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Monday, June 8th, 2009
10:08 am
01. Dad's Where the Wild Things Are video message home.
02. Marisa's bowling birthday party.
03. Shrek on Broadway.
04. Heartless.
05. Juliet :(
06. Finally beating my boyfriend at pool, after 3 years of losing.
07. Slip 'n Slide and drunken buffoonery at Connie's BBQ.
08. Being way too nostalgic about everything. (I'll miss you #43 bus driver!)
09. 'Adios Philly' dinner @ the Memphis.
10. Moving to Jerz.

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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
5:05 pm
1. Dad leaving, again.
2. Sisterly bonding for 4 days.
3. Narnia exhibit at the Franklin Institute.
4. Brian Regan!!
5. No hot water for a week.
6. Root beer floats, rainbow sherbet, waffles with ice cream.
7. Brett's long-awaited return from Israel.
8. Fancy new touch-screen cell phones.
9. Rainy nights of mad snuggles.
10. Deciding to move back to Jersey. (eep!)

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Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
12:56 pm
1. LUNA!
2. Stories of Scheherezade.
3. Benjamin freaking Linus.
4. Keg of Lager, beer pong & Flogging Molly singalong with good friends.
5. 8ft tall Grim Reaper.
6. Hasta la Vista Connie fiesta.
7. Cooter and Poonie reunion 2x in one week.
8. Twilight commentary.
9. Watchmen, and The Wolverine trailer.
10. Dad coming home for a long weekend.

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Thursday, March 5th, 2009
8:20 pm - 1/6 of '09.
01. New Years toasts and hackey sessions.
02. Wax museum photo silliness.
03. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
04. Orange bathroom!!
05. New sneakers.
06. Smurfs, Legos, and other fun at FAO Schwarz.
07. Stray kitten friends.
08. Tin Man.
09. Waffles with ice cream.
10. Finally being able to say that my sister is my best friend, and knowing that it will probably stay that way for the rest of our lives.

01. Valentine surprises at work.
02. Dad's farewell dinner.
03. #33.
04. Jackie's 21st birthday fiesta.
05. Danny Bonaduce?
06. Cupcakes!!!
07. Philadelphia tattoo convention.
08. Hellcat Girls burlesque show.
09. Jager bombs, and the leaning tower of orange slices.
10. The most difficult goodbye of my life.

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
9:49 am
My dad got his medical clearance last week, so he's leaving for Iraq on Monday. Or rather, leaving for Oklahoma for two months of intense training, and then overseas. I guess it won't truly feel real until we say goodbye at the airport. I'm really not sure how our family is going to hold up over the next year. My mom and my sister have a horrible relationship -- which is only to be expected at this stage; it was the same for me -- so not having my dad around to be their mediator is going to make things really difficult for them. I don't know how my mom is dealing with it all, she tries to be strong for Alexis and me, but I'm sure she's falling apart inside. I know I would be, if it were Noah leaving. And we only have three years under our belt, not twenty-eight.

Our family really lucked out during the last Gulf War; he almost received orders on several occasions but it never panned out. How ironic that now, eight years after he finished paying his dues and retired happily, he's yanked back in against his will (and totally unprepared and out of shape) and thrown into the desert. I guess I'm scared that the experience is going to change him in some way, although I suppose if anything it will make us all appreciate each other a lot more.

A year is not a very long time in the grand scheme of things, but in our family -- a year is a lot. We do so much together, because we simply enjoy being around each other. Vacations, holidays, game nights, movies, amusement parks... we just like to hang out and make each other laugh. My dad is so much a part of me, and has shaped who I am probably more than anybody else in my life. He inspires me to learn things. We both love American history, and zombie movies, and stand-up comedy, and the Twilight Zone, and rock and roll from the 70's, and the Muppets, and books, and politics. We teach each other things. The the greatness of good beer, the art of forgiveness, the importance of laughter.

I am really going to miss him.

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Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
3:52 pm
Wow, it has been a long time since I have reunited with my LJ for anything other than stalking people and getting my celebrity gossip. Maybe my resolution for the new year should be to write in here at least once a month. So, to backtrack on my life over the last year....

Boyfriend is wonderful still, more than any girl could ever want or even dream of. Takes care of me, adores me, makes me laugh harder than anybody, puts up (and now participates along with!) with all my weird neuroses and obsessions, and makes me feel like the most beautiful, intelligent, important woman who's ever lived on a daily basis. Basically, I don't deserve him. Ha.

I have become closer to my family this past year than I ever thought possible. Over the summer, my dad was pulled out of retirement from the National Guard and was chosen to go to Iraq for a year. It was a whole bunch of bullshit and I was so appalled with the chain of events that I seriously considered moving to Canada and disassociating myself from this country forever. Three weeks before he was supposed to leave, he broke his ankle. Two weeks after that, the cast gave him a massive blood clot. So, he wiggled out of going overseas... for now, at least. We spent all summer with my family, trips to the Poconos and just goofing off on my sister's trampoline. My mom and I haven't had an argument in almost six months and it's been such a relief knowing I can truly go to her for anything and not have to worry about her (over)reactions. She actually sort of understands who I am now, and it feels good.

My little sister is now in middle school, and has grown up so much it's almost like looking in a mirror. She is so much like me, it's truly terrifying. It's kind of weird considering my best friend to be a seventh grader, but it's the absolute truth. She is an awesome kid and I am so glad we are able to relate to each other so much better now. Now that we're roommate-less, we were able to set up a guest room upstairs especially for her, and she bugs us almost every weekend to let her come and stay over. I love it.

We had a lot of roommate drama; had to kick him out for his basic lack of consideration for anyone except himself. He became a complete alcoholic, adopted a dog which then became our responsibility to keep alive, never had money for rent or bills, and was just generally unpleasant to even be around. He and Noah will probably never speak to each other again, which I honestly think is for the best. I've never known a more delusional person -- Good riddance.

We also had a lot of roommate NOTdrama; we miss you Han! :)
And we got a new kitten... bringing our insane brood of animals to four cats, one dog, and one surviving fish (we had five over the summer, but they've since all slowly committed suicide or eaten each other). I'm hoping to rescue a new dog sometime this year, maybe in the fall. It's a little crazy, but I'm just glad to have a partner who's equally animal-obsessed and doesn't mind everything covered in a layer of fur.

Work is going well, even if it has its moments of sheer frustration. My boss is going through a messy divorce, so of course our wants and needs are put on the back burner while he sorts out his pathetic personal life. He's also just an unpleasant, greedy, jerk who I am sometimes ashamed to work for, but I love the job too much to quit. (Plus last month he gave us a 45" television and surround sound system for no reason, so maybe I should stop complaining.) The group of girls (and guy!) that we currently have employed are all amazing, and we can at least make each other laugh throughout all the drama. Cute puppies and my wonderful regular customers also help tremendously.

I've taken to reading at least a book a week recently; this time of year especially it's the only thing I really have motivation to do when I'm home. Our couches are perfect for snuggling in with a book, a glass of wine, and one of my perfectly mellow iTunes playlists for a night of relaxation while Noah sits beside me drawing another one of my eventual tattoos (right now he's working on my zombie pin-up girl). Of course let's not forget Hulu.com as yet another reason not to ever leave the house, throw in some occasional competitive fun (Muppets Party Cruise for PS2, or Harry Potter Scene It!) and a few random nights of hilarious drunkenness at the Memphis, and that about sums up my life these days.

I must say, I can't complain at all.

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
5:46 pm
Why It Sometimes Pays To Shop At Hot Topic:

Last weekend in Jersey, Noah and I took my sister on a birthday shopping spree. While we were out, Noah remembered that he wanted to look for retainers for his septum piercing since he's technically not allowed to wear it at work. So, to Hot Topic we went. It is ultimately everything I hate about America's angsty youth, but sometimes it's the only place to look for jewelry and/or a decent selection of tattoo magazines. We had incredible luck on all accounts, and while we were paying this guy behind us handed us an advertisement. I figured he was just trying to plug his undoubtedly crappy band, but I now wish I had hugged him while I had the chance.

The "pamphlet" was actually two free tickets to the screening of Rainn Wilson's new movie, The Rocker, in Philadelphia. And who was scheduled to be there? Mr. Dwight K. Schrute himself. The screening was last night... and the movie was surprisingly funny, featured amazing cameos by Will Arnett and Demetri Martin, and Rainn is seriously one of the most normal, humble, adorable human beings on the planet. He talked for almost forty minutes after the screening, answered all sorts of ridiculous questions, interacted with all the little kids in the audience, and was a general delight and everything I could have hoped him to be.

So, my friends, don't be ashamed or afraid to shop at Hot Topic. Sometimes magical things can happen there.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2008
7:28 pm
Favorite Things About Summer, Volume One:

This, among many other delicious seasonal beers.

Our salt and pepper monkeys.

The scary plant that started taking over our back patio. It's taller than me.
The leaves are bigger than our windows. I'm considering turning them into curtains.

Taking ridiculously long walks with this stupid dog.

Rewarding myself with freeze pops multiple times a day.

Listening to these really, really loudly with all the windows open.

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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
12:30 pm
I have the whole day off today for once, and I can't even enjoy it 'cause everyone else is at work. Even my dog. (She helps wrangle the puppies at our new doggie daycare facility.) I couldn't even sleep past 8:30 because I had a stupid conference call for work which had no affect on me or my store whatsoever since out of the five locations, mine is the cleanest and most organized, and it's making the most money -- This is what happens when people do their jobs. Go figure.

So now I'm just sitting here killing braincells on the internet, listening to AC/DC and waiting for the boyfriend to come home to spend his lunch break pigging out on Arby's potato wedges with me. We hardly get to see each other anymore now that he's working two jobs during the week, but we were finally able to hang out all day Saturday... bar hopping, record store hunting (Flight of the Conchords on vinyl! and a Raffi CD for $1!), eating way too many cheese fries, drinking good local beer, and watching the amazing lightning storm outside. I wanted to go to the new pirate exhibit at the Franklin Institute, but we ran out of time.

I just got a text message from my little sister. (AKA the best sister ever, who bought me a Dwight Schrute bobblehead from the NBC store when she was in New York last week!) It says: "I'm officially a middle schooler!!!!" Yikes. Seventh grade. No good can come from this.

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Friday, May 2nd, 2008
6:27 pm
Saturday was one of the best days I will probably have in awhile. I woke up dreading having to work because I was way too excited for my evening plans. However, about an hour into my day, I met one of my most favorite celebrities!

Parker fucking Posey! (and Demi Moore, too.) They spent about twenty minutes at my store with their dogs, while I tried my hardest not to geek out completely.

Amped from this unexpected encounter, I rushed home to spend some QT with the boy -- we haven't been getting nearly enough of that lately; both working 50+ hour weeks -- which really just means smushing ourselves together on the most comfortable couch ever and playing massive amounts of Harry Potter's Quidditch World Cup on PS2 while listening to my favorite American Idol contestants' studio versions (best 3: Michael Johns' Dolly Parton cover, David Cook's Mariah Carey cover, and Jason Castro's Sting cover) 'cause we are major nerds.

Later, we picked up our friend Joe and hit the road to Lancaster for the event I've been waiting three years for... the CD release party for my friends in Negative Space. This is a group of guys who have struggled for years with the dreaded cover band reputation, and the misfortune of being based out of a town whose only notable feature is not their kick ass original music scene, but rather the bearded, simple-minded folk who park their horse and buggies at the Sunoco station (no joke). Anyway... Over the last several years, I have probably seen these guys perform at least fifty times, and I am so proud to have seen their transition firsthand. They went from being full-time musicians who were overpaid for playing other band's songs, to taking third-shift jobs stocking shelves at grocery stores so they could still afford to pursue their dreams as a legitimate, original band. It was absolutely awesome watching them sign countless autographs for their fans, show appreciation for those of us who travel far and wide to support them, and of course perform their guts out to a sold out crowd at the Chameleon Club. I can't wait to see what happens for these guys in the upcoming weeks/months/years... they are the most dedicated, genuine, sweet and talented men you'll find these days. I might be slightly biased, but their album Storylines is freaking amazing and I highly recommend downloading it from iTunes as quickly as you can.

An acoustic performance at the Lancaster Borders, night before the CD release.

In unrelated news, watching LOST is once again starting to cause me health-related issues and many sleepless nights :(

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Monday, April 21st, 2008
8:47 pm
I'm so glad spring is finally here again. Work has been busy, which is always a good thing... I love all the new puppies visiting me daily and am determined to adopt a new dog this summer. Zoe needs a friend.

It's nice that everyone has already started to come out of hibernation for social gatherings. In the last couple weeks, I've been able to catch up with the old crew back in York, spend time with Noah's mom and brother, get some much overdue QT with Andrea & my "nephew" Logan, and have a lovely Friday night out in Philly with my best MoCo-ers. This weekend we're taking a road trip to Lancaster to celebrate the much-anticipated release of my dear friends, Negative Space, first full-length album. Not a shabby start to what I hope will be another adventurous spring/summer.

Recently there have been a few major occurrences that I'm still too lazy/freaked out/excited about to elaborate on:
- My mom was hospitalized for a couple days last week. They think it was just a panic attack, but there's still a lot of other tests they want to run. Quite possibly one of the most frightening experiences in my life so far. I think I was more worried than my dad and little sister.
- My best friend is having a baby. In November. With our old roommate Anthony. They've been dating for awhile now, but it was still a major surprise and I'm still having trouble processing it.
- My favorite gay Asian coworker is moving in with us for a month before he leaves us permanently for NYC.
- Brandon and I are finally splurging and buying Noah a tattoo gun, which means my Alice in Wonderland back piece will soon be more than just a pipe dream.
- The boy has recently brought up the M-word (marriage) which is of course still a ways off in the distance, however, the word itself is nowhere near as terrifying as it once was.

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Monday, April 7th, 2008
7:23 pm
I figured if the New Kids on the freaking Block can reunite after all this time, so can me and my trusty old LJ.

Life highlights as of late: Just being happy, albeit a little boring.

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Friday, October 12th, 2007
9:53 am
I really love how Philadelphia seems to skip transitioning into seasons now, or perhaps skipping seasons themselves. Two days ago it reached 90 here, now it almost feels wintry with the breeze in the air. All I want are perfect autumn nights to take my boyfriend and our dog over to the baseball field behind our house and run around like total fools, possibly retreating to the playground to swing. Is that too much to ask?

My birthday is in like, nine days. I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I'll now be a quarter of a century old. Even though at times my life feels like an utter disaster/disappointment, he's always there to say adorably reassuring things to help me remember that my thoughts are completely false. I may not have accomplished much in my almost-25 years of existence, but I have certainly been LIVING... and that's all I ever really wanted out of life.

We're still broke (if not evident from our gas AND electricity being shut off in the last two months, as well as Noah's car getting repossessed), although it's evolved from the scary sort of dangerous level of poverty to a happy sort of manageable level that makes the fun times that much more appreciated.

Highlights of the last several months:Collapse )
1. Uncle Mike's surprise 50th birthday party and witnessing my entire extended family drunkenly fall all over each other while butchering the moves to the electric slide.
2. Riding wooden rollercoasters in the pouring rain with my dad and Noah.
3. Mini golfing with my little sister in scarves and earmuffs in the Poconos. In August, no less.
4. Hartfest drunkenness and Brother Bob.
5. Waterslides, waterslides, waterslides.
6. Mega fries.
7. Franklin-sitting.
8. Mastering the art of riding Philadelphia's public transportation system.
9. Mad snuggles.
10. The O.C. Arrested Development The Office, Grey's Anatomy, and the million other TV shows on DVD that have consumed our non-productive, couch potato lives. (refer back to #9)
11. The zooooooooooo! Which, I may have to boycott from here on out, as they are getting rid of their three beloved African elephants. What is a zoo without elephants I say!?
12. MoCo reunions, beer pong destruction, Team Mitten forever.
13. Negative Space playing a 95% original show (yay!) and still finding time to cover my favorite Jimmy Eat World song.
14. A visit to York only reinforcing why we left in the first place.
15. Listening to cassette tapes (!) in Noah's new (old) '89 Jetta.
15. Puppies!!

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Saturday, August 18th, 2007
12:04 am

We're off to the Poconos for a week!
Hooray for a long-overdue vacation!!

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
5:20 pm
I'd like to excuse my neglect of this journal with the simple fact that my life just hasn't been interesting as of late, but that would be a lie, probably. Things are good -- not necessarily amazing, but definitely better than any words I would use to make sense of my life. It's been too hot in Philadelphia this summer to do anything, literally. But I usually have more fun playing Pacman in my air conditioned living room and trying whatever fancy new beer the boys carefully selected for that day. I have had at least a few adventures out and about; we located a bar in South Philly that will most likely become our second home once the weather is nicer/our paychecks are fatter and Abby and I were able to witness the wondrous Full House: Live! I have officially been inducted into city life by having Noah's car window smashed and my iPod stolen out of the console. I can't be bitter since it was my own stupidity to have left it in the car in the first place, but my four-mile walk home at night has been incredibly dull since this sudden, tragic loss. At least some nights I've lucked out as I walk past Festival Pier while the opening bands for Incubus, 311 and the Beastie Boys were playing. I think this Friday I may just linger around the area for Muse's entire set since I couldn't afford the $40 tickets.

The animals all had fleas last week, my mom is helping me pay off most of my debts so I'm not stressed out at the end of every month, Noah and I took a spontaneous overnight trip to Wildwood on Sunday and got caught in a downpour on the boardwalk, this weekend is Hartfest with all the MoCo kids I haven't seen in so long it depresses me, and the following week is our vacation to the Poconos with my folks. My current mission is to save enough money to go to New Orleans at the end of October to see Rage Against the Machine/Smashing Pumpkins/Ben Harper/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/Wilco/etc. at the Voodoo Music Festival. I think that would make an excellent 25th birthday present. (Hint, hint.)

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Friday, May 25th, 2007
4:52 pm
Meet Franklin.

He's not mine -- I wish! -- I puppysat for my co-worker last weekend. This little guy is so much fun! I really want to get another dog... Zoe could really use a non-feline friend around the house.

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Thursday, May 24th, 2007
8:43 pm
One year ago, I kissed a certain boy for the first time. And it was the best decision I've ever made. :)

I'm more than satisfied with the twists and turns my life has taken in the past 365 days. I've learned to be self-reliant, while still leaving myself open to be vulnerable in our relationship. I moved to a big city, even though I'm not really a big city kinda girl. And I've found that I actually really maybe sort of love it here. I've also found that it is possible for a relationship to flourish, even when you have everything in common and nothing to argue about. The only thing I feel I'm lacking these days are friends. I've lost a lot of them recently, for a variety of reasons. I moved around the corner from some, and yet I still feel like I'm light years away. I guess now that summer is here, though, there are more opportunities for all that hanging out type of stuff (my fingers are crossed).

I feel like these kind of self-actualizations are more the types of things to happen on a birthday, or New Years, or at least really, really late at night. But today is a much more monumental occasion: I get to celebrate the most stable, nurturing, committed, sane relationship I've ever been in. Maybe I should've baked a cake or something.

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Monday, May 7th, 2007
7:50 pm
Okay... I just found out that the supremely adorable dog groomer that I work with was the lead singer of the now-defunct, Jersey-bred band The June Spirit. I am not really sure how I feel about working beside someone whose music I listened to religiously in the early 2000's. I am also not sure how much longer I can take working in a store where I fall in love eighteen times a day with the different dogs that come in to visit. Corgis, Newfoundlands, Puggles, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Boston Terriers, and my boss' newest addition, Nacho:

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
8:06 pm
So, I got a job today... finally. This super-expensive designer clothing store just recently branched off into doing pet stuff. Which sounds completely ridiculous, and some of it truly is. But you know how rich people are. There are some pretty cool collars and leashes I want to get Zoe, although I think I'll leave all the silly puffy doggie vests for the Paris Hilton wannabes to purchase. They hired me on the spot as assistant manager, with the hopes that within the next month I'll be splitting my time working 20 hours in the store, and 20 hours in the office on their website. That was certainly an unexpected offer, but they were relieved to find someone with multiple talents. And I was relieved to know I'll have a steady paycheck coming in every week. Oh, I almost forgot the best part... the place is called Doggie Style. My mom almost had a heart attack when she heard the name. Hahaha.

My parents were awesome enough to give us another $500 to help get on our feet. They also added a cell phone to our family plan, for Noah. My mom couldn't stand the fact that we have been unable to communicate when we're apart up until now. I cannot say enough about my surprisingly supportive and generous family. Noah and I have started a new tradition of cooking these elaborate meals every Sunday night, so I think we're going to invite my parents to join us one of these weekends as a thank you, and to prove that we're doing better then they might think.

I am so glad to finally be working tomorrow. The ice cream man circles around the neighborhood several times a day, and the little bells are just torture for my ears and belly. I wish he took credit cards :(

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Thursday, April 12th, 2007
9:07 pm
All settled in Philly (sort of). Unfortunately still job-less, but hopefully not forever. Our house is too big for our own good; the extra fourth bedroom is being set up as Noah's "musical workspace." My dad gave us this incredibly old school electric piano he found in the attic that I can't wait to tinker with. He also (finally) gave up a good portion of his record collection... a few Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent, Zeppelin, Queen... and any Bowie or Beatles I could get my hands on. He still refuses to part with his record player though, claiming I "should have asked for one for Christmas." It just makes me so sad to see it resting there all lonely-like; the only fingerprints in the dust lying on top are probably my own. An ultimatum is in the works, because all I really want to do is curl up on the couch with a book and listen to Dylan's Blood on the Tracks the way it was originally intended to be heard.

I also wish the weather would get nicer so I could get out and do some exploring on foot. So far our only exploits have been grabbing a few beers at the little corner bar next-door, and finally ordering pizza from somewhere that isn't Papa John's.

The cats are loving all the open space a three-story, four-bedroom house offers them, yet somehow they all mostly hang out on the staircase... lined up in a row like something out of the Brady Bunch. The dog is loving the back patio area, where she can hang outside all by herself and make friends with the neighbor's dog. Speaking of neighbors, the family next-door brought us over a case of Heineken last week as a "welcome to the 'hood" type gift. We think we are really going to like it here.

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