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Triumph!

Well, sort of.

See, on Monday I was convinced that I had strep throat. Horrible day at work plus a terrible state of health did not equal a happy Monica, so I forked up the 50 bucks that it takes for me to get seen at the urgent care clinic (holy crap–being an adult with my own health insurance is expensive) and had the nurse practitioner shove a strep swab down my throat. The immediate result was that it was negative, but I’d have to wait “a few days” for the full results to come in. Of course, things rapidly deteriorated from there and as soon as I got home from the clinic I hauled ass into bed–where I remained in confinement until Wednesday afternoon. I had to use 2 precious days of PTO for being sick, which sucks because everyone knows that PTO is for vacayyytion, not sick days!

(Note the sarcasm {sort of}: I’m grateful to have a job that even offers me health insurance and paid time off. Too many people are not nearly as luck. But I’m still pissed that I can’t take a nice long holiday during the holidays. I digress.)

Anyway, I got back to work yesterday to find out that this illness which I have seems to be going around the office (it’s a very small office of 30 people) and that my coworkers are dropping like flies. Accusations also flew…like flies (badum-tcchh). Yes, I was the one to blame.

Right, so the point of this is just to say that the urgent care clinic called today to tell me that I had strep. I was right all along! Good thing I skipped out on work, otherwise I’m certain that I would’ve infected the entire office, instead of most of it, because I am the front-desk girl and basically handle everything that comes in and goes out. Including germs.

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The real point of this post wasn’t to triumph in my knowledge that I know my germs (maybe a little). Nope. During my 2-day lie in, I watched an excessive amount of Pushing Daisies and have decided that my love of Lee Pace almost rivals my love for Matthew Gray Gubler. The decision comes down to this:

Awkard, tall, and skinny?

Or this…

taller, skinner, and awkward-er

Eyebrows or cheekbones? Pie or crimes? The ability to wake the dead or to read a 500 page book in 10 minutes? You decide.

And another that I’m seriously loving about this tv show is the complete adorableness of Anna Friel. Seriously, where can I buy her entire wardrobe for this show? I’m planning an epic shopping trip this week to buy some Charlotte Charles, aka Chuck, clothes. Because I’m that obsessed. And I don’t even like shopping. For a girl who has lived in Northern Virgina almost her entire life, I sure did miss out on the retail therapy gene that most females in this area seem to have been blessed with.

I'll take one in every color, thanks.

I aspire to be as adorable and chic as her every day of my life. Of course, I’m fairly certain that I sad the same thing after I saw Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer, but that’s not important (although I do luurve that movie).

Okay, so I’ll admit, this post wasn’t exactly living up to the “Excitement Experiment”  that was promised, but I haven’t exactly been doing much these days. I had strep!

Here’s a little something to spark your creativity, though. Listen to the whole thing!

Oltremare, by Ludovico Einaudi

21 Days

Isn’t that how long it is supposed to take to break an addiction? I’m not entirely sure, but that’s not the point, haha.

Just know that I apologize for my absence from the blogosphere. My grandpa came to live with us for the month of July, which was indeed an adventure because he’s got Alzheimer’s and was constantly demanding cookies. So, my excuse for not blogging is cookies? … don’t judge me!

Work has been work has been work. Not much exciting going on around these parts. I work, I come home, I make dinner, I go to the gym (occasionally) and I go to bed. Pretty tedious and repetitive, if you ask me. I’d like to shake up my days and make them more exciting and rewarding, but I’m not really sure how to go about doing that. Which, I guess is the whole point of this blog–to hold me accountable for my own life. By regularly posting about my life I’m bound to discover something unique among the drudgery, right?

When I originally set out to write this blog, I wanted it to be called “The Excitement Experiment” because I wanted to make it my mission to make the most out of my days and weeks (and weekends!). The goal was to do something totally different & new to me each week. Like taking a knitting class one day and a BodyPump class the next. Or learning how to decorate a cake. Or writing an entire short story in 24 hours. Little things that would shake up my days.

Clearly, the Excitement Experiment failed before it even got a chance to get started. I’d like to give it a kick start again soon, to see if I can revive the whole concept before pitching it out of my head permanently. I’m going to give it my best shot!

Question to the general populace: What do you do to make your life more exciting? We all get stuck in ruts sometimes and I want to hear about how you lovely people manage to escape the grind!

After graduation, I came home for a few days before heading to Hawaii for a little vacation with my BFF Sarah. Upon returning, I made the final adventure to my college apartment and brought back my stuff (well, it took two trips over the span of a week to get it all back, but you get the picture). Moving back from the ‘Burg (in a word) sucked. Back then I had space! And two places in which to put all of my stuff–one room at school and one at home! But somehow I had to squeeze everything back into one teeny-tiny little room, which had been collecting junk for the past 14 years. The state of my bedroom after moving back home was something straight out of Twister.

This is the stuff OCD nightmares are made of.

Please note the bunk bed (which is far older than I am) and collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I clearly have issues with parting from childhood memorabilia. So, naturally, I did what any normal person would do when given a situation like this: nothing. I had just started working full time (complete with lots and lots of commuting) and just didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. Fast forward a week and as I fell out of my bed (no ladder, see?) for the umpteenth time I decided that it was time to change. The most obvious course of action was to take everything in my room out so I could do a little rearranging, right? Wrong.

Death trap hallway.

My parents weren’t exactly thrilled with my redecorating plan, as it involved turning our hallway into a fire hazard. I had to remove it all the next day and put it back into my room–thus defeating the purpose. But eventually, after a week (or two) I got it looking something like this…

So close! And yet so far.

Rat Dog was thrilled to have a place to move around, lemme tell you. What she doesn’t love is the new setup that my room is currently rockin’ because she can’t snuggle under the bed anymore. Yes, nearly four weeks after officially moving home, I have a real bed (buh-bye bunk) and a bookshelf and a brand spanking new life. Out with the old! I never knew I had so much stuff randomly saved. My pack-ratting would rival an episode of Hoarders (which was incidentally the spark for this little adventure). Okay, not really, but did I seriously think that my gym uniform from middle school would have any sort of sentimental value to me now?

Ikea had a sale this weekend so I grabbed a couple little things that were needed to transform my icky, old bedroom into a comfortable new sanctuary.

A room with a view, at last.

All was not lost for Rat Dog, though. I may have picked up a little doggie bed for her to snuggle in as well, because I’m such a great person and all.

It feels so wonderful to have a place to live now! Even though I’ll be getting my own place (sooner rather than later), it’s wonderful for now! Yeah, it took me a month to get there, but whatever.

Life Goal # 2 (Purge my life of old & unnecessary clutter): Completed!

Stay tuned for the completion of my Life Goal #3…

Monica

Where’s my mic?

Tap tap tap. Testing, testing.

Ladies and gentlemen, lend me your ears, your eyes, and your souls for a brief amount of time. I promise this won’t take you away from America’s Got Talent for very long. In fact, it may entertain you even more than that band who plays air guitar (AND got to go to VEGAS because of it). Although I shouldn’t be one to judge because I actually enjoyed watching them, but I digress.

By now you may have already read my about me page–but maybe you haven’t. So you should get on that because it has some very crucial information. Maybe you like remaining in the dark about my awesome life, but that’s your own damn problem. However, there are lots of other interesting things to be read about me in this post too, at least, they’re interesting to me.

Let’s talk summer. Here in the great suburbs of Northern Virginia the temperatures are hitting record highs, as I’m sure they’re doing where you are too (unless you live in Antarctica…actually, scratch that. Temps are probably hitting record highs there as well). Unwise people (I was about to call them “stupid” but I figured that might be too blunt for a first post. So I’ll try to keep the insults to a minimum, but don’t get used to it) are flocking to the beach and pools, where they can sip their warm Diet Cokes and try to avoid the splashes caused by maniac children in inflatable wings, while slathering themselves in cooking oil in attempts to extract as much Vitamin D from the sun so as to cause permanent skin damage and wrinkles by the time they’re 40.

Right. Not my idea of a good summer. Maybe those people really enjoy it! They probably weren’t blessed with German and Irish roots which causes their skin to alternately burn and freckle and then fade to pale oblivion. I do have quite a bit of Italian in my genes, but for some reason it only shows up in my hair and eyebrows, which are both seriously unmanageable.

The wise people (like me!) instead choose to spend their summers inside a nice bookstore or library, or even their comfy bed, snuggled up to a good book. Of course, I’m working most of the time and commuting the other bits of my time, so my reading is mostly done on a bus to and from work. I’m certainly not complaining–any time that I spend reading is time well spent. As a slight sidenote (get used to these, I like them a lot), I spent a lot of time reading when I took a little trip there this summer, after graduation. Reading on the beach always seems like such a great idea, until you actually get there. The wind’s always so crazy and the sun’s so bright and it’s never really all that comfortable because you’re either frying your back or your stomach. And then there’s the small issue of sand in the pages. Eeeiiissshhh.

Anyway, I’ve already tackled quite a few reading projects this summer, being the crazy former English major that I am. Perhaps one of my personal favorites was Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. I’m not going to lie (major serious scary geek alert here)–I was first attracted to this book when I saw it on the library shelves because of it’s size. It is massssive. Naturally, I decided that I had to read it, before even reading the back. And then I read the back. I flipped through the pages. I noticed two things: 1) it was about magicians in 19th C. Britain and 2) it had footnotes. And not just ones that were put in by scholars studying the text, either.  There are pages and pages of tangential stories and legends that provide background information on each and every spell and story that is mentioned throughout the entire novel. So, I picked it up. Unfortunately, I started reading it in the last few days of my spring break and when I got back to school I had precious little time to read for pleasure. Yah know, because of things like thesis papers, finals, and graduation and stuff. So I made a point to finish it while on vacation.

I gotta say, I may have been judged severely on several different occasions for lugging around 4 considerable novels in my carry-on. I read them all, so whatever. Haters gon’ hate.

Since I avoid reading Amazon reviews of books before reading them, I didn’t have any idea that people were calling it “Harry Potter for adults!” and other various forms of puffery. I do agree that the fantasy elements are very attractive, but they’re not the whole reason why I enjoyed it. I preferred the Dickensian portrait of characters and story. There were so many characters and plotlines that sometimes it was difficult to keep the stories straight, but I really enjoy Dickens. The novel is extremely engaging, this is not a “brain candy” novel by any means (or, as I like to call them, “literary crack”). If you have the patience to get through an 800-plus page tome complete with pages and pages of footnotes, I highly recommend it. However, if you prefer less complex stories (or have a very short attention span OR carpal tunnel syndrome) then I would not suggest it to you. This is not to say that I don’t like less complex stories! I do! I love ’em! Next literary review: memoirs by Jen Lancaster. She’s fricken hilarious.

So, if you’ve stayed with me so far, you ought to be rewarded with something. I’m not really sure what. How about a question to the general public? What do you like to read during the summer? Or, are you anti-book and pro-US Weekly? I can get behind that too. I have a slight addiction to celebrity gossip.

And now, for your moment of zen:

My pup's adorable mug 🙂

Blurry pic. Sorry. Enjoy her cuteness anyway.

Living

Check out my About Me page, and get ready for an exciting introductory post coming soon. I know you’re practically peeing your pants from excitement.

Monica