31 December 2009



Wrapping up 2009

Wrapping up 2008

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

  • Played craps (I won over $150 in New Mexico this summer, but came up a little short in Vegas—still, it was tons of fun)
  • Went to Vegas for Thanksgiving (or Franksgiving, as they apparently call it..."they" being J's friends, not Vegas).
  • Used a sewing machine.
  • Changed my diet, stuck to it, lost some weight and felt better about myself. Yes, that all fell apart sometime this winter, but I did it once and I can do it again.
  • Got my braces taken off!!!! Now I know what all my high school friends were talking about. It was the BEST feeling.
  • Brought J home with me! We had a great time in El Paso—it's always so much fun seeing the city through the eyes of someone you love. Plus, I'm sure visiting my childhood home explained a lot to J...
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
From last year:
This year, I want to build on my professional goals on a daily basis, probably in the form of a journal, but definitely in a measurable way. I want to find a job - not a crappy retail job (that I love, but Jesus is it hard), but a real, honest to goodness job. I want to be closer to my existing friends. I want to be more selective about the things I bring into the house, whether it's things I buy that I don't need, like clothes or shoes I will wear once, or things that we buy that may make our lives easier, but hurt the environment in the process. I also want to learn how to sew.
  • I definitely built on my professional goals this year. On a daily basis? Maybe not, but I'm in a far better position than I was last December.
  • I did not find a full-time job this year, and I did fall back on a retail job for the holidays, but I also found some freelance work that was far more valuable than some job I might have taken just for the health benefits.
  • I think Jessica and I spend a fair amount of time together, but I need to be better about keeping in touch with friends who don't live five blocks away.
  • We definitely cut down on the amount of stuff we brought into the house, and we still recycle, but our recycling loads have gotten smaller (or equally sized but less frequent). I'd say we did a good job, although I still have a clothes and shoes addiction.
  • I did learn how to sew rectangular things. I now need to learn how to sew other things.
This year? Well, this year I'd like to
  • Cut HFCS from our diet, or severely restrict it. I guess limit processed foods in general.
  • Fix my little anxiety/fear of bicycle death thing.
  • Resume cooking meals at home more often
  • Eat healthier foods, and by exercising more, possibly look smoking hot when I'm naked?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Our friends Jordan and Carolyn had a baby boy in November. Our friends Sarah and Matt also had their baby yesterday, December 30th!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
None, again. Our travel this year was limited to the States again, mostly due to wedding season. We went to Washington/Idaho/Montana, Minnesota, Vegas, and El Paso/Albuquerque. J also went to San Diego and PA.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Good health insurance that doesn't cost $500/month (my crappy health insurance costs $500/month). I'm getting my wish, though, since J and I just finished the paperwork for me to be included on his health insurance. Yay, domestic partnership.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
The day my braces were removed!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Designing a website for someone else.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to get a client to pay up, and (D'OH!) putting all of the files on her hosting site, where she changed the password and stopped emailing me. Worst $600 lesson, EVAR.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I think I had the swine flu, for real. I was never tested for it, but I was OUT for two weeks and then had a sore throat for about a month after that. I think I caught it on the plane out to Montana. That was when I actually couldn't open a bottle of Ibuprofen because every muscle in my body hurt and was exhausted. If I had had enough energy, I would have LOL'd, but I mostly just whimpered a laugh, then went to sleep for 12 hours after J opened it for me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I bought some black skinny pants that are the BEST, and I doubt I could live without my rotary cutter and giant cutting mat.

However, hands down the most fun thing I got was this bag. It is so cute, but the fact that I can carry my DSLR around with me, everywhere and look like I'm carrying a cute handbag and not a bulky camera bag? Awesome.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
  • J's, whose support and devotion have never wavered.
  • Sarah and Carolyn and Lesley for carrying babies inside of them for nine months!
  • Laura and Steve for getting engaged, proving our theory about who would be next, and giving team awesome yet another opportunity to be together again when they do get married.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Our upstairs neighbors for being douchebags and walking around in their boots all day because "their feet are cold." You know what else keeps your feet warm? Slippers. Rugs. Go F yourselves.

United Airlines. Because, seriously?

14. Where did most of your money go?
rent, tuition, health insurance.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing Bishop Allen live at the Middle East.
Missing the chance to meet John Hamm in person. IN PERSON. GAH.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Passion Pit's Sleepyhead.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder?
I am definitely about the same. I am overall happier than I have been in the past, but I also am suffering from anxiety attacks and this weird fear of death and bridges that comes and goes at the worst times. This obviously does not make me happy, but I also no longer suffer from depression the way I used to. Yey, modern medicine!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish that I had cooked more often. I wish that I had completed more of my around-the-house projects. I wish I had punched the upstairs neighbor in the face. I mean, talked to her more nicely.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Procrastinating, in general.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
In El Paso, showing J around town!

21. How will you be spending New Years?
With our friends at Jessica's apartment, playing Scrabble, because I am seriously obsessed.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes, I still find new ways and reasons to love J more and more every year.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Flight of the Conchords, 30 Rock.

25. Do you "hate" anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I think that I've come to decide that "hate," even the mild pretend "hate," is a completely wasted emotion. This doesn't mean that there isn't anyone that could have made this list, just that I choose not to participate in this question anymore.

26. What was the best book you read?
I read a whole bunch of Tudor literature this year, both fiction and non-fiction. The best book, by far, was The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle. Not only did it seem to be the most factually accurate book I've read so far, but it focused on some oft-forgotten characters in the battle for the throne after Henry VIII's death. If you're into this sort of thing, I highly recommend it.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Either Fanfarlo or the Harlem Shakes. Both albums are fantastic. I would say Phoenix, but basically Mercedes commercials ruined that for me. However, the rest of that album is also really good.

28. What did you want that you also ended up getting?
An "A" in my Foundations of Graphic Design class.
An electric blanket! My feet have never been so warm!
A deluxe edition of Scrabble with the rotating board and everything—it is so awesome.

29. What did you want that you did not end up getting?
Basically everything on my Amazon wishlist. I always forget to show that to people before the holidays. Dang.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
By and far, Away We Go was the best movie I've seen in a long time, and not just because JESUSCHRIST does John Krasinski look like the split image of J in that movie. J could have been his double. But also because Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski played so beautifully off of each other, and even though it's such a sad story, it feels like home.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 25. There were a lot of sidecars, and Ryan Gosling cupcakes which were WONDERFUL.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Actually applying to grad school instead of just thinking about it.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Pretty much the same as last year. More sweat pants.

34. What kept you sane?
Medication, therapy, and J.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Ryan Gosling, John Kraskinski.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Health Insurance

37. Who did you miss?
Our friends Dan and Lydia moved to the D.C. area, and life in Boston is not the same without them.
Ever since I lost my office job, I waste less time on gmail chat, so I miss Laura's face a lot, too.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
The bartender and trivia Tim. We were searching for a place to do pub trivia this year. Our old plan of the Harvard Square Tommy Doyles on Wednesday wasn't working out as well as it used to, so one week we went to the Tommy Doyles in Kendall, near MIT, and the bartender remembered me and Jess from this one time months before that we had stopped in for a drink before dinner. Random. So we started going every week, and now we're BFFs with the bartender and the trivia dude. It's great.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Always, always, ALWAYS use a contract!

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"This will be a better year
Make a little money, take a lot of shit
Feel real bad, then get over it, oh,
This will be a better year"
—Harlem Shakes, Strictly Game

29 December 2009

Ten Words [The Internet] Needs To Stop Misspelling

Click on the image to be taken to the oatmeal's hilariously illustrated guide to ten words you need to stop misspelling. If you're a great speller, then laugh and laugh at the hilarious imagery.

Pay special attention to how to spell DEFINITELY.

28 December 2009

Birthday Present From Me to Me!

Candle Necklace

Anthropologie designs just give me shivers, they're so pretty. I'm reluctant to turn in the card, but I'm pretty excited about my necklace and the discount!

At Least One Of Us Has Moved On

I accidentally found a piece written about me by my college boyfriend's sister, recently. Ouch.

I'm not sad that her opinion of me is crummy or that she saw me as a monster, because if I'm honest with myself I know I was. Her story is definitely biased, but it's only biased in the sense that that was the me that she knew. Save for the tidbit about the scarf. I don't know why she thought I threw away his "$150 cashmere scarf" that she had scoured the city for because I had "knit him one that Christmas," only because the Christmas she's referring to was two years before I learned to knit, so I question the integrity of all of her facts. I don't remember throwing away a scarf. I remember college boyfriend being really careless with his shit, though. I've forgotten most of the details, but reading her words was refreshing in that it gave me an accurate insight into my character at the time, but is was shoddy when it comes to actual factual events.

Anyway, the issue here is that she knew me as a "walking scowl", and I couldn't have made that impression more strongly had I actually disliked her the first time I met her. And honestly if there is a bunch of people whose bad opinion of me really doesn't bother me, it's that whole family. Her story about my "just desserts" (i.e. her brother dumping me...worst punishment, ever!) is only funny because she clearly still sees me as that person; because she wrote it as if, by god, I should heed her words or continue to be treated the way her brother and his family treated me FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. DUN DUN DUN. It was downright hilarious. It's not like I had no idea I was this big crazy bitch back then. Plus it's good to know that while my anger was obviously wasted—as all anger is—my suspicions of their hatred weren't signs of paranoid schizophrenia. I smile a lot more now that I have a boyfriend who loves me and friends who I actually acknowledge (who love me, too).

It was because of college boyfriend's family, mostly, that I was terrified to pieces when I first met J's family. My experience with the cb's family had been so mind-numbingly terrible—so much like driving an ice pick through my eyeballs—I was convinced that no one's mother could ever love me and that I was doomed to be seen as a "walking scowl" forever. I don't dispute that over the years my attitude grew worse, but I know that I did say thank you the first time I met them. I was, though, and am still painfully shy, so I probably didn't come off as grateful. They also scared the crap out of me; they were overbearing and overwhelming and just plain scary the whole time, and they mostly kept to themselves when they weren't being nice to the point of insincerity.

Two significant things changed after college. First, that it's important to me that my boyfriend has a good relationship with his mother, and J has an excellent relationship with his. Secondly, more importantly, his relationship to me is one of love and trust that we have built over the years by ultimately being kind to each other. It is his unquestioning faith in my goodness that makes me want to be a better person. I am still crazy, and I am still mean-spirited and judgmental sometimes, but J knows how to diffuse it, and he knows when and how to step up and be a man about it, which is precisely why I am putty in his hands. It's also why I don't have to resort to silly antics or petty jealousy just to get him to stay.

The crucial ingredient missing back then was maturity on everyone's part (mine, yes. Absolutely. But his especially. And his family? Yikes), which is why it made me sad to see her holding onto that anger for such a long time—enough to post about it online, anyway, and without a hint of irony. I have no delusions about the impression I made, and although they'd be the last people to believe me, I have a few stories about how woefully ungracious he was to my family the first time he met them, too.

Anyway, the long and short of it is this: a lot of bad things happened in my college relationship. Mostly it was because we were the worst fit that two people could probably be. And I never wonder what would have happened if I might have been more gracious—more like myself—when I first met them. Losing him was the best thing that ever happened to me, and prolonging the end of that misery would have actually ruined my life. I've made some mistakes in my time, but the length and significance of that relationship in my life was probably the biggest.

And with this story, another chapter of that time in my life is closed forever. Sometimes I wish that my slate had been clean before I met J, but I realize that our relationship wouldn't be as rich and purely happy as it is if I hadn't made those mistakes. They're mine, and for better or for worse, they've shaped me. I figured out what happiness and love are when you don't try to force them. I'm not saying that's worth a hundred ex-boyfriends of that caliber, but to end up being with someone like J it has certainly been worth the journey it took to get here.

27 December 2009

United Airlines Sucks. But I Guess That's Not News.

While I was typing up my complaints to the BBB about my recent nightmare trip to El Paso with United Airlines, I stumbled across this video. It's catchy and it's cute, but I'm still too angry with the way United jerked me around to laugh about it. Maybe I'll laugh about it when I finally get my luggage back (oh, yes, they "misplaced" it on the outgoing and return flights! United, FTW).

18 December 2009


A friend of mine emailed me this really cute sketch from the site odosketch, which is a flash based drawing application that then replays your sketch for you. She sent me this really cute sketch that is now my desktop background

Also, I sent out the last of my holiday cards this morning, and I downloaded *the pattern* for this beautiful box for one of our Christmas gifts from this website, here:

I'd say it's been a productive morning!

17 December 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Anniversary Edition

Grabbing Butts

Three years feels like such a long time ago. We've both grown so much in that time—and it's so amazing to know that I'm growing with someone. J grounds me. He stays calm when I cannot, and he's strong and confident and so smart—and look at how smoking hot he is!


I love him because he makes me laugh out loud, daily. He makes even the most mundane tasks seem fun.

Action Shot

I love him because he makes me see beauty in myself. It is because of him that I try to be a better person. Whenever I am angry or sad, he is there to remind me that the world isn't all pain and suffering.


I love him because everywhere we go together is an adventure, even if we're just people watching in Harvard Square.

The cupcakes

I love him because I smile every morning when I wake up with him and every evening when he comes home to me.


To me, home is J's heart and hands.

16 December 2009

Three Years

3 Years

Our three year anniversary is coming up—this Thursday, in fact. To celebrate, we're having dinner at Houston's, courtesy of a very generous Christmas gift card we got last year.

I got this little bouquet of flowers last night at trivia, though, so that I'd be able to enjoy them for a few days before we leave for Texas. I guess J was going to give the flowers to the bartender before I arrived, so that they'd be there waiting for me, but he didn't want me sitting there all by myself with flowers for a half-hour.

There are three roses: one big one for this year and two little ones for the two years past (and some pine because the florist asked him if he'd like some holiday cheer in the bunch). I'm still smiling as I look at them sitting here on my desk. J is not one for flowers, but when he does them, he does them well.

14 December 2009

Outdated Browser

I only thought this was funny because I'm using Chrome on my Mac, so it's not so much an "outdated browser," as mint.com needs to catch up with the times, already. The Chrome for Mac launch was so last week. GOSH.

10 December 2009

Things I Love Thursday

This Instax instant camera by Fuji. I have had my eye on this thing for a while, now, but only recently has it occurred to me to spend some gift certificates I have on procuring this thing. I'm still about $50 shy of the camera, and then I'll still need film, but I'm on my way, and it will probably arrive about when I'm using the last of the Polaroid film in my freezer.

Boston breweries. I went to the Harpoon brewery with my friend Jon yesterday, and the Sam Adams brewery with Jessica on Saturday. Free beer? Sign me up. Not only do they allow you to taste a lot of beers you might not be able to readily find outside of the brewery, but straight from the brewery on tap is the best way to experience beer. Plus it's a cheap date.

My gocco printer. In the way of Polaroid, gocco has ruined many lives by ceasing production, but I'll get a few last runs out of her, yet. I am loco for gocco.

08 December 2009

Ways I'm Going To Try to Have a Stress-Free Christmas

Make A List
Make a list of every person you need to buy a present for. Carry it with you wherever you go, and cross names off as you buy.

Set a Budget
Set a budget and stick to it. This way you won't get carried away.

Christmas Cards One Day At A Time
Write a little very day until around the 14th. Then you can mail out all of your cards at once.

Wrap As You Buy
Wrap your presents the night you get them home to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task of wrapping all of your presents at once.

Shop Online
Make sure you account for shipping time, but shopping online is a great way to avoid the crowds. And the malls. Ugh.

Buy A Real Tree
This might not be for everyone, but the smell of pine in my house always calms me down and makes me feel festive. Maybe if you don't want to go all out and get a tree, you can buy a wreath. We don't have room for a tree this year, so I plan on getting a wreath for our living room.

Say No
You don't have to do everything. Learn to diplomatically say no.

Buy Batteries
Nothing like unwrapping the presents on Christmas Day and finding out you won't be able to use them until you can get to a store to buy batteries!

Watch Christmas Movies
My personal favorite is It's A Wonderful Life. My grandmother and I used to watch it together while we wrapped presents. I like seeing it at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, which has an old timey stage with curtains and everything. It's magical.

Take a Day Off
Once you've done all the shopping, wrapping and cards, take some time to unwind and do nothing.

Enjoy Yourself
Even if everything doesn't get done, the holidays should be about this above everything.

04 December 2009

Depressing Unemployment Statistics via mintlife

This video that i saw on the Mint Personal Life Blog was a little bit depressing, a little bit enlightening, and incredibly depressing. I may have some leads on a few jobs, but right now, all I want to do is crawl under the covers and wake up in the spring.

The video is a little bit annoying, but you have to get to the end to get the point. However, there is a graphic on the post that shows the same information. Click on the image to make it larger:


03 December 2009

Thrive Says So

Thrive Says So

Things I Love Thursday

This comic about how to design a website. The best part is that the whole thing is composed of things actual clients said to the guy. Oy!

I told you there would be more dachshunds to come:

{via Brian Hathcock's flickr page}

Las Vegas . I had a lot of fun in Vegas over Thanksgiving. J and his friends don't "do" Vegas like some people do, but I had fun, anyway, taking a lot of memories that I will hold near to my heart. Mostly memories of very inappropriate conversations and dirty playing cards, plus driving nearly all the way to the Hoover Dam before seeing the long line of cars, pulling a U-turn on the highway and going back.

twitter . I may have made a business contact just because of a simple tweet. If nothing comes of it, all it cost me was 140 characters and an email!

02 December 2009

Fabulous Philippe Starck Watches

These watches are so great, I think if I ever decide to start wearing watches again, I will probably get one of these! Too bad they're analog :)