Adventures of the charmingly odd

What’s the Buzz #3: “You & Me In British Racing Green”

These posts used to be called “Coffee & GChat”, a weekly(ish) post on how I’m spending my time. That has now turned into “What’s the Buzz” posts! You can read the last one here.

It’s been quite a LONG time since I’ve blogged-but isn’t that what happens when life gets in the way-you’re too busy living to record it all down. Lots of wonderful things have happened, such as kicking ASS in roller derby and working hard at a job I love. I’ve also been writing my novel, reading good books, and watching great television. So let’s get more into that, shall we?

Roller Derby

It’s been just short 4 months since I started skating and now I can’t picture my life without roller derby. Growing up the only sport I ever did was swim, since that’s the sport my parents did up until high school. I have exceptional form when swimming and I can surf some waves, but land sports? Get the fuck out of here. I have zero coordination and I hate being sweaty. When it comes to roller skating (quad skates, not roller blades), I’m still uncoordinated and I still hate being sweaty but when I’m skating I don’t notice those things anymore.

For the first solid month of practice, every time I stepped out on the rink I felt like I had Bambi legs. I was terrified of falling for the initial couple of minutes and then I’d get used to it and hesitantly get into the groove. Now I can throw my skates and pads on and dash out on the rink like it’s no big deal.

The first game of the season was on April 16th but I did not skate in it. I felt that I was not ready: I wasn’t a strong enough skater and I didn’t think I would be able to take hits. I’m glad I waited because one of my friends ended up getting hurt bad enough to stop the game completely while EMTs checked her out. Plus two other teammates tore their PCL and MCL during the game as well. I’ll talk more about this in a future post but in short I’m glad I was a referee instead of skating. My team’s next game isn’t until July and I know by then I’ll be ready to compete.

I even want to be a jammer <insert shocked emoji>. A jammer is typically the least wanted position but I love jamming so damn much. Here is a video better explaining what I’m talking about:

Roller Derby: The Basics of Flat Track Roller Derby

WFTDA 2012 Championship Highlight Reel

Reading

13096132_10206644038447263_4568007611649140769_nAfter binge reading nearly all of Jojo Moye’s books in the last couple of months, plus rereading  “Me Before You” and “After You”, I decided I needed a change of pace. Thankfully, my darling friend Sarah sent me “Furious Love” by by Sam Kashner & Nancy Schoenberger about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. As you all probably know by now, I’ll devour anything about old Hollywood. I love biographies/autobiographies but it’s hard to find well written ones that offer an unbiased view on the subject at hand. I’m about 50 pages in at this point and it’s already on my list of favorites. I haven’t read many books on Elizabeth Taylor so I was slightly surprised to learn that her health, sense of time, and love life was as sporadic as Marilyn Monroe. It’s sad for her as a human being but makes for highly entertaining reading.

Watching

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Guys. Have you watched “11/22/63” yet? HAVE YOU? It’s on Hulu only and if you don’t have a Hulu subscription the show is only 8 episodes long, which you can easily watch in the 30 Day free trial they offer. It’s based off of the book written by Stephen King about a man who travels back in time to try and stop the JFK assassination. James Franco plays the main character, Jake, and does an excellent job in the dramatic role. (See! He can be talented even when he’s not making penis jokes. Though I love when he does make penis jokes too.) Some of the show’s producers include Franco, King, and JJ Abrams so it’s no surprise the quality is outstanding. From the set and costume design to the writing and cinematography- everything is on the same level as an academy award winning movie. Think “Shawkshank Redemption”, which is no stretch since Frank Darabont’s film was also based on a King story.

And Then Some Housekeeping

Life is good lately. I saw my psychiatrist today for my monthly check in so she can refill my anxiety meds and for the first time in a long time nothing had to be changed. I don’t have any qualms about talking about my mental health online-it’s the same as any other chronic illness! It’s taken well over a year to finally find the right combination of medication that makes me feel balanced. It is never easy to do this because everybody reactions to chemicals in different ways and how one drug makes me feel is the complete opposite of how somebody else feels. For me, I have to take an Ambien to sleep or else I have terrible nightmares (which has been a reoccurring problem since childhood) along with a Klonopin at night. In the morning I take Pristq as a mood stabilizer with Cyclobenzaprine for my nerve pain. Xanax is always on hand for random anxiety attacks. People are so quick to tell me I need to “learn to relax” when they are told I have an anxiety disorder. You wouldn’t tell someone who had IBS or Arthritis to “do some yoga and your body will heal itself”. So I will shout it from the roof tops- thank god for science so I don’t have to have panic attacks when meeting new people or while driving!

It’s 11:30pm and I want to fit in a few more chapters of reading before bed, so I’ll end this now. If my intentions come to fruition you’ll be reading more blog posts by me soon enough!

XO Zoë

What’s the Buzz #2: “There’s No Such Things as an Ass Cast”

These posts used to be called “Coffee & GChat”, a weekly(ish) post on how I’m spending my time. That has now turned into “What’s the Buzz” posts! You can read the last one here.

Roller Derby

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The CJ Roller Vixens! I’m the awkwardly tall one who didn’t realize everyone wore black except for her)

Since I started roller derby boot camp last month, it has now consumed my life in the best possible way! No doubt that it’s going to become a regular staple in my life so it’s only fair that it has it’s own category now. This Sunday marks my 6th and final week of boot camp with the Central Jersey Roller Vixens! After this practice I sign some papers, pay my first month of dues, and then I’m officially part of the team! Anyone who has known me either personally or online knows that roller derby has been a dream of mine for years. 4 years ago I even bought skates and gear and would practice in Central Park with the intention of trying out for New York City’s Gotham Girl’s Roller Derby team.

But then I fell and got hurt and saw countless doctors for years and sued the store I fell at and etc etc. However, last year I got my nerve pain under control and decided- fuck it! I’m not going to let this stupid disease hold me back. (Just two days ago my doctor told me flat out I should not be doing derby and I sheepishly shrugged and said, “Whatever, it means me happy so I won’t stop.”)

The only injury I’ve had since starting is falling pretty bad on my tailbone, bruising it on Valentine’s Day. It hurt so bad that I told Steve I couldn’t take my pants off sooooo that lingerie I bought would have to wait hahaha. It still is sore but bruised tailbones take 6-8 weeks to heal properly.

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Pan is wondering why I was wearing skates in the house instead of giving her treats

Last night I put my skates on in my house for the first time to practice some footwork. Maybe it was the close proximity of couches, but I was able to get the hang of skating backwards and transitioning stopping for the first time!! Roller derby is really scary so for someone like me (hellooooo anxiety disorder!) and I get very in my head during practice, which is the hardest part so far.

But every moment I don’t have skates on, I wish that I did. And if that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

Reading

Since the last post, I’ve binge read two books that I was absolutely obsessed with. This hardly ever happens with two books in a row! And magically enough, they were both already on my kindle. I bought them about 6 months ago and then never got past the first couple of pages. The first one was “The Last Letter from Your Lover” by Jojo Moyes. This is the same author as “Me Before You” and “Me After You”, both of which I devoured in 4 days. When I realized I had another Moyes book already in my library, I decided to give it another shot-THANK GOD. “Last Letter” was heartbreaking in the best way. It took place in post WWII Europe and featured romance, sex, politics, social classes, and all that good stuff. One plot twist made me gasp out loud and talk to an empty room on how amazing this book was.

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The other book was “The Paying Guests” by Sarah Waters. I was tempted to buy all of Moyes’s other books but I told myself that I should at least give the books I have one more shot. “The Paying Guests” started out incredible slow, but not for lack of good writing. Waters’s style is very detailed, rich with descriptions of living in 1922. About 40 pages in, nothing exciting had happened yet. I honestly had to Google the book to see if it was worth finishing. I found out about the unexpected romance that was about to happen in the story, so I stayed on. Once the pacing picked up, I couldn’t put down the goddamn book. I sat for 5 hours Monday night finishing the nearly 600 page novel. If gothic thriller, lesbian romance, murder mystery is your thing- look no further!

Watching

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I finished catching up on Zooey Deschanel’s “New Girl” and then binge read 4 books. Last night was the first time I watched something all week and of course I decided to check out the Netflix Original “Love”. Created by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin, it stars Gillian Jacobs and Rust as two down on their luck in love 30 somethings. The writing and originality of the characters immediately drew me in. I’m a fan of Apatow’s previous tv shows, especially Freaks and Geeks and I like seeing some of the same actors he’s worked with in the past show up here. Jacob’s character Mickey in an early episode takes Ambien and goes to weird midnight church meeting and it made me loyal to her Mickey for life. ( You may already know about my great love for Ambien despite the hallucinations I’ve had on it. Ever heard my drag racing story while on Ambien? Ask me about it sometime-it’s hilarious.) (I should also mention that I have a real prescription for Ambien from a real doctor for my anxiety induced insomnia.) The show is awesome-check it out!

Wishing

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Since started Roller Derby, I quickly realized that at some point soon I’m going to have to buy better skates. Better quality boots, better bearings and wheels, and overall better for safety and performance. My parents were awesome and got me the high end body gear from Triple 8 so all that’s left to upgrade are some quads! I have my eye on Riedell’s Wicked 265 Rival Skates (found here). SO badass!

And Then Some Housekeeping

 

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I launched a Patreon! I know it may sound silly, since I’m not an artist or musician or someone that produces more substantial material. But since launching my own account I’ve played with it more to find out how to approach it that’s best for me AND for people who may want to support me in my adventures! I figured out that I’m going to treat my Patreon and a platform to blog about my life in between Twitter and my blog.

Twitter is usually for spur of the moment musing and things I’m up to. My blog posts are usually much longer and detailed. Patreon will be daily mini blog posts (much shorter than here but longer than 140 characters) that feature pictures not on Instagram or Twitter! I’ve capped the rewards at $5+ a month because asking for more sounds ridiculous.

If you’re interested, please do check out my Patreon here! The money goes directly to paying my derby dues, to hosting my blog site, and paying for all the anxiety prescription drugs I’m currently on. (Seven! Seven a day!) So if you want to hear more about my daily crazy life, check it out!

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What’s Buzzing With Belle

The scoop on what has been on my mind this week!

Reading

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This past week I read an article online on how Emilia Clarke showed off her new bee tattoo inspired by her performance in a new movie. I have a weird love affair with jewelry featuring bees and I was deeply curious about what would inspire an actress to get a tattoo on her finger that is not hard to hide.

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Clarke getting her tattoo via her Instagram page

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The movie in question was “Me Before You”, based off of the book by Jojo Moyes. Upon watching the trailer I immediately knew I had to read the book as soon as possible. This is where a Kindle does come in handy and I devoured the book this week. I even bought the sequel even though my budget is SUPER tight until Wednesday. Proving once again that book addicts will spend money on reading material before buying food to survive.

I don’t want to give away too much detail of the book in case any of you don’t want to know spoilers. But below is the trailer in case you do want to know. (Personally I’ve watched the trailer dozens of times already.)

Where is the box of tissues?? June 5th cannot come soon enough.

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“New Girl” television show featuring Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone. For years I was against this show. Around 2008 to 20011 I was obsessed with Zooey Deschanel. She starred in SyFy’s “Tin Man” miniseries and from there I watched every single indie movie she had ever done. I saw her band “She & Him” twice at Terminal 5, front row both times. But the one time I got to meet her, she was really bitchy and that left a bad taste in my mouth ever since. And suddenly Deschanel was famous and everyone was watching “New Girl” and I was all “I had a girl crush on you before you were famous” resentful.

But then a few weeks ago I checked out the first episode on Netflix and it’s been downhill ever since. I’ve fallen back into girl crush with Deschanel and I adore all the other characters. The writing is witty and sincere, and I’m honestly sad that I’m almost done catching up. A binge worthwhile!

Wish List

As mentioned above, I have a weakness for jewelry featuring bees. Today I saw an Olivia Burton watch on Modcloth and immediately searched if it came in silver. I need a watch for my day job (I’m constantly having to record the time at work and I’m not allowed on my cell phone) and the watch I’ve been using died the other day =/ At some point I’m going to have to splurge on this watch because it’s just TOO my style not to.

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And then Some Housekeeping

Today I also set aside some time to respond to a bunch of letters sent from you guys to my P.O Box! I love hearing from you all, so please don’t hesitate to drop a note saying hello! My address is:

Zoë Gulliksen
P.O. Box 8432
44 Stelton Road #100
Piscataway, NJ 08854

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Coffee & GChat: “You Are Who You Chose To Be”

It’s been a while! Let’s sit, drink coffee, pretend to being doing work at the office but secretly hopping on GChat to catch up on each other’s lives! Here’s what’s been going down in my life as of late.

Calmare Treatment:

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have caught the news that my doctor stopped my calmare treatment for my CRPS early. Basically it worked for the first four days and then my body went into hydper-drive to protective itself and I was in 100% more pain than I was before. My non scientific, only gut instinct, feeling is that my brain started sending a copious amount of pain signals to my body to override the electrical signals the calmare was sending up to my brain. It’s all weird and extremely disappointing that this seemingly magical treatment that fixed people all over the world could not fix me. I had a complete metldown when I realized I wasn’t going to be cured.

Plus, I felt like I failed everyone on the Internet who helped me and donated money to my fund. You guys did so much and it didn’t work. =/

I was upset for awhile, until I decided I just had enough. I was tired of feeling broken and unfixable and paying doctors thousands of dollars to attempt to fix me, so I am going to fix myself.

I went to the bookstore and hunkered down for the entire day with every single book they had on chronic pain and/or neuropathy. I bought the ones I thought were best, including “The Pain Antidote: The Proven Program to Help You Stop Suffering from Chronic Pain, Avoid Addiction to Painkillers–and Reclaim Your Life” (which you can check out on Amazon here).  I like this one the best because it focuses on using diet and exercise to heal your body from chronic pain. It also talks about how you have to wean yourself off of painkillers, which thankfully I already did last year. I hated being reliant on them just to get through my day, plus I knew I would be severely addicted to them if I didn’t do anything to stop. 

So now what? Well, two weeks in I’ve already cut myself off from taking naps during the day and I already can jog two miles without stopping! My next step is cutting out junk food, especially those that cause joint inflammation. Also, to start adding tart cherry juice into my diet and a cornucopia of supplements.

I already feel a lot better doing what I think is right for my body. I’m focusing more on my posture, I’m getting therapeutic massages to fix my wrecked up body, and was prescribed muscle relaxants. I think those are doing wonders honestly, because my body is severely tense all the time from anxiety and my muscles can’t handle it anymore.

Yay for moving towards being healthy!

Out and About:

The other weekend Steve and I went to the Annual Classic Car Show in Summit, NJ and it was wonderful! I grew up being dragged to car shows every weekend by my parents and now as an adult I have an appreciation for them. We saw a bunch of amazing cars.

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But the best part was magically meeting John and Donna, the parents-in-law of Benny Horowitz, the drummer from Gaslight Anthem! Donna had a 1962 356B Porsche that I was drooling over. She started talking to Steve and I, complimenting his Foo Fighters shirt. I thought, man this lady has a stunning Porsche AND loves the Foos?-I want to be her when I grow up! Then Donna casually mentioned that her son-in-law is the drummer for Gaslight Anthem and they got her tickets to the Foos show. *internal screaming*

For the next 45 minutes we talked each other’s ears off about Gaslight and how the boys in the band were doing. We exchanged emails and I fully plan on being included in the next Gaslight Christmas party.

Watching:

iron-giant-dickson-city-theater-2Tonight I took (nearly dragged) Steve to go see “The Iron Giant: Signature Edition” in theaters. This was an important movie to me as a child and one that was played often in my house. My whole family was supposed to go with us, but life got in the way. The only theater showing this event was pretty far however I was relentless and pushed to go no matter what happened.

This new edition of the beloved cult classic about a boy and his robot does not diminish the 1999 original, thank god. The animation is remastered and enhances the already stunning hand drawn movie. The two new scenes are seamlessly integrated into the movie that I almost didn’t realize that they were new.

If you’re a fan of the movie from childhood like me -or if you’re curious as an adult- you must go see it. There is an encore showing this weekend on October 4th at 12pm at select theaters.

Streaming:

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I’m re watching One Tree Hill for the zillionth time in whatever down time I have. I’ve tried getting into new shows or watching new movies, but my mind seems to want the comfort of familiarity lately. I’m sucker for the teen drama in Tree Hill, North Carolina.

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As per my sister’s recommendation, I finally checked out “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and it’s sequel “Hollow City”. I was hesitant to read these as the old distorted photos turned me off, but as soon as I read the first page I was hooked. I binge read the first two books and I’m currently on the hunt for the third. If you haven’t checked out the adventures of Jacob and his peculiar friends from the 1940s, you MUST. If only to be able to create your own version of the world in your head before Tim Burton releases a movie adaptation of the first novel next March.

xo

-Zoë

Coffee & GChat: “J’accepte la grande aventure d’être moi.”

1.) Clamare Therapy

In 9 days I get to start my Calmare Therapy!! I know the process will be exhausting but I can’t wait to not be in any pain anymore. Chronic pain really drives a person fucking insane and I’m fatigued all the damn time. It’s going to be nice when I don’t feel like I have to take a nap in my car on my breaks during work just to get through the day.

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2.) New Stickers on Chuck

The first thing I did when I bought my MINI back in February, I put a Lothlorien sticker on the back window. And when I registered her, I made sure she got nerdy license plates (SSRPC = Strategic Scientific Reserve Peggy Carter). However, I’ve been feeling like Chuck could be showing off her side a little bit more. So I found Rebel Alliance and SSR decals off of Etsy from FineCraftsman and I couldn’t be more pleased with them!

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I’m just really in love with my car, which is news to no one ^_^

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3.) Adventuring Last Sunday

Last Sunday started out simple enough: Steve woke me up at an ungodly hour to get coffee and breakfast. As we sat at the Summit Diner (once frequented by Ernest Hemingway), Steve’s friend Andrew texted us asking if we wanted to go to the Englishtown Flea Market. We agreed.

The flea market turned out to be a bust but I did find some trashy pirate novels from the 80s!

Afterwards we figured we should just stop by Six Flags Great Adventure because our friend Dave had gotten us all season passes for Christmas. We ended up staying there until 11 o’clock #exhausted.

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I love roller coasters but going to theme parks always makes me feel like I’m covered in 5 layers of sweat and dirt by the end of the day. Also, RIP Steve’s phone that fell out of his pocket on El Toro. A worthwhile way to leave this world, iPhone 5.

4.) Full Moon Cafe

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Being the astronomy nerd and moon appreciatist that I am, I totally freaked out when I read about Full Moon Cafe online. It normally only serves breakfast and lunch but on full moons they serve a special dinner! Steve got the Jerk Chicken with Banana Sriracha Sauce and I ordered the Eggplant, Red Onion, Yellow Squash, Mushroom, Tomato Sautée with Curry Aioli. You can check out the full menu here! It was such a magical evening and worth driving an hour to Lambertville to check it out.

Steve took this lovely photo of the Delaware River dividing NJ and PA.

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So, that’s life lately. Just working and counting down the days until the Calmare Therapy so that I can hopefully feel like a human being again.

And  I’m off to spend another Sunday with my love, getting a late breakfast, picking up the Sunday paper, and reading it with a splendid cup of coffee. I hope your day is as cozy as mine<3

 

xo

Coffee & GChat: “Like I’m Going to Lose You”

C & G posts are all about what we would talk about while drinking coffee and secretly catching up over GChat at work! You can check out previous posts here.

Life

My life has been a wonderful whirlwind lately! I’m still trying to edit all of the pictures from the trip Steve and I took to Primland and I can’t wait to go back there. I never thought I would be one for resorts but the 12,000 acres of land, gorgeous rooms, and especially the observatory are making me dying to go back.

When we got back from our trip, I had my driver’s test and at 24 I now have a license at long last! I never learned because after college I moved to Manhattan and didn’t need one. But since I’ve moved back to jersey last year, I couldn’t avoid not getting one any longer. However getting my license was anti-climatic of sorts because I couldn’t drive my car right away; I had to learn to drive my manual Mini Cooper.

Let me tell you, that clutch is a fucking bitch hahaha. If it wasn’t for Steve patiently teaching me or my car being so goddamn cool, I would not have been so determined to learn so fast. I’m by no means smooth but I drove myself to work for the first time yesterday in my whole life! I’m excited but also nervous about stalling out at stop lights because again, that clutch is a bitch. So inspired by an image I saw online, this afternoon my mom and I did this to my mini:

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Hopefully that will inspire others to be nicer to me! I also just ordered my own vanity plates for the mini and though I can’t tell you what they say, I promise you they are Peggy Carter related.

Currently Streaming

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Last week Steve and I finished watching House of Cards Season 3. I have very mixed feelings about this show. It’s addicting and beautifully shot and the acting is amazing, however the writing is fucking weird. Half of the time it does not make sense and I feel detached from the characters because I start to stop caring about them due to their absurd actions. Plus they have the worst sex scenes of all time.

Currently Reading

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I’ve been reading a ton of astronomy books lately. The main two I’m switching between are National Geographic’s “Backyard Guide to the Night Sky” and “Star Lore: Myths, Legends, and Facts” by William Tyler Olcott. If you are looking to get into Stargazing, I highly recommend the Nat Geo book because it’s gorgeous to look at and the information is full without being dense. “Star Lore” on the other hand is very dense but it’s a complete guide to all the constellations and their history, which I am interested in the most.

Currently Watching

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“Magic in the Moonlight” (2014). This movie was so adorable! Woody Allen are a hit or miss with me, and not because of his persona life scandals. I loved “Annie Hall”, “Manhattan”, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, and “Midnight in Paris”. But others such as “Scoop” were not as good so I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It’s funny, all I was in the mood to watch last night was a movie about star gazers and low and behold Emma Stone and Colin Firth escape the rain to a hidden Observatory! This is definitly one I’ll be buying for my collection.

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Coffee & Gchat: “Striking All the Right Keys”

An admirable quality I look for when reading other blogger’s work is the idea of “”transparency”. One of my favorite blogs to read, Authentically Emmie, has an ongoing theme where every week she writes a #TransparentTuesday post about things going on in her life that are not necessarily pleasant. Bloggers have a habit of only letting people see the amazing parts of their life, giving off a false sense of a perfect life. I try not to do the whole “look at me my life is perfect” bullshit, but just in case I’ll be extra transparent today since it’s a Tuesday.

Life lately has been fun albeit quiet due to having time off before I start my new job and my health being a pain in the ass. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but having CRPS sucks. I look 100% percent normal but most of the time it feels like my hands are broken. Plus my anxiety has been kicking in serious high mode due to my hands hurting so bad and having a job I had begun to despise. But tomorrow I’m seeing a new pain management doctor and on Friday I’m seeing a new psychiatrist so whoohoo! Plus today I went to a regular physician because I have a sinus infection. Health insurance, I’m using the fuck out of you!

Also, a major part of my life finally came to a close last week. In short this has been going on for over a year and now it’s finally ended. The reason I have a wrecked nervous system is because of them and now I have at least have some sort of closer over the ordeal. I’m hoarding what I was given tightly, saving for the life I want ,but I’m also allowing myself a few treats. Like buying a car and going on a small getaway with Steve, which you’ll undoubtedly hear about in the upcoming weeks.

I was really lucky, not many people get super fucked over and then get compensated for it.

Currently Watching

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So far I only have ‘Whiplash’ to see and then I’ll have seen all 10 Best Picture nominations! It’s been such a great year for movies, all of them unique and well told stories. Yesterday I took myself out on a date to see ‘Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ and I loved it. I have always been a movie nerd and I get such a lady boner over tracking shots. For those of you not well versed in movie terms, a tracking shot “is when a camera follows a person or an object physically moving with the subject- This can be done using tracks, handheld, ropes, Steady-cam etc.” You can see some great examples of tracking shots here. Anyway, ‘Birdman’ was FULL of tracking shots and I was salivating the whole time over how fucking brilliant the acting, writing, directing, soundtrack, and overall quality of the film was. The Oscars are going to be so good this year, I can’t wait to see who takes home awards.

Currently Reading

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I have been reading a lot lately. I finished up re-reading volumes 5 and 6 of ‘The Princess Diaries’ books by Meg Cabot. I also read Kelly Link’s collection of short stories “Get in Trouble” which is fucking AMAZING. I cannot recommend it enough. Her writing is complex and odd and like a fairy tale. Right now I’m reading “The Group” by Mary McCarthy, which is about young woman in the 1940s aka Zoë Porn.

 

Tv Streaming

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Since I have been off of work and feeling under the weather, I’ve had time to watch a new show on Netflix. I chose the period BBC drama “The Forsyte Saga” which I loved immensely. It’s all about family and true love and politics and money, all elements of a great drama. I was addicted the whole time. Last night I also watched “Populairé” a French romantic comedy from 2012 about a girl in the 50s whose boss trains her to become the fastest typist in the world. It’s colorful and silly and fun and oh, so many gorgeous typewriters. I was in heaven!

From the Internet

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I recently bought a subscription to Sky & Telescope magazine and I got my first issue in the mail over the weekend! The pages are glossy, full of great articles and a pull out of what to look for in the sky during the month of February. If you’re an amateur astronomy like I’m learning to be, you should definitely check their website and perhaps even the magazine as well!

 

As always, I hope things are well with all of you<3

Zoe

Coffee & Gchat: “The Telescope is Really Quite a Simple Beast.”

Here are the things we would talk about over a cup of coffee while on Gchat at work! (catch up on the last post too!)

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Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s eve and weren’t plagued with too bad a hangover yesterday. I worked a full day in the office on the 31st and then went down to the Jersey Shore for a party at Steve’s friend’s house. It was a lot of fun and I didn’t get to bed until around 5am.

Look at this wonderful picture of the two of us! We’re both a little drunk on booze (and all around happiness<3) I had put my scarf over his shoulders because everyone said it would make him look more like an art professor with his long hair hahah

We woke up a little beat up, but it didn’t prevent Steve and I from having a wonderful first day of the New Year. We got coffee to cure hangovers at the Starbucks across the street from The Secret Stash (which I know a thing or two about =P). Once caffeinated we headed back home and spent the rest of the day tinkering with his dad’s telescope. I poured over Star Charts and read manuals while Steve expertly put together and set up the telescope. (I did all the swooning watching him.) The telescope manual is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read with lines like the title of this post.

There were many moments where I just sat there and took in everything around me, feeling so grateful for him and where my life was. I just know 2015 will be one of the best years of my life.

Currently Reading

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The Magician’s Lie by Geer Macallister. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of this through Netgalley and I’m about a quater of the way through. It’s described as “a debut novel in which the country’s most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband’s murder —and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.” So far I like it, and I’ll definitely have a review of it before the book comes out on January 13th, 2015. If it sounds interesting to you, you can pre-order it on amazon!

Currently Listening To

“Take Me to Church” by Hozier. This song kept playing during the Spotify commercials and at first it was annoying to me, as are all the commercials. But I found it was getting stuck in my head and then my sister was blasting it in her room, so I downloaded it for my iPhone. I listened to it on repeat last night and when I was getting ready this morning. While at work I’m listening to Hozier’s whole album and it’s very catchy and dramatic, so I think I’ll be a fan for a while. The lyrics for this song are just so good: “My Church offers no absolutes/ She tells me, ‘Worship in the bedroom.’/ The only heaven I’ll be sent to/Is when I’m alone with you”.

 

From the Internet

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Back in 2010 I was in a one hour special on National Geographic called “Comic Store Heroes” but it didn’t air until July 2012. Now thanks to Twitter, I’ve been notified that this documentary is now on Netflix! To be honest, I’ve never actually watched it. I was really sick during filming and I just remember feeling horrible about how I looked. Also, there was a lot conflict surrounding this silly thing because I had previously filmed the pilot for Kevin Smith’s Comic Store Men and just, I don’t have a good association with this. However, so much time has passed and everything about it is so trivial so maybe now I’ll finally settle down to watch it. Now you can too!

After all, I’m at such a better place in my life now then I have been for the past 4 years and I’m just extremely happy and excited about everything. I hope you are also having a great start to 2015!

Zoe

Coffee & Gchat: “It’s Worth Being Cold For That”

Here are the things we would talk about over a cup of coffee while on Gchat at work! (catch up on the last post too!)

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Happy post Christmas everyone! I hope you all got exactly what you wanted/ didn’t know you needed and ate lots of delicious food and are not suffering from too many hangovers.

I had five gloriously days off of work, but I was too busy to actually relax very much. Christmas Eve is always a big deal at Steve’s family’s house and my siblings and myself were invited over. We had such a good time! And then I got to spend Christmas with Steve and my family, just hanging out at my house in sweats and watching movies.

 

Excuse while I humble brag for a moment: Steve gave me the most amazing Christmas present, and I can’t gush enough about it. He went out and bought my favorite book and picked a quote he thought I liked (which he was dead on, I fucking love this quote & moment in the book). He then built & painted this frame and then hand stamped the quote to look like it was done with a typewriter. This is the most “Zoë” gift anyone has ever given me. Something handcrafted and personal means way more to me than anything bought off the shelf, and I’m so thankful Steve knows that about me.

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Friday I was dragged out to do some post-holiday shopping and then I went to hang out with some of Steve’s friends who were in town for the holidays. Their dad had a telescope in the living room and I excitedly said yes when he asked if I wanted to try it out. We checked out so many constellations and nebula, but the best was looking at the moons of Jupiter (my favorite planet!)

Saturday was my mom’s side of the family’s Christmas get together out in Pennsylvania. Steve had never met my extended family before, so that was another thing crossed off the “new relationship” list.

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Sunday was the first day I had all to myself, and I spent it getting rid of everything I didn’t want anymore. This amounted of boxes and boxes of toys and junk I honestly have no use for. I spent most of college collecting action figures and nerdy stuff only to realize that I much more prefer a simplistic feel to my living space.

I also messaged my old theater director and asked if he wanted my comics back issues for his kids and he said yes! Goodbye boxes of Teen Titans and Green Arrow and X-Men issues in boards & bags, hello new empty space for a new year.

This past year was insanely difficult and most wonderful than I could have imagined. This up coming year will also include a lot of firsts for me, but that’s another blog post for another day.

Currently Watching

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I bought Seth Rogen and James Franco’s ‘The Interview’ on Google Play, screw you North Korea!! My siblings and I are huge James Franco/Seth Rogen fans and we were really upset when we thought we wouldn’t get to see the movie. However, America pulled through and we were able to watch it from the comfort of our home Christmas night. However, it was not as good as I was hoping.

You must understand, “The is the End” is quoted every day in my house. “Fuck your house, Franco!” “My house didn’t do that to you!” is loudly exchanged on a daily basis. ‘The Interview’ just wasn’t as hilarious as the pair’s other movies, but cinematically it was filmed very beautifully. If you’re interested in seeing it, it’s worth the $6 to rent or $15 to buy off of Google Play or YouTube.

Currently Reading

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I haven’t been feeling well, so over the weekend I reread ‘Looking For Alaska’ for the 20th time as a comfort. It’s just as amazing every time I read it. Sunday night I also, finally, finished reading “The Bookstore” by Deborah Meyler. Listen, you don’t understand how much I wanted to love this book. It takes place on the Upper West Side (my former home) and the author name dropped all my favorite cafes and stores, including a bookstore referenced in the title that was around the corner from my old apartment. At first it felt like this book was made for me. Until I actually started reading it.

And it sucked. One of the worst books I’ve ever read. The main character was boring and made horrible decisions. In fact, all the characters were bland and there was no real plot and the climax of the story was very weak with a blah ending. I was misled by the gorgeous cover and Upper West Side setting. It’s taken me months to finish this book because I kept putting it down, I was so bored with it.

From the Internet

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I’ve always been enamored with constellations. I signed up for a class in astronomy in college, but dropped it after a week because I just couldn’t grasp the physics side of it. So I will be content with learning how to find all the major constellations on sight and the mythology behind them. I’m more into stories than science =P

For sentimental and mushy reasons, my favorite constellation is Andromeda, and I found an Etsy seller called Broad Street that makes these incredible necklaces with subtle constellation designs. I am completely in love with them!! Check them out here!

How were your holidays? What was the best present you received, and did you survive the family gatherings?

Zoe

Coffee & Gchat: “What Kind of Day Has It Been?”

Here are the things we would talk about over a cup of coffee while on Gchat at work! (catch up on the last post too!)

Read more

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