you at??)
6. The lack of Thai food in Athens.
7. Online dress shopping.
8. Hanging up clothes in my closet.
9. Not being able to wear "real clothes" to work (because of uniform "policy"; also, spills).
10. Waiting forever for ebook rentals...listen, they are electronic, so what do you mean it's "checked out?"
11. When you have to get up and go to work but someone else doesn't.
12. Being thirsty but cozy in bed (and your bedside glass is empty).
13. When you keep forgetting things until the middle of the night.
14. Buffering videos. Is this not 2013?
15. Parting your hair on the other side because your haircut makes you.
16. Complainers. Sorry, world.

no offense meant (circa 2005)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Sleep

I was planning on writing a really good blog post today. But then I fell asleep for 4 1/2 hours in the middle of the day and now I don't care that much anymore. I'll do it next week or something.

So here are some pictures of spring that I have taken over the years in honor of the 1-4 inches of snow we are supposed to get tonight:



















That's all folks. I'll try to get my sleep schedule under control (HA) for next week.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Four-Eyes

I have a terrible problem--I have to make a decision and I am notoriously bad at decision-making. And change. Especially when it comes to changing my appearance. (Please note I have only changed my hair one time since I was 20 and chopped it off for Locks of Love, and that was the Bang Phase of 2010. Let it be known that bangs and summer do NOT mix.)

Well, as you may or may not know, I do not have perfect vision. I have had some form of eyewear prescription since 1997, although I got contacts in college and never looked back. In fact I have only owned 3 pairs of glasses since 6th grade. Which is why a.) my current glasses are 11 years old, b.) they are outdated, and c.) I hate them with the passion of a thousand suns.

Here are my current glasses:


I can kind of see where sophomore-Natalie was coming from, I like the blue frames, but the shape is a little too mid-2000s for me. And they give me awful glasses marks. And once, when we were driving through Yellowstone on a family trip, my brother hit me across the face and these glasses CUT ME between my eyes. They will never be forgiven.

So anyway, after getting my prescription updated for the first time in 4.5 years (look away, Quinns!), I decided I should probably get new glasses that help me actually see in case I, like, need to see.

Enter Warby Parker.

I have a couple of friends who have gotten glasses from Warby Parker. Cute and stylish friends to boot. And I loved the idea of an at-home try-on without a pushy salesperson or fluorescent lights. So I online shopped, and a box was delivered chez moi this afternoon with five pairs of glasses (sans prescription) for me to try on!

Now, as I said, I need your help. I am hyper-critical of photos of myself (aren't we all), and so I can't really look at these pictures without seeing the zit on my nose, my pointy chin, and the fact that my eyes aren't symmetrical (nor are the tops of my ears). So, if you have a moment or two, please just look at this montage of photos and tell me which ones suck less. Please? I just suffered through taking like 50 pictures of myself, it's the least you can do...I mean, you're reading this, so just like...be opinionated for a sec. kthx.

First up, the contestants:


For the record, as you will see in further photos, I wrote "what's up with these names" under "Clyde," because I was attempting humor, and seriously, I feel like I'm talking about horses or pretentious private schoolers.


Next up, a straight-on shot of me in each pair, hopefully similar enough to compare the shape of the frames to the shape of my face/eyes/zit:


note--the two photos correspond so you know which frame is which

Finally, the talent round! Let's see what these puppies can do when I interject a little personality into them. Each contestant gets one basic shot, one shot with hair pulled back, and one "fun" shot. Let's see what these girls are made of!


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Ladies and gentlemen, those are our contestants! Please judge away, but in a nice tone.



THANK YOU!!

*Leave comments here or on facebook/pinterest/wherever this was linked--I'll find them!!*

Note: I am not sponsored by, nor affiliated with Warby Parker in any way, shape, or form. I'm just a customer, homie.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: I Need a Hobby

an early cartwheel attempt
It's funny how when you get older your idea of what constitutes "fun" changes so drastically. What was your favorite activity on a sunny afternoon when you were little? Mine, personally were:

- attempting to beat my previous record of continuous cartwheels in a row before I fell from dizziness (my best memory put that number around 35)...later this became much more dangerous as I learned how to do back handsprings
- making up sweet dances with my bffs
- building forts in the woods
- riding my "horse" (it was a beautiful bicycle with pink and green tires) named Sharon around the neighborhood

young Natalie's reaction
to my lack of hobbies
Nowadays, these are not the first things that pop into my head when I have an afternoon free. On any given day after work I am a.) napping, b.) attempting to surf the internet on my bed without falling asleep, c.) attempting to clean my room without falling asleep, or d.) eating.

My hobbies are a sorry state of affairs. It was much simpler when I lived in larger cities. In New York and Paris, the majority of my afternoons were spent just walking. I would explore nearby neighborhoods, walk along the river, try new foods, go to a free museum, etc. It was all at my fingertips, and it was the perfect combination of free, easy, and interesting. AND that 2-5 mile walk usually equally an extra pastry at the end of the day. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is.

just a sight walking home
I guess one of the hardest parts of transitioning into adulthood is that things aren't "built-in." It's not easy or in-your-face to join clubs or teams. Gyms no longer come with your tuition, and for the first time in your life, it might be easier to just drive to the store than to find a ride or walk. Moving out of larger cities amplifies this by like a million, too. It's not like we have world-renowned art museums here in Athens. Or 3 different cool events every weekend. There are only so many neighborhoods to explore here, and if you grew up here then you've been through them all already, and probably explored several of the houses, too. I hiked all the trails in Athens a long time ago, and yes, the remnants of our fort are still behind my house.

an easy subway ride away from
my old apartment
This is a hobby; this blog is good. But I think it is time for me to get back into some of the things I used to enjoy when they were easy. Will I still like yoga if I have to pay per class? Am I that interested in photography when there aren't beautiful historical buildings surrounding me? Is it going to be fun to search for books I'm interested in, instead of having my friends lend me their new favorites?
exciting views in my current 'hood

Like I said, it's funny how we change as we get older.


**For the record, I was in the middle of doing this post on my bed and I fell asleep. It's like sleep is gravity and I'm trying to fly or something.**