Adventures of the charmingly odd

Catching Up!

It’s been a few months since I’ve last written and life has gone on at an alarming rate. This month marks 8 years since I joined Twitter in March 2009, when I was 19. Since then I’ve tweeted and blogged my way through many adventures and I’m grateful to have all of you to tag along with through it all. I’m turning 27 next month- closer to 30 than 20- a year when many musician faced their untimely deaths. I’ve always been a writer, never a musician so I think I’ll live through it. But let’s take a look to see what I’ve been up to recently.

When I broke my leg last May I watched a lot of movies and television shows. When I realized I couldn’t go back to roller derby after I recovered, I kept binge watching. So much that in 2017 I vowed to watch minimal shows and instead devote all my free time to reading. In January I read 7 books and in February I read 4: “Brooklyn” by Colm Toibin, “The Virgin Cure” by Ami McKay, “Eleven Minutes” by Paulo Coelho, and “The Fiery Cross: Outlander book 5” by Diana Gabaldon. 4 is much less than 7 however the “Fiery Cross” is 1,456 pages long and I believe it more than makes up for it.

Outlander 2014

I also rewatched Outlander seasons 1 and 2, as a means to keep my mind preoccupied while I spent many nights practicing wet set curling my hair to obtain the 1940s style I always lust after. I actually just finished the last episode before sitting down to write this, and my eyes are still red from crying. After reading 5 books (nearly 5,000 pages worth) and 29 hours of the television, I still cannot get enough of these characters. Thankfully season 3 starts in September and I still have over 3 more lengthy books in the series to read. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend them all!

192 Convention Sky DSC_8541aL-X2

In other news, Steve and I now have a house in Asbury Park! The seller’s original new home fell through and so we can’t move in until they secure a new place, but nevertheless it’ll be our home in the next couple of months. I can’t wait to be with this amazing guy- Thanks Tinder!

dita-pink1

In February I also have the chance to see vintage queen Dita Von Teese perform live in New York City! She is one of my role models and guru when it comes to all things retro. I love her approach to 40s style, her love of lingerie, and her unmatchable class. From her influence I wear red lipstick more often than not and have adapted a more vintage fashion style in place of my usual leggings and a t shirt uniform and its done wonders for my daily confidence.

I hope you’re all doing well and I’ll see you on Twitter!

Zoe-e1415243479544

What’s the Buzz #4: “But One Thousand Years Ain’t Enough to Tear Down Your Walls”

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. Mostly I ramble about the things I’m obsessed with lately.

Such as yesterday, I put my steam rollers in my hair for the first time in ages! (It’s hard to muster up the energy to look presentable when you’re on crutches. Paired with my every growing Besame Cosmetics make up collection, I was able to pull off a very vintage vibe last night.

Life

One goal I have right now is to really clean out all the JUNK I have. I’ve always been a collector, saving souvenirs from every experience that meant something to me. Or collecting things that go along with movies & books I love. As a result- I have so much stuff and I want to get rid of 90% of it. I live in such organized chaos and beloved clutter but I want to be more simplistic. I’ve sold some things on eBay, Etsy, and Poshmark but the app only service, Mercari, is by far the BEST. There are no fees, like eBay has, and there’s a lot of users which means I’ve already been able to sell a bunch of stuff. I might also just post some things on a page here on my blog in case any of you are interested. Or join Mercari- I 100% recommend it for selling things AND to find unique things you’ve been looking for. Use code “DMCDYQ” to get $2 towards your first purchase!

Roller Derby

0be6110c7fcaadb01ac8b60b08520b9fIt’s now been 3 1/2 weeks since I broke my leg at derby practice. Boy, let me tell you how much I am loathing these crutches. I hate not being able to walk AND carry things at the same time. I hate how much effort it is to do anything, especially shower or work. I’m also not sleeping well because I move around a lot in my sleep, which leads to me moving my foot, which causes a sharp pain up my leg and well, repeat that process a million times a night and see how exhausted you are the next day. There does seem to be more pain on the inside of my ankle (I broke my leg on the outside of my ankle) which leads me to believe I might have severely sprained something….which is not good. Ugh. I have an MRI on Thursday to see exactly what’s going on. I miss skating so much but my mind is having a constantly struggle of “Is roller derby worth all this pain, inconvenience, and losing money due to me not being able to work as much?” If I got 100% healthy again only to get hurt again skating, I would lose my mind. I have no idea what I’m going to do anymore. I did buy these hilarious stickers for my crutches though….

Reading

Honestly, I haven’t been reading much other than rereading “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes a LOT in the past couple of weeks. It’s one of those books that I’ve just kept in my bag and whenever I have free time I read a chapter or two. Something about this book really captivated me, providing comfort in how stressed out my personal life has been lately. Things with Steve are perfect, I assure you, but there are other things going on that is causing me so much anxiety and I’m having a hard time handling it. But this book makes me so happy <3. If you’ve read “Me Before You” and have any recommendations for books like it, please let me know! The closest books I can compare it to is “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger or all other books by Jojo Moyes.

Watching

The_white_queenI’m still not allowed to put any weight on my broken leg and I’m supposed to keep it elevated as much as possible, which means I’m watching a ton of television shows. So far I’ve caught up on season 2 of “Outlander”, all of “The Girlfriend Experience”, and all of “The White Queen” (thanks Starz on demand!). “The White Queen” was amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s based off of a series of books by Philippa Gregory called The Cousins’ War (The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter) and was done extraordinarily well. The acting, production quality, and writing are all superb. The leading actress, Rebecca Ferguson, is memorizing. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries for playing Queen Elizabeth on this show and her performance is a force to be reckon with.  If you’re a Game of Thrones fan but prefer to have more of a historical fiction feel than fantasy-you’ll absolutely love it. It’s along the same vein as Pillars of the Earth, another favorite of mine. What’s even BETTER is that Starz recently announced that they are in production for the sequel to “The White Queen”, titled “The White Princess” according to Entertainment Weekly. YAYAYAYAY!!!

Listening To

My brother is notorious for his fantastic taste in music. So when he recommends a band or brings home a new CD, everyone in my family gives it a shot. 99% of the time he’s correct. The newest band I love that he’s told me about is Yukon Blonde, a group of Canadian guys. Their song “1,000 Years” is currently on repeat for me.

Super catchy! Check out more about them on their website here.

 House Keeping

peggycarter

I was interview by Melissa over on Talking Comics on how much Peggy Carter means to me! Here is the beginning of the interview:

MM: So, I’m interested in particular in fans who develop a special sort of personal connection to a fictional character. I’m not talking ‘favorites’, but a character who influences your life or experiences in some significant way. Do you have a connection like that?

ZG: Peggy Carter immediately captured me, before the first Captain America movie came out. So much so that I cosplayed as her at the movie premiere at San Diego Comic Con 2011.

MM: Why Peggy Carter?

ZG: The two obvious reasons are: she is from the WWII era, which is a specialty of mine and she looks like me. This is an example of where representation matters. I’ve always been bigger than a size 4, with broad shoulders and strong jaw, much like Peggy. I had never seen an actress with the same body type as me before.

The other reasons would be that she is an outsider in her field because she’s a woman, and what woman hasn’t felt like she’s being underestimated as a result of her gender? Also, she had a heart of gold, which I strive for.  She loved Steve Roger before his transformation, before he became Captain America.

Check out the rest of the interview here!

Zoe-e1415243479544-300x178-1

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.46.50 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.47.02 PM

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.

the_paying_guests

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

love

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

Riedell265Wicked2014

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

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.41.56 PM

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!

Zoe-e1415243479544

What’s Buzzing With Belle

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

Reading

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 1.18.32 PM

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.

bee tattoo

Clarke getting her tattoo via her Instagram page

bee2

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.

Watchingjk_HiPj1_3jl

“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.

beeee

 

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

Zoe-e1415243479544

 

Here is the story of how I’m the worst best girlfriend

Yesterday was Steve’s birthday and he had to work. Wanting to do something special for him, I decided to surprise him at work and take him to lunch. (I couldn’t find anything guy-ish enough to send him; he’s not the type to want flowers.) My problem was: nobody knew where he works. Steve is in IT and works at a doctor’s office, not the actually office of the company he works for. All I knew was that he worked somewhere in New York state right over the NJ border.

At a bar this past Sunday night, in between Steve’s bathroom breaks, his best friend Dave helped me concoct a plan-> I would sneak my iPhone into Steve’s car and then use Find my iPhone to track him to his work location. Then I would Google map directions and BAM! Best girlfriend ever showing up at his work on his birthday using her awesome secret spy skills.

Oh, oh how I wish it went down that way.

Let’s begin my tale, shall we? Monday morning I was able to successfully sneak my fully charged iPhone under Steve’s driver’s seat while he got dressed. He left for work and I dressed up in a black mini dress with knee high boots. My hair was blown out and my make-up looked fantastic. I waited until after 9am to iMessage him from my MacBook to ask if he had gotten to work okay. He replied yes.

Perfect! Now I could start my great big surprise! I tracked my phone on my computer and plugged in the location to Google Maps. I tried to print them out, but the room the printer is in has a ton of birds in there and I was promptly attacked by them when I walked in. So fuck the printer, I went super old school and wrote down the directions by hand.

Grabbing my computer, I drove off in my Mini at 10:30am on this perfectly crisp fall day. Everything was going as planned! Until I missed the exit for Steve’s job! Which would have been no big deal, if the next exit after that wasn’t for another 45 minutes.

I got off at that wrong exit and my air tire pressure notification started flashing. Oh, there’s a hole in my tire. Fucking awesome. Plus I was totally lost. I came across a Barnes and Noble and hooked my computer up to their WiFi from the parking lot. Steve’s job was roughly another hour away. So I wrote down more directions, proceeded to get very very very lost in this small town before finally finding a way to get onto 87 South.

I drove for another hour and found the town that Steve worked in! However, at this point my gas tank was getting dangerously low. I had decided to wait until I was with Steve to get gas because I was in New York and did not know how to pump my own gas. (It’s illegal to pump your own gas in Jersey, FYI) But as I drove around this town trying to find the doctor’s office he worked at, my car was getting way too close to empty. I finally gave in and pulled into a gas station, scraping the front left corner of my car against a concrete block I didn’t see. I also parked my car on the wrong side of where my fuel tank was.

Irritated and embarrassed, I drove out of that gas station and found a different gas station altogether.

Now I was parked correctly at a gas station! But I still had no fucking clue how to work the gas pump. Please take a moment to picture me in this stupid black mini dress and knee high boots, with a scratched up car, staring at a gas pump like a complete and utter moron.

I took a few moments, decided “fuck this, I’m going inside to ask for help” and noticed that my car would not lock. The key fob wouldn’t lock my door and if i pressed down on the lock it wouldn’t stay locked either. Welp, now I couldn’t leave my car or else someone would steal all my stuff inside because I obviously looked like a Jersey ditz who was lost and primed for robbing. (Turns out my solenoid is busted. A solenoid is the magnet part of the car that locks your car btw.) This day just kept getting more and more complicated.

I finally figure out how to pump my own gas and then look around to ask someone for directions. A man is putting air in his tires across the way and I go over and ask. He politely pointed me in the right direction and I’m back in business.

I go into the parking lot where Find My iPhone said my phone was and…..no sign of Steve’s car. At this point it’s around 1:30pm and I’m convinced he’s out at lunch and I have no way to contact him. Just in case, I drive around every parking lot on that street. Slowly driving….looking for his car….like a total creep.

By now I 100% give up on my mission and go into a Starbucks to iMessage him. I leave my car unlocked in the parking lot, not giving a single fuck if my stuff is stolen or not. I mass text Steve asking where he is and tell him to stop working and respond to me because I’m around the corner from his job and have been driving for the past 3 hours.

Steve texts me back saying that his boss took him out for lunch. And that he was in so and so town-

which is exactly the town I was in before. By the Barnes and Noble. At this point I tell, “Oh well it was worth a try-see you at home!” And get back into my car and drive the 45 minutes home where I immediately pass out for 3 hours from shear stress.

Steve comes home later, wakes me up, and apologizes for how everything went down. I laughed it off-because seriously, it’s such a great terrible story. He goes outside and buffs out most of the scratch on me car. Today after work I buffed out the rest; a little paint will cover the rest.

It was pretty bad guys. Lessons learned: never drive without a GPS ever again, the street signs outside of Jersey are small as fuck, and don’t cry over scraped paint because it’s a miracle what a little paint can do.

Next year I’m just fucking sending Steve flowers to work and call it a day.

Night Musings

tumblr_nd5q9cIRV11rv393go1_500

I like writing rambling, personal blog posts. I love reading them from bloggers and I wished that my favorites would take a break from writing edited down, appeal to the masses, sponsor friendly posts to sit down and write some gritty, solid, good life stuff.

Since this is my corner of the universe, let me ramble for you a while, my friends.

Today I had my first Calmare treatment. I was nervous about it all weekend and last night I kept Steve up by tossing and turning until he just grabbed my hands to kept me still and close and calm. I didn’t have to be at the doctors until 11:15am, so I tried getting as much sleep as possible to conserve energy. I slept until 9:30am and immediately started freaking out. I just felt like everything was going to go wrong: that I would get there late, that traffic would be scary, that the treatment wouldn’t work, that I would be late to work afterwards, etc etc etc. I walked around the house talking to the dogs and trying not to freak out about everything under the sun.

A lot of things did go wrong, such as the clothes I put in the dryer the night before apparently didn’t dry at all. There were car accidents all over the Garden State Parkway. I made a wrong turn and my GPS had to take me all over to fix the mistake. Traffic was awful. I basically cried the whole way there because I was having a panic attack but took enough anti-anxiety medications to counter act it so I just cried and sang along to my iTunes on shuffle.

However, I got there 15 minutes early, found a super cheap gas station (only $25 to fill up my tank with 93!! I love having a MINI) and got a parking spot right outside the office. The receptionist let me post date the check until I get paid on Friday so I’m not broke until then. A woman walked into the waiting room and asked, “Who does that super cute MINI belong to outside?!” I was obnoxiously proud ^.^

But then the doctor was running 30 minutes behind and I was a half hour late to work and the Parkway is full of insane drivers so I was totally stressed out afterwards again. I finally caved and asked my mom to take to my next treatments (9 more days to go!) because I just can’t handle the stress of driving there and then being “electrocuted” for 45 minutes and then drive again. Thank god she was as nervous as me and said she was more than willing to drive me to the doctors and work AND pick me up from work to cut down on beating up my body.

I could explain the treatment more in depth right now, but you can check out previous posts for that. I’m so exhausted right now. That’s what I told my doctor today: I’m exhausted all the time. I sleep as much as possible and I’m still exhausted.

Steve is great: he knows on the weekends that I always have to take a nap to recharge. He doesn’t mind, that means he gets to take his motorcycle out without feeling bad leaving me alone. Steve is great about everything in general.

I remember how, when I was in such a terrible relationship, I would read other blogger’s talk about the amazing people in their lives and I wished with everything I had that I could find something like that. Steve is everything I ever wanted, and more. He’s perfect for me. 

Being loved is the greatest experience I will ever know.

Life is rough guys. Really really really rough and complicated. But I swear to god the good makes up for all the shitty stuff.

xo

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.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 11.55.08 AM

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!

11937047_10205081400422289_1356838095780566432_o

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

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.53.29 AM

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.

IMG_5771

IMG_5895

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

IMG_5900

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.

DSC_0986

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

7 Things of Late

Hey guys!

Things have been full of busy life things lately, and I since I’m feeling under the weather & couch bound, I thought I’d give you guys an update!

1.) My new year’s resolution this year was to simple take care of myself. The last couple of years I hadn’t been doing that and I was not where I wanted to be mentally or physically. So I bit the bullet and went out on a quest to find doctors that I liked. Thankfully a friend referred me to an amazing psychiatrist (which is incredibly hard to find), who diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder (no surprise there). She put me on the correct cocktail of medications that actually lets me function like a normal person, such as sleep without nightmares & not have daily panic attacks. Most importantly, the nausea I had been feeling for over a year was due to stress and once I was not having attacks everyday, I stopped feeling sick all the time. Between that and the ability to not stress over every single detail in my life made an incredible difference. I’m able to focus on eating healthy and not just to curb my nauseousness.

Plus I’ve always had bad headaches, but they’ve increased in the past year so I saw a chiropractor, which did not help. However I did see an ENT who asked for a CAT scan of my sinuses and low and behold!- I have a severely deviated septum, a bone spur, and turbinate dysfunction. Meaning my nose is all crocked and the glands surrounding them are so swollen that they are putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on my face thus, sinus these migraines so bad I can’t see out of my right eye. I’m having surgery this Wednesday to correct all that nonsense which means weeks of recovery but years of no more migraines ahead of me.

IMG_1930

Things on my CRPS nerve disorder front are not going nearly as well. I’ve tried a few new pain management doctors since moving back to Jersey and none of them offer treatment I’ve agreed with. They want invasive procedures such as spinal cord stimulators and monthly epidurals to curb my nerve pain, which are not happening in my lifetime. They also refuse to refill my narcotics prescription, which I understand from a legal & medical conservative point of view. But now I’m currently on nothing for my nerve pain and sometimes it’s quite unbearable. But I have to get my nose surgery done before I can actually get anywhere for my nerves so blah blah blah. My health isn’t perfect but I’m much better than where I was five months ago!

2.) I love driving! Never in a million years did I ever think I would love driving! I’ve had my license for 2 months and 2 days now and I absolutely love it. I love my yellow mini cooper, Chuck, with my entire heart. When I told my mom this last month she replied with, “Good, then that car will take care of you.” I love that car and I love driving and I love how badass driving a manual transmission makes me feel. Sure, driving a stick shift is still frustrating at times, but I have to remind myself I have ONLY been driving for two months! And a stick nonetheless! Nobody masters a skill overnight. But I do love shifting gears and the sound of a revved up engine. And when random guys at gas stations and supermarkets remark on how badass I am for driving a manual coop, it does wonders for my confidence. I always thought I was too clumsy to learn how to drive (and had multiple people in my life tell me this for the last ten years) so being able to prove myself and them wrong feels amazing. Plus my car is way too cute for me to handle. <3

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.02.03 PM

IMG_3529

3.) I turned 25 on April 25th, 2015! (gotta love numbers). I have had notoriously bad birthdays in my life, it kinda of felt like a curse. But Steve made sure I had the most wonderful of days. We drove into Manhattan to go to my favorite spots including breakfast at Zabar’s and a walk through Riverside Park.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.07.44 PM

We also stopped at Tatyana Boutique, which has 40s & 50s inspired bombshell clothing for women of ALL SIZES. I walked in, told the gorgeous salesgirl (dressed as a pin up Little Mermaid) what I was looking for: a dress that covered my upper arms but showed off my ample cleavage and gave off a bombshell look. The girl’s eyes lit up and told me to wait in a dressing room. She brought me the most GORGEOUS dress and I looked like such a bombshell in it. It’s quite revealing so for my own sanity I won’t post a picture of the whole thing. But Steve certainly loved it <3

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.53.40 PM

He took me out to dinner to this stunning restaurant called 90 Acres. Even though we had dinner reservations, I asked to sit at the bar. My reasoning is that as soon as we walked into the place, I realized “Sabrina” with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was playing behind the bar, a movie I love. Plus, the bartenders were super nerdy and awesome and we all had great conversation. By the time we were supposed to go to our table we just asked to stay where we were, and everything was perfect.

CDeuCepWYAAq734

4.) The day after my birthday we went to Six Flags Great Adventure to activate our season passes (kindly given to us by Steve’s best friend Dave for Christmas) and we rode all the best roller coasters. Steve hadn’t gone in a long time and I was able to tell him which ones were the best (Kingda Ka and El Toro) and though he questioned how I could have good taste in high thrill rides, afterwards he admitted I knew my shit. After all, I’ve gone skydiving before: I’m actually an adrenaline junkie, which not many would guess.

11164577_10204345707550427_7562167807066389749_n

5.) That Monday my sister Maya and I saw “The Age of Adaline” starring Blake Lively. (even though I want to hate her for breaking up ScarJo’s marriage to Ryan Reynolds, my Gossip Girl heart will always adore Ms. Lively.) The movie was amazing!!!! A complete fairy tale with elements of magic, romance, tragicness, and overall wonderfulness. Maya and I cried buckets and I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out.

Adaline_FB_Image

6.) I updated my Big Dipper tattoo! I didn’t like how the yellow originally healed; it was more of a brown than yellow. As much coworker Sarah described, it looked like a coffee stain hahaha. So I went back to Amanda to EvolvInk and told her I wanted some more color, and boy did she add some! Amanda is a wonderful artist and a great person to talk to while she tortures you slightly. I’m defiantly going back to her for all my future tattoos.

CERi9daWMAEa55m

7.) For my birthday Steve gave me a new lens for my DSLR, a 35 mm that’s supposed to be the best for taking astrophotography. He also gave me an astronomy laser pointer, which I really really wanted! *heart eyes*

CDb5is3W0AEGtGn CDaLhNWVEAArBWa

The past few nights the skies have been clear so here are the results of our efforts!

DSC_0946The Big Dipper

DSC_0932-1Another shot of The Big Dipper

DSC_0940-1If you click on the image to make it bigger, you can see we captured a satellite moving across the sky

So that’s basically what’s going on in my life recently. All this plus working at the animal hospital, which I love tremendously however emotionally draining at times. Life is good my friends. Life is so good.

IMG_6866IMG_6569

Zoe-e1415243479544

“Navigate the Stars to Bring Us Back Home.”

A year ago today I moved back to New Jersey from living in Manhattan, New York City for a few years. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always written about how Manhattan was my dream and once I moved there I would never, ever leave. But as you can read about in previous posts, it was not everything I had dreamed it would be.

I returned to Jersey on a sunny, beautiful Monday morning. I remember waiting in Penn Station with the last of my stuff and feeling like a failure that I didn’t “make it” in the city. Suddenly a massive overhead light & beams fell from the ceiling, nearly impaling the two college kids next to me. I took it as a sign that it was time for me to go home, New York and I were no longer getting along.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 7.51.25 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-07 at 7.52.13 AM

(Thanks Facebook for the ironic reminders.)

I returned to my parent’s house broken, depressed, and completely lost. I had loved living on the Upper West Side and I loved my job at a cat hospital. But I was in the most toxic relationship (honestly, picture the worst relationship ever, and that’s the situation I was in). I needed to get away from that because no matter how much I loved New York City, it would not save me from the downward spiral I was slipping into.

I moved home and for a month I laid in bed watching movies, recovering, and feeling safe for what felt like the first time in years. I had the lowest self esteem, which comes from being in a relationship where your significant other constantly puts you down, telling you that you aren’t thin or pretty or grown up enough. I felt like nobody in the world could possibly love me.

But in the past year I met the most incredible guy, Steve (which I won’t go into because I could talk about how amazing he is for days but then his friends would only tease him for it so I won’t.) But more importantly, I found myself back in Jersey more than I ever did in New York.

11096441_10204215747061496_5105814212048804124_n

In the past year I found a job that I hated and had the guts enough to quit on the spot. Then I found another amazing job working at an animal hospital that I’m in love with. I also learned how to drive which I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN IN A MILLION YEARS. But when your boyfriend lives 40 minutes away, a girl does what she has to do. Plus I bought my dream car (a bright yellow Mini Cooper) and learned how to drive a stick shift, WHICH I ALSO THOUHT WOULD NEVER EVER HAPPEN.

However, most importantly, I found my self worth. I slowly learned that I was worth it. That I didn’t have to be stick thin to be found attractive (my huge boobs and curvy butt are super hot, man). That just being was fucking enough. That took a lot of work, with myself, with a psychiatrist, and most importantly with Steve, to figure that out.

So in honor of this past year, I got a new tattoo week. It’s of the constellation Ursa Major, also known as the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is one of the most well known constellation, and not even my favorite one (which is Andromeda), but it holds a lot of symbolism to me.

Growing up, the Big Dipper could always be seen right above my house. So as a kid I thought that no matter how far away I went, if I could see the Big Dipper, I could always find my way home. You can’t see the stars in New York City due to light pollution, and ever since I moved home, I’ve been able to truly dig deep into astronomy as a hobby, something I’ve always wanted.

On top of that, last weekend I saw “Finding Neverland” on Broadway and one of the songs, “Neverland” features the lyrics “

“Whenever I was frightened
If I ever felt alone
I’d turn to the night sky
And a star I call my own

Somewhere I could run to
Just across the Milky Way
If you’d like, I could take you
It’s just a light-year and a day

We could sail away tonight
On a sea of pure moonlight
We could navigate the stars
To bring us back home.”

I started bawling in the theater. The idea of following the stars to lead you home resonated so deeply with me. I knew I had to get the tattoo as soon as I could. So that Monday I went and got this:

              Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 2.22.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-06 at 2.22.31 PM

It’s on the back of my right arm, right above the the elbow. It’s gorgeous and I love it so, so much. Right now it’s in it’s ugly, peeling, healing phase so I’ll post a picture when it’s all pretty looking again. But I adore it, and it makes me happy.

I’ve never been happier in my life. Thank the stars a year ago I left what I thought I had always wanted and did what I was afraid to do most. I’ll forever be grateful I moved back home.

Zoe-e1415243479544

“Finding Neverland” The Musical Review: Still Left Speechless

FIND600x257.jpg (1)

Saturday, March 28th my sister Maya and I saw the new Broadway musical “Finding Neverland” which opened in previews on March 15th and officially premieres April 15th. It stars Matthew Morrison (Glee) as author J.M. Barrie, Kelsey Grammer (Fraiser, X-Men) as producer Charles Frohman, and Laura Michelle Kelly (Lord of the Rings The Musical) as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. If you are not familiar with the 2004 Oscar winning film of the same name, “Finding Neverland” is based on the true events of how Barrie was inspired by a widow and her four boys to write the beloved Peter Pan play in 1904 which was then later turned into numerous stage productions and films.

finding-neverland-matthew-morrison-vogue-march-2015

I consider myself a Peter Pan snob, especially when it involves theatre. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I have a reoccurring dream of playing Wendy on Broadway for some apparent reason. I greatly dislike the Disney movie but the 1954 stage musical production is my absolute favorite. I reviewed those previously when Cathy Rigby performed it at Madison Square Garden (read here) and again when NBC did a live television broadcast (read here). In 2012 another story of how Peter became Pan came out on broadway in a play called “Peter and the Starcatcher” which is hand down my most favorite play of all time. The review for that can be found here.

I mention all this to reiterate that I take Peter Pan and any production of it extremely seriously and with high expectations. So I do not say this lightly when I tell you, “Finding Neverland” is one of he greatest Broadway shows I have ever seen.

finding-neverland-peter-hook-630

The acting is incredible. Morrison is well known for his lead role as Will Schuester on Glee, however his roots are in theater. The amount of acting talent & pure acrobatic energy he brings to the stage is outstanding. I have never seen an actor give so much of himself to a role before. He climbs, jumps, rolls, sprints, flies across the stage, never pausing for a moment to bring the sort of excellent one would expect of Broadway.

Grammer is his usually incredibly talented self, exuberayting charm and shocking audiences when he steps out as Captain Hook. Sorry Dustin Hoffman and Christopher Walken, Grammer is officially my new favorite Hook.

Kelly as Sylvia is adorable, heartbreaking, and made me cry on numerous occasions with empathy for her character. In fact, the entire cast is one of the greatest ensembles I have ever seen in a production. The amount of talent in this cast is incredible.

finding-neverland-family

Now, to compare, “Big Fish” (also based on an award winning film) came out onto Broadway in 2013 and I was so excited to see it. It stared one of the greats, Tony Award winner Robert Leo-Butz of “Wicked” fame. However, the show was no where up to par as other Broadway shows. The music, book, lyrics, stage production, and unfortunately even the acting was sub par and I left disappointed. This was in no way the case with “Finding Neverland”.

This stage production is one of the most impressive and magical sets I’ve seen. Even more impressive than “Wicked”: this set moved and created illusions such as Tinkerbell flying around the theater and a whirl wind of fairy dust that reduced me to a crying mess.

I’m honestly still fangirling so hard from how much I fell in love with this show. The soundtrack doesn’t come out until April 21st but you can watch Matthew Morrison perform one of the songs from the show titled “Neverland” here.

As soon as the curtain fell, Maya and I ran outside to the stage door and we got to meet Kelsey Grammer, Matthew Morrison, the rest of the cast! They also all signed her poster!

123 321

Meeting Grammer was amazing. When he came out to sign Playbills and posters, we had the following conversation:

“I loved the show so much!”
“Thank you!”
“You’re officially my new favorite Hook! When you came out dressed up, I was like COME ON.”
“I know, right?!”
“You should keep the costume after the show is done.”
“That’s what my wife wants me to do. She wants me to wear it at night.”
“I mean, how could you say no to that?”
“Absolutely.”

So, basically the best Kelsey Grammer encounter ever.

Maya and I have been blasting whatever songs we can find from the show on YouTube and counting down the days until the soundtrack comes out! The show is currently in previews and tickets start at $79!

For more information http://findingneverlandthemusical.com/If you’re in the New York area, or traveling here soon, you must must must get tickets. I’m going to try to go again myself! I cross my heart, promise to never grow up, gotta crow, that you’ll love it!!

Zoe-e1415243479544

This website and its content are copyright of Bookishbelle  | © Bookishbelle 2017. All rights reserved.

Site design by 801red