Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | November 6, 2011

November 6

On this day, I used to be able to tell two people “Happy Birthday.”

My dad is one of them. Today he was all about the Packers game, hot wings, and getting shit done in the garage.

The other was my grandma. How many people do you know who were born on their parent’s birthday? Dad never had an excuse to forget Grandma’s birthday.

Grandma was 84 years old when she passed away. I was in seventh grade.

She taught me that a woman should never leave the house without red lipstick, that women can ride motorcycles, and that there’s nothing a man can do that a woman couldn’t do (and she could probably do it better). I miss her so much.

Happy birthday, Dad. Happy birthday, Grandma.

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | November 1, 2011

Truthful Tuesday: Unbalanced

[Oh, look. An entire month without an update. Bye-bye, October.]

My life feels so unbalanced lately.

Tuesdays and Thursdays I start work at 8am and I’m lucky if I’m home by 7. Tomorrow I’ll be helping out with an extra event and will work from 10am to 8pm. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I start my job at 10am, but I can hardly get myself out of bed to do anything before then.

When I get home, I’m too exhausted to help put away dishes or otherwise clean the apartment. It makes me feel useless at home. And it makes me feel needy, but also controlling. (“I’m tiiiireddd, will you make dinner?”) I don’t like that.

I’m so mentally drained from being around these (amazing) kids that I am too socially exhausted to call friends, respond to emails, or do much more on Facebook other than give a thumbs up to a few status updates. It took me four weeks to finally mail something to a friend. I’m feeling like a really lousy person.

So I go to bed feeling socially exhausted and lousy because I’m not a very good friend. Which turns into me not really wanting to wake up for the next day. Which scares me, because I’ve been down this road, and I remember what The Depression started out as: sleeping too much, not doing my chores which I normally do, and generally not giving a fuck about life because it’s too hard to care about stuff.

This makes it difficult to finish things such as, oh, I don’t know, a wedding website that has been in the works since the beginning of October. I also have fabric and thread for a pillow that’s been waiting for attention since September.

It’s scary, you guys. Because I really love my job. A lot. And I love what I’m doing with these kids. Today, the girl who tends to give me the skunk eye at the after-school program, announced to the entire school class that I should let me help them with homework because I’m nice.

But I miss friends. And I miss motivation. And I don’t know how to really stop this all from sending me into a downward spiral. And, hello, winter is fast on her shitty way, and I’m not prepared for her yet.

This is all very whiny and very “woe is me” and very disorganized thinking. But to shorten it all up: I am happy but very, very sad at the same time and I don’t know what to do.

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | September 28, 2011

On Being Busy

I get home around 7pm every night. Once I relax and prep dinner and eat, all I want to do is curl up into bed and try to recover for the next day.

I’ve been waking up at the last moment possible to get to work on time with the most minimal effort in the morning.

My time at work is so hectic (but usually in a good way), that I’m mentally, physically, and socially exhausted at the end of the day. I’m ready for my body to catch up with my new life so that I can be social on the weekdays.

feel like know that I haven’t really taken the time to fully appreciate what’s going on in my life. I haven’t tried to process my emotions. I’ve floated through each day, just trying to make it through. I have feelings, but I’ve repressed them. And I’m a feelings kind of girl. If I don’t try to sort out these feelings, it’s really going to bite me in the ass.

Or we can just blame this all on the rain and call it a day. I mean, seriously, DC. Stop it.

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | September 27, 2011

A Love Letter to Illinois

I’ve fallen for the rolling hills, the lines of trees along the highways, and the Potomac River.

But I haven’t been in Illinois since May. This has been the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing my parents or being in the Prairie State.

I’m homesick for the chance to see for miles and miles while driving down a country road. I miss watching the corn turn from green to golden as it ripens for harvest. I miss watching the foxes in my parents’ backyard and seeing the stars at night.

I miss sprinting with my dogs through the backyard. I miss listening to classic rock a little too loud while hanging out in the garage with my dad. I miss HGTV marathons with my mom.

I want to go to the apple orchard and I want to wander through campus. I want a mint hot chocolate from Espresso Royale and I want to pretend to work on something important at Cafe Paradiso while I have Earl Grey tea in The Biggest Mugs I’ve Ever Used.

I miss my friends. I miss deep-dish pizza. I miss eating deep-dish pizza while surrounded by my friends.

I miss you, Illinois.

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | July 27, 2011

Ride of Steel

Superman: Ride of Steel

Last night, C and I decided to go to Six Flags.  We bought the tickets this morning and that was that: we were going to spend the day at an amusement park.  I hadn’t done that since early college.

It was the perfect day.  There was hardly a wait for any ride; in fact, I have never been on so many roller coaster rides in one day until now.  There were multiple trips on our favorite rides, several refills on our soda, a large helping of nachos, and not a single sunburn on my Scottish skin (C got away sunburn free, too).

The best part?  C and I overcoming our fear of super tall rides together.  Case in point:  Superman: Ride of Steel.

  • Elevation: 205 feet (20 stories)
  • Track Length:  5,400ft (over a mile!)
  • Top speed: 74 mph
  • Duration: 2 minutes 30 seconds

We went on it twice.  And we kept our eyes open the entire time.

I loved every moment of today.

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | July 15, 2011

My Harry Potter Confession

I don’t really get the Harry Potter obsession.

Maybe it’s because I’m still trying to get myself past the opening pages of The Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry is all, “My aunt and uncle treat me like crap! Let me show you every terrible thing they can do or say to me ever. Also, they are really fat. Let me explain to you how pudgy and fat they are. Did I mention that they’re fat?”

And I’m all, “Dude, I get it. They are shitty, chubby foster parents.  Get to the part where there’s a real plot and you have to use magic and junk already.”


But I do appreciate the movies, and I am trying to read the books because I know that stories are almost always better than films.

That being said, I didn’t shed a single tear during the final movie today.  Meanwhile, the girl behind me was sniffling and sobbing throughout the entire movie.  I felt so heartless every time I heard someone sniffle during the movie. I SWEAR I HAVE EMOTIONS AND STUFF.

I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.  Like, bawled.  And I think it’s because when I was a kid, I was obsessed with my stuffed animals and toys.  I played with each stuffed animal at least once a day, because I didn’t want any of them to be jealous or lonely. I had a special drawer for all of my Littlest Pet Shop creatures because I thought it was important they were always together.  Each animal had a terrifically important story line, and every new toy had a special place in my heart.  I could see myself in Andy as he struggled to determine what to do with his former toys.  But I can’t see myself in Ron, Hermione, or Harry. . . yet.

Maybe one day it will click, and I will see and understand the amazing story line of Harry Potter.  But for now it’s still just magic wands and British accents.

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | June 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday, v2

Tuesday again, huh?  Here are the questions from RootsandRings!

1. What’s the recipe for your favorite drink? (Smoothie, alchoholic, coffee, whatever.)
Ginger ale has quickly become my favorite drink. So, uh… ginger + carbonated water + sugar + magic.

2. What kind of razor do you use?
I use Bic Soleil razors and I love ’em.

3. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
The Yip Yips. Happy, happy, happy. . . Boing, boing, boing, boing.

4. What makes the perfect salad? (Lettuce type, toppings, dressing, etc.)
I like spinach with Granny Smith apple slices, walnuts, blue cheese, and Litehouse’s raspberry walnut vinaigrette. Yum!

5. What was your favorite subject in school?
Always life science. Specifically modern biology in high school. I had the best teacher.

6. What’s your favorite summer tradition?
My hometown has the cutest Fourth of July celebration. Basically the entire town shuts down to have a party at the park. My favorite aspect of the 4th was the lemonade shake-ups that the junior women’s club served. And since my mom was a part of the club, I would help prep all the lemons the week prior to the holiday. My fingers would smell like lemons for an entire week.

Other than that, I loved going to summer camp. That’s probably why I love being a camp counselor.

7. Do you suffer from season allergies? How do you combat them?
I inherited my dad’s curly hair and big nose, but thank God I did not inherit his allergies. It’d be pretty hard to be into horticulture if I had pollen allergies.

8. How often do you have to charge your cell phone?
Now that I live with C and am not spending 2 hours a day on the phone with him, my cell phone battery magically lasts a lot longer. Funny how that works.  I can go a few days before I have to charge it.

9. Do you have a bucket list?
A mental list, perhaps. It’s not written done, but it’s still pretty ambitious.

10. Do you have any desire to go back to school?
Some day I might go back to finish my master’s in environmental education. But right now it’s not that important, and I keep getting the jobs without having that MA, so I think I’m okay.

What about you?

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | June 21, 2011

Ten on Tuesday – Perfect

Look at me, I’m attempting to start up another blog trend.  Let’s see where this takes us.

This project was started by Roots and Rings and it’s about as straightforward as it gets.  10 questions, 10 answers, all posted on Tuesday.  I can dig it.

This week the questions were provided by AshleyD, and since she’s in the midst of a supercute long-distance relationship, I feel like I have a bond with her even though I’ve barely begun following her in the Internet world. Basically I cheer on anyone who is in an LDR.

1. What’s the perfect meal?
The perfect meal is the one eaten while surrounded by all of my very best friends.  Prime examples, however, include a large sausage deep-dish pizza from Giordano’s. Or maybe fried chimichangas from the Mexican place close to my hometown with a frozen margarita. Also, I made a mean shepherd’s pie. So, you know, anything loaded in carbs and followed up by coffee-flavored ice cream is a winner.

2. What are the perfect pair of shoes?
My purple Converse Chuck Taylors given to me at my surprise 18th birthday party. I still have them and wear them frequently.

3. What is the perfect afternoon?
One spent with friends and filled with lots of laughter until the point where my laugh turns into squeaks and my tummy aches from all the giggles.

4. What’s the perfect house?
A place that’s cozy and filled with love. If that kitchen has enough room for all of my CorningWare casserole dishes, that’d be nice. One with a garden that’s open to anything I dream for it and a yard for a potential dog to run in.

5. What is the perfect outfit?
One that makes me feel good, even if it’s just a pair of jeans and an old camp Tshirt.

6. What’s the perfect wedding song?
I don’t want to spoil the surprise. 🙂

7. What is the perfect job?
The one that doesn’t feel like a job. The one you feel ready and excited for every morning. For me, so far it’s been the camp counselor at the zoo. We’ll see what this new job will bring.

8. What’s the perfect hairstyle?
The one that isn’t frizzy by 1pm.

9. What’s the perfect music festival?
Oh, Ravinia. I miss you. It doesn’t even matter who’s playing what. As long as there is good food, close friends, and wine hidden in water bottles, we’re good to go.

10. What’s the perfect day to yourself?
Sleeping in, a big ol’ bowl of cereal, a little too much time spent in front of the computer reading blogs and watching shows on Netflix, and a nice walk around the neighborhood.

Your turn!

Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | June 16, 2011

Wine and Love, v1

Wine and Love



My friend and moving-for-love soul sister Nora has had this pretty rockin’ weekly update on her blog all about what makes her love life and what’s been making her reach for a glass of wine.

I’m not a wine girl, so let’s pretend that I’m reaching for a bottle of Yuengling.  Because if I’ve figured out anything about the DC area, it’s that Yuengling is the best cheap brew in the area.  And I like it. Win all around.





So here’s my first go at Wine and Love.

The reasons I’m reaching for wine Yuengling:

  • My landlord sent out my security deposit refund as a check made out to both my former roommate and me. No bank is stupid enough these days to deposit a check legally made out to two people unless those two people have a joint account. My landlord essentially threatened me to never call him about the problem again, and now we’re dealing with a cross-country solution. It’s dumb.
  • DC-metro roads are terrifying.  I’ve already talked about this. But being lost and confused with my surroundings makes me really homesick, and I’m just waiting for those feelings to go away.
  • Not sleeping well.  I’ve been up at 2am for the past couple nights, and sleeping in way too late. Hate being restless at night.
  • My new coworkers could use a lesson in time management. When you’re dealing with 20+ kids at a birthday party, you need to be on top of things.  When you aren’t, it makes things eleventy billion times more complicated and I hate ending the workday on such a stressful note.
The reasons I’m loving life:
  • Date night yesterday with C.  We hung out in the National Museum of American History during the day, enjoyed a nice dinner together, and ended the day by watching Super 8.  I, uh, am not really a suspense/action movie fan, so my heart was a little busy jumping out of my chest instead of focusing on character development. However, it was a pretty good movie (C loved it).
  • Tonight we’re going to the Cardinals-Nationals game. It’ll be a nice taste of “home” even if we will be at the rival’s home stadium.
  • Evenings where I’m bumbling around the Internet while C practices his guitar. Swoon.
  • Spending time out on our balcony on cool (and even the not-so-cool) evenings. Watching lightning in the distance from the 15th floor is amazing.
  • My job. I get to talk to kids about turtles and snakes, plants and sunshine. It’s good to be back to environmental education.
What about you?  What are you loving this week?  What’s making you reach for a glass of wine?
Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | June 6, 2011

Adjusting, Part I

Not going to lie, Internet, there has been one huge thing that has left me feeling “home”sick for Chicago.

Chicago grid system

Oh, Chicago.  I really do miss your predictability.  Sure, you had some diagonal streets, but I’ll forgive you for those.  Even though most Chicago drivers are crazy, they at least let you merge into traffic without making you feel as though you owe them dinner.

DC Metro squiggles

As far as I’m concerned, the DC-Metro area could have been constructed by a five-year-old  drawing squiggling lines across a piece of paper with a crayon.  You make no sense and if not for my trusty GPS unit (affectionately named Sassy), I would be lost, lost, lost.  There are some grids throughout Arlington, but the “main roads” and several streets in Maryland (where I work) kill me. When will I stop feeling entirely lost in my new city?  DC-area drivers are Chicago crazy times eleventy billion.  Hopefully whatever full time job or second part-time job will be located near a metra station, because I don’t think I can handle too much more DC driving.

Other than that, life is excellent.  C and I have a new member of our family:  a betta fish named Frederick.  My life is contained to a desk, dresser, and bookcase (okay, and maybe just a few other boxes) thanks to IKEA.  I have a fiancé who buys me surprise ice cream when he knows I’ve had a crazy day.  And can I just tell you about the part where we don’t have to worry about syncing up our two computers to watch Scrubs on Netflix?  We just curl up on the couch like a normal couple and enjoy the show together.  In the same time zone.  It’s incredible.

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