Adventures of the charmingly odd

Side Notes

My life has been so crazy that two months have gone by since I last blogged! So here is a dump of 10 things that have been going on that have kept me from blogging:

1.) I busted up my tire!

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Look at this. Look at this majestically destroyed tire. Last Thursday I was driving on route 287 going home after my shrink appointment and suddenly my little Mini started SHAKING. I immediatley pulled over to the shoulder on an overpass and called my dad. I told him what happened and that I didn’t think I had a flat tire because my low air pressure light didn’t come on. Plus I didn’t hear it blow or anything.

He told me to check anyway so I hopped over the stick shift and low and behold, I basically ripped my tire from the wheel. Thank god my wheel or my car (or me) were damaged. Just the stupid tire. Thankfully my dad is a goddamn hero and came to my rescue!

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He drove to where I was and put on my spare tire. He then dropped me off at work and went to three different tire shops before finally finding the best deal on TireRack.com. My dad went above and beyond and had my tires put on for me while I was working Saturday! My darling little Mini Copper now has kick ass wheels and make it even easier to drive around Jersey like I just stole some Italian gold.

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2.) Life Inspiration: Dita Von Teese

I have natrually brunette hair that I have always loved. But one of the best impulsive decisions I’ve made this year is dye my hair black. I must admit that one of my inspirations to do so was style icon Dita Von Teese. I love how vintage, classy, and sexy she is.

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For the holidays I’m determined to perfect her tight curls and old Hollywood glamour.

3.) Roller Derby

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Next month I start boot camp for the Central Jersey Vixens! This year I overcome one of my biggest fears and

4.) What I Want for Christmas

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My parents are awesome and still ask for what I want for Christmas! This year my list is short and only includes the Kate Spade Wellesley Planner in Rose Gold, Mini Cooper merch, and Dita Von Teese’s new book “Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour“.

 

5.) Deal Casino

My brother is involved with the Asbury Park music scene and lets me know which local bands I should pay attention to. My absolute favorite of the year is Deal Casino, whom I’ve seen live three times! I have all of their EPs on my phone and they’re my latest favorite band. Below is my favorite song of theirs, “Red”. Listen and then run to iTunes to download all of their music!

6.) Mastering Make Up

Let it be known that age at the ripe age of 25, I finally learned how to do full face makeup without looking dried out/like am amateur drag queen/theatre kid.

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My everyday products are: Kat Von D’s tattoo eye liner, Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, Lock ‘N Load Makeup Setting Mist, Immortal Mascara / Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer / Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Concealer, Colored Clay Bronzer Blush, Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss, Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel /BareMinerals’s Complexion Rescue Gel Cream Marc Jacob’s Honey Perfume. (Uh, holy crap I can’t believe that I use ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS EVERY DAY.)

7.) Writing

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One of the main reasons why I haven’t been blogging is because all of my creative energy is going into the novel I’m writing. It’s going very well but super slow and ugh-I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it.

8.) Working at an Animal Hospital is Crazy

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It’s no secret that I work full time at an animal hospital by my house. I know on Twitter that I mention how hard it is (the death of pets and seeing wounded animals on a daily basis is fucking miserable). But I also get to play with puppies and kittens and am never ever bored. Last week I even met a monkey named Zoey. It was weird for everyone involved.

9.) Star Wars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I cannot wait to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17th at 10:15pm!! My brother and I have always wanted to get Star Wars tattoos together and we plan on getting them in the next couple of weeks! JonErik is getting his next week but I have to wait a bit to get mine because all my money has gone to Christmas shopping. *cries* Unless Santa comes early and drops $150 into my bank account. *hint hint bag man in a red suit*

10.) My P.O. Box!

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Attn Letter Writers! My PO Box is open! Send me letters, art, musings, postcards, novel chapters, anything! Everything that is sent to me will be responded to with a surprise!

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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.

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

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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*

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

DSC_0946The Big Dipper

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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.

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A Pause for a Momentous Occasion

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Just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge this momentous day in history. I, Zoë Gulliksen, at the age of 24 finally got her driver’s license against all expectations or belief.

I passed my driver’s test with a 100% in the rain, I bought car insurance, moved the title of my Mini Cooper over to me, and registered it under my name. For the girl who never thought she would move from Manhattan and never ever learn to drive, this is a huge step.

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Mini Cooper? Mini Cooper!

When I was 16 I didn’t want to learn to drive. When I was 17 I sort of wanted to learn to drive so I got my driver’s permit. I did the 6 hours lessons from a driving school and kinda liked driving. Then I drove with my Asian mom and that killed any interested in driving. (If you have an Asian mom you know how much yelling/back seat driving happens.)

I survived college without a driver’s license and then as soon as I graduated I moved to Manhattan. People, especially grandparents, told me I had to learn to drive still but I relentless! I was a Manhattanite! I would die before I would ever leave the Upper West Side!

But then life happened and I moved back to New Jersey. I was still meh about learning to drive. But then I started dating someone and suddenly seeing him was more important than all the anxiety I felt every time I got behind the wheel. Steve was certainly a trooper: he took me out driving for the first time in 5 years and kept me calm enough to get the hang of it.

I now take my driver’s test on March 4th. Then there was the matter of a car. I grew up in a house where my dad was always bringing home cool cars. Classic, old cars, usually Mopars, once a 914 Porsche I was in love with. But my dad usually fixed them up and sold them or traded them out for news cars, always looking for good deals.

My dad’s first car was a Volkswagen Beetle and I always wanted one too. I like little cars, I never wanted to drive something big. However, my dream car was Mini Cooper. Ever since I saw ‘The Italian Job’ in middle school I thought, ‘one day I’m going to buy one of those’. (Besides, we all know how I make major life decisions based on movies. I moved to the Upper West Side specifically because ‘You’ve Got Mail’ is one of my favorite movies.)

The Mini Cooper is a small, fast foreign car and the racing stripes kill me. But I always figured they were insanely expensive and it would be years before I could buy one. But, like most things, once I really really want something I’m relentless. I also have an incredible amount of luck. So after months of looking, over the weekend this baby is now mine:

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I found the car online, set up a meeting with the owner. (These pictures above are the ones he sent me, they are prettier than all the ones I took in the dirty snow.) My dad, my brother, Steve and I all went to go look at this thing and I fell in love immediately. More importantly, my dad was impressed. The car is in incredible condition and my dad was able to get the guy down to an amazing price for me. The other thing about the car is that’s manual. In the world of cars, a chick who can drive a stick is pretty badass. My dad was a little hesitant about me learning to drive a stick but I will learn even if it murders my sanity. This car is perfection!

I am in love with the white racing stripes, the white roof, the white rear view mirrors and the white tires. The yellow is such a unique color for this model and my heart just melts when I look at it.

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And so, welcome to my very first car! Undoubtably you will be seeing thousands of pictures of the car in the future, along with my cats of course. I am in love.

Who would have thought that when the nerdy New York City girl you guys all followed for years moved to the suburbs that she would fall in love, learn how to drive, buy a car, and start eating meat again. Lots of superficial things have changed, but I’m a thousand times happier than I ever was in New York. Life is good.

I mean, I now own the coolest little Mini Coop, how could it not be good! =D

Zoe

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