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.
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!
I’m just really in love with my car, which is news to no one ^_^
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.
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
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.
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
7 Things of Late
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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*
The past few nights the skies have been clear so here are the results of our efforts!
The Big Dipper
Another shot of The Big Dipper
If 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.
Getaway Part I: The Drive Down
So once upon a time, I fell and a result I now have this and so this happened. It was over a year of quite miserable things on top of dealing with a nerve disorder for life. So as soon as I was monetarily compensated for the accident, I planned a vacation as I had always wanted to, a gift to myself for all the shit I dealt with. After some research I found a place in Virginia called Primland that has an Observatory! It was a perfect destination for two amateur astronomers such as ourselves. I wouldn’t want to go with anyone other than Steve (because he knows how to pump gas, unlike most people in NJ because it’s illegal to pump your own gas here) so he was stuck coming with me.
I was insistant on buying a real map to bring with us on our 8 hour road trip to Primland. I have a notoriously bad time with Google Maps or giving people directions in general so I bought a great big map and used it for most of the way. It came in great handy when we were sort of lost in the mountains with no cell service at one point.
Steve’s main goal for this trip was eating as much delicious BBQ as possible. As we started to get hungry on the way down, I Googled best local BBQ and found a tiny hole in the way in Lexington, VA right near Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute called “Beame Up BBQ and Cafe”. It was owned by a man named Scottie and was apparently named to reference an old Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk goes, “Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no good BBQ on this planet.”
Steve got a brisket sandwich while I ordered my first ever pulled pork sandwich. As a former vegetarian it was delicious but a bit overwhelming. Steve had his fair share of brisket over the course of the week, and he declares that this was still the best BBQ of it all. Scottie and Robin, as seen above, were extremely welcoming and Robin wouldn’t let us leave without trying her banana pudding she made herself and it was amazing.
At some point we drove past this abandoned general store and Steve insisted on turning around to take a photo of it. I was so creeped out that I insisted on staying in the car in case demons or ghosts or gypsies showed up.
Below is the outcome of his photographic ventures and it’s quite stunning. (click image to see bigger, it’s worth it!)
After a bit (a lot) more driving we finally exited interstate 81 onto route 8 which was one of the most insane roads we have ever been on. I wish I could have taken photos that would better convey how tight the turns and deep the dips in the road were. Many of them were on cliffs as well, to add to the adrenaline. We were laughing so hard at the absurdity of it. Steve swears he’s coming back down just to ride his motorcycle on it.
On the way to Primland is Lover’s Leap, a place I saw on my (real) map that I wanted to stop at. According to Virigina.org, “Legend has it that the son of a settler saw the twinkle in the eyes of the Chief’s daughter, Morning Flower, and was immediately love-struck. The couple began to meet secretly and their love continued to grow. The young man and Indian maiden were threatened and shunned. With the beautiful rock and wildflowers as their backdrop, they jumped into the wild blue yonder ensuring they would be together forever.” I liked how countless couples had stopped by over time and wrote their names on the rocks on the edge of the cliff. If we had had markers on us, we definitely would have added ours to the collection.
After a very long day of driving, we finally made it to the property at Primland! It has 12,000 acres of gorgeous land right on the Blue Ridge mountains. To even get to the Lodge, the main building, we had to drive 6 miles for the entrance gate! Apparently Primland has an excess Honey Badger population. (or bears, or whatever.)
And then we reached our home for the next couple of days:
To be continued in future posts.
All photos taken by either Zoë Gulliksen or Steven Shulze.
A Stop in Washington, D.C. aka “On Your Left”.
This past week Steve and I took a vacation to a resort called Primland in Virgina. I have a ridiculous amount of photos to go through from there. Until then, here are some I took on our quick stop in Washington, D.C. on our way home last night. You can click on any of the images to see them full size, which I recommend. I’m very proud of my amateur photography endeavors so far!
The Most Devoted of All Birds Nesters
I will not be posting for the rest of the week due to my staying at a treehouse! But have no fear, I will not leave you wanting. I would like to take a moment to give a shout out to my most devoted of all readers, who never fail to let everyone know I’ve talked about Steve.
Here’s to you Niko, Hefty, and Globert. Plus some of Steve thrown in for good measure.
All photos taken by Andrew Yaniuk.
After months of trying to figure out which one I wanted, I finally bought a Nikon DSLR D3300. I love it because it’s tiny enough to use easily and it wasn’t as expensive as the other models my brother and mom have.
Which means there will be a ton of random pictures on this blog from now, but mostly of cats.
Here’s to lots more photos coming your way soon!