Adventures of the charmingly odd

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.

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!

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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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Guest Hosting on The Missfits Talking About Pushing Daisies!

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Last night I guest co-hosted on the all geek girl podcast The Missfits! I’ve been on twice before talking about Studio Ghibli movies as well as The Lord of the Rings movies. When Stephanie, Mara, and Melissa asked if I wanted to return to talk about my FAVORITE SHOW OF AL TIME, Pushing Daisies, I couldn’t say no.

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Unfortunately Stephanie and Melissa were too busy to be on the show. However Mara is my bestest friend of all, so basically I just got to talk to her about random things for an hour, including my favorite show and it was fantastic. If you’re curious/bored/need this in your life, take a listen below!

HERE

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“The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring” At Lincoln Center!

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Last night I dragged Steve with me to see The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring in concert at the famed David E. Koch theatre at Lincoln Center! I just had to attend, seeing as how LOTR is my first true love. The tattoo on my ribs that says “Shire” in Quenya isn’t there for nothing, you know.

Thanks to StubHub I was able to score 4th row seats! Any seats really would have been amazing, but being so close to the orchestra and seeing everyone perform with such vigor was overwhelming. Especially during “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, it shook the entire theater and made the fight with the Balrog more intense than ever.

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I wore my scarf that has a map of Middle-earth on it, and my prized Lothlorien Leaf necklace/brooch I bought from Weta, made all the way over in New Zealand!

They even had a Weapons check in for people who came dressed up and brought swords and axes!

Steve was SUCH a trooper! He had never seen any of the LOTR movies before we met, and one rainy summer afternoon last year he agreed to watch Fellowship with me. However, I only had the extended editions on my iPad (because who the hell still watches the theatrical versions these days?). He sat through the whole thing like a champ then! When I got my hands on tickets for this one, he was perturbed I didn’t pick a movie he hadn’t already seen. But Fellowship is my favorite of the three, so he was just going to suck it up and put up with the fact that his girlfriend is a huge nerd.

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I cried through so much of it. I did warn Steve ahead of time though. He didn’t believe me, silly guy. I cried at the opening, when the Shire was shown for the first time, when Sam took the farthest step from home he had ever been, when Aragorn turns down Frodo’s offer of the Ring (“I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor.” Oh, an arrow into my heart every time), and basically the last twenty minutes I was just bawling. Especially during the credits when a little boy performed “In Dreams”, I was sobbing. And when Howard Shore came out at the end, I cried even harder because I was standing in awe of a man who had brought such important music to my life. Thankfully a girl behind me was also bawling her eyes out and tapped my shoulder to share her tissues. Steve couldn’t stop laughing at how emotional I was getting, but I think he was laughing out of how stupid adorable his nerdy girlfriend is. (right?)

Back in December 2004, I had begged and begged my dad for weeks to take me to the THE LORD OF THE RINGS SYMPHONY with The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the NJ PAC center in Newark (which is the ghetto). He was such a good dad, driving all the way there on a Friday night in traffic for his 14 year old daughter! My dad had fallen asleep during the performance then, so I told Steve the only thing he had to do was not fall asleep and fake enthusiasm. To his credit, I think he honestly had a good time.

In the lobby they were selling Doug Adam’s book “The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore’s Scores” (you can purchase yourself here) and gorgeous programs! I already own the book (it’s incredible, you should own it) so of course I bought the program SO FAST without even asking how much it was. ($25, which was totally worth it.)

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I haven’t watched the theatrical version in probably ten years, sticking with the extended editions (duh), but I do think the concert trimmed some of the movie itself down, but I can’t be sure. There were also subtitles during the show, which I understand due to the music being so loud, but not all the subtitles were %1000 percent accurate which slightly bugged me. But whatever, #NerdProblems.

I still had the most brilliant time! And it was worth every penny of the tickets. I mean, they were pretty expensive for a movie I’ve seen a hundred times hahaha. But the experience was 100% worth it! If any of you are lucky enough as well to see LOTR in Concert this weekend, let me know what you thought of it! Tickets might still be available at the website http://www.lotrlincolncenter.com/tickets.html or on StubHub.com.

If you want to gush about LOTR feel free to tweet me anytime, my handle is @Bookishbelle!

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“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.

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(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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Below is the outcome of his photographic ventures and it’s quite stunning. (click image to see bigger, it’s worth it!)

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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.

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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.)

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And then we reached our home for the next couple of days:

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To be continued in future posts.

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All photos taken by either Zoë Gulliksen or Steven Shulze.

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.

 

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All photos taken by Andrew Yaniuk.

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The Things They Don’t Teach You at School

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”

 Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

They don’t teach you that your first kiss doesn’t have to perfect. They don’t teach you that when you’re sixteen and you get to third base for the first time, that it’s okay to feel bored by the whole thing. They don’t teach you that most people can’t be trusted and that just because someone is older than you, it doesn’t mean that they know better than you do.

They don’t teach you that it’s okay to not love someone that you did the day before. They don’t teach you how to protect yourself from getting hurt. They don’t teach you how to trust again once you were hurt.

They teach you how to recognize a heart attack but not a panic attack.

They don’t teach you how important it is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. They don’t teach you that so much of what you’ll need to know can be found in movies, not textbooks. They don’t teach you to watch Spielberg or Coppola or Fincher or to read Pullman or Rowling or Martin.

 They don’t teach you how to pay bills or how to do your taxes or how to tell if the apartment you’re signing a lease for is a scam. They don’t teach you that a company that has an open bar from 9 to 5 probably isn’t actually a good place to work.

They don’t teach how to put your guard up. They don’t teach you how some songs will haunt you forever. They don’t teach how to handle all the emotions you feel. The Pythagorean Theorem has never helped me in my life, but if someone had taught me how to point out warning signs in a relationship, it would have saved years of heart break.

They don’t teach you how to put your guard down. They don’t teach you how to figure out what kind of sex you like, and how you like it, and that it’s okay to like it however you want. They don’t teach you that you don’t need other people but wanting people is okay. They don’t teach you that loving someone is just as scary as not being loved.

They don’t teach you how to be a good friend or a better girlfriend or a daughter someone can be proud of. They don’t teach you that not everyone has to like you.  They don’t teach you how to comfort your mind when your body is failing you. They don’t teach you that it’s okay to just stay home from work when you’re feeling mentally exhausted.

They don’t teach you how to breathe.
Or that standing in the snow is healing,
Or that just being held cures sadness.

That being loved can teach you how to love yourself.

That happiness can be found in money because it provides security and sweaters and coffee, but that happiness is mostly found on Sunday mornings
In front of a fireplace, with a good book, and someone next to you.

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

The-Magicians-Lie-book-cover

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

National Geographic – Heróis das HQs (Comic Store Heroes) capa cover

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

Ramblings on Resolutions (So Long 2014!)

I like New Year’s Resolutions. I like the faux feeling of a fresh start and setting out goals to accomplish. I also don’t get bent out of shape when I don’t achieve them though. My goals every year are the basic I-want-to-get-my-life-together type deals.

Mine this year are simply:

-Get my health under control
-Finish the first draft of my novel

These were also my New Year’s Resolutions last year and although they didn’t get 100% accomplished, a lot of big steps were taken in the last 12 months to open up space for them to happen this year. I’m now in a safe place physically and emotionally to do the things I want to do!

While writing this post, I got my Verily newsletter in my inbox (I hate email newsletters with a passion but I love Verily’s, check them out!) and I read this great article on New Year’s Resolutions. If, like me, your goal this year is to take care of yourself, this is a great article to get in the frame of mind of health.

Things I Plan on Doing (which are different than resolutions)

-Add to my LOTR tattoo
-Get more into astronomy
-Continue with blogging
-Read more books ( keep track of them!)

2014 has been really life changing for me, but you probably already know that. But by chance you don’t, check out a previous post ‘Thank God for a Fucked Up Year’.

And so I will leave you with:

 

My Wholly Profound and Delightfully Understated Moments of 2014

– Sitting in yoga class, late on a Monday night. The studio was on the top floor in a building in Lincoln Square and the massive, greenhouse windows were open. A snow storm was just starting. A peaceful escape from my crazy life.

– Sitting in my shrink’s office and her asking me what was more important: being happy or living in New York. It was the first moment I realized that I had to move home.

– Air France had an exhibit on the Lower West Side and I was so excited to check it out. In a room with lights hanging from ceiling to floor, to give the illusion of being in the sky, the person I was dating at the time got into a pointless yelling match with a tourist and I thought to myself, “ No more. No more of this.” 

– Standing in Penn Station on the April morning I moved home, with a suitcase and a bag. A massive light fixture fell from the ceiling, nearly impaling the college students next to me. If I ever needed to sign to leave, that was it.

– My parents took me out to eat down the shore on the 1 year anniversary of when I got hurt, and I was sullen and ungrateful. I then went home and watched 8 hours of Orange is the New Black.

– Sitting on my back porch writing a letter at my typewriter. It was June 11th.

– Laying down on my couch in the basement on the 4th of July, skipping fireworks and redownloading Tinder

– Sitting on a bench next to a bay, watching a thunderstorm approach. And kissing.

– Hugging Mara at the San Diego Airport for the first time!

– Walking around San Diego Comic Con completely comfortable in my own skin.

– Losing every shit I had when meeting Randall, the voice of Honey Badger at SDCC, and asking him to record my voice mail.

– Standing out on my front lawn at 3 in the morning. Finding the Andromeda constellation.

– Gaslight Anthem playing “Break Your Heart” live at PNC Arts Center.

– Sunday mornings at Starbucks reading a paper, Sunday afternoons watching football, Sunday nights falling asleep on the couch in front of a fire.

– Waking up on Christmas morning next to my favorite person.

– And undoubtedly, when I get to kiss him at midnight, it will be the best ending to 2014 and start of 2015

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There is this quote from the Season 1 Finale of Ally McBeal that I always think of this time of year. So I will leave you with this:

“If you think back and replay your year, if it doesn’t bring you tears either of joy or sadness, consider it wasted.”

Here’s to all the crying in 2015<3

Zoe

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