Wednesday, December 23, 2009

20, 21, 22

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  1. Realized I was behind SXSW Interactive! ZOMG I've been wanting to go to this for like ummm FOREVER! I'll finally be in Austin to do it.

  2. New computer! YES YES YES I will be getting a new computer. My Powerbook G4 is in desperate need of retirement. One that doesn't have the words appear  10 seconds after I type them.  It will be a Pro awesome and super slick. I can't wait to get a computer with a webcam! So fun! I'll also finally have a magnetic powercord. Woot! 

  3. LOST = Febuary 2nd! I will be glued to my television watching the final season of my favorite television show. I'll be searching for easter eggs, checking out the crazy references, and hoping the Sawyer and Juliet romance will somehow survive. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY, HOW, AND WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Readers by Author « Lauren Leto

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How we sterotype. One of my new favorite judgers :-) View more at Lauren Leto's site.


Jane Austen (or Bronte Sisters)Girls who made out with other girls in college when they were going through a “phase”.
Haruki MurakamiPeople who like good music.
Ralph Waldo EmersonPeople who can start a fire.
Nathaniel HawthornePeople who used to sleep so heavy that they would pee their pants.
Charles DickensNinth graders who think they’re going to be authors someday but end up in marketing.
William ShakespearePeople who like bondage.
Mark TwainLiars.
Sir Arthur Conan DoylePeople who drink scotch.


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

15 -19

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  1. Using my new Austin 2010 calendar! It has all of the fun things there are to do in Austin highlighted on each month. I'll be in the know for all the big events! I lurve being in the know.

  2. SXSW Interactive! ZOMG I've been wanting to go to this for like ummm FOREVER! I'll finally be here to see it and experience all the nerdiness that is hardcore and awesome. It will be a great experience to meet with other people with my love for connectivity, technology, and great design. 

  3. New computer! YES YES YES I will be getting a new computer. My Powerbook G4 is in desperate need of retirement. One that doesn't have the words appear  10 seconds after I type them.  It will be a Pro awesome and super slick. I can't wait to get a computer with a webcam! So fun! I'll also finally have a magnetic powercord. Woot! 

  4. LOST = Febuary 2nd! I will be glued to my television watching the final season of my favorite television show. I'll be searching for easter eggs, checking out the crazy references, and hoping the Sawyer and Juliet romance will somehow survive.I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY, HOW, AND WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON!

  5. I kind of want to read the Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm embarrassed about this [but it's true].
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

14 Going to Boston

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I miss Boston. I miss the leaves, the restaurants, the public transportation, the sidewalks I could trail on for hours, the parks, El Pelon (maybe it will be rebuilt), the Arboretum, the Fenways, Queensberry street in general, Espresso Royale, AMC Fenway, Kendall Square, the Reflecting pool, the Mapparium, The Other Side cafe, bagels, Herrells, the South end, Sowa Open Market, and many more things.

I'm definitely going to go back this summer, when the weather is perfect and my funds are a little more secure. It will be a weekend of tasting, frolicking, and being silly. I want to walk everywhere, till my legs hurt and I can't walk anymore. I want to go from the South End to Harvard Square and then from there to Inman Square (for pickles!). I want to stroll around Davis square and get a cup of joe from Diesel. The next day, I want to start it off with a bagel and cc from Espresso Royale followed by sunning on NU campus (because it is pretty) and then taking the 39 to Jamaica Plain to browse the stores and then go for more sunning in the Arboretum. There are many more things I want to do, but I know that even more fun things have popped up in Boston while I've been gone, and that will be the most exciting part. Rediscovering a discovered place. 



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Sunday, December 13, 2009

13: spending more time outside

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I know waves of my discomfort with the cold in Austin have permeated my other posts, but today was just another reminder of why I need a little more warmth. It was 70, sunny and glorious outside today. Sunday and I sat outside on our stoop, she ran around and I just sat there taking in some rays, feeling my bones warm up. We had refused to turn the heat on during the past two weeks of the cold front, but has perserved with hot tea, blankets, and going to bed early. I hated the idea of having to turn the heat on in Texas and so it became a challenge. I'm looking forward to doing more fun outside things next year, taking Sunday to the dog park, hikes in and around Austin, and going on bike rides. So many fun things can be done in temperate weather, which Austin can lack as temperatures can just be so extreme. But today was a good day and I want a month of good days in 2010 - so I can comfortably and happily spend more time outside.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

10, 11, 12 - three more reasons to look forward to the New Year

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10: I'll be a month older, wiser, and more ready to take on things. Things seems vague, but who knows what will come up in 2010. I have no idea where I'll be living, what company I'll be keeping and what I will be brought. I'll just have to deal with each little bump with ninja kicks and good humor. Because that's all I can do.

11: Reading more. I haven't been reading a lot lately and that bums me out. I love to read, but haven't felt inspired by a good book lately. I'm a reader, have been since I was a wee one, and can get lost for hours in plot, protagonists, and puns. I've been trying to read Outliers in effort to be more corporate (no words), but I can barely get through it. I get inspired when I hear what it is about, but one page of it makes my brain automatically snooze. Big time bummer. I'm determined to read it, because I think it definitely had good insights. We had a speaker at Bazaarvoice last month who said that reading is one of the most important steps toward success. I like that. But I know I am definitely more of a fiction reader, dreamer. That is just who I am, and because of it I can use the word grok. In my book, that equals awesome.

12: Sunday is currently sleeping on my neck. This makes typing difficult. I've been spending a ton of time loving her, petting her and telling her she is awesome. This is why I was a bit delayed in my writing project. But I'm in to being flexible, and that is something that 2010 needs to have as well. I need room to grow and if that means certain flexibility in life (putting more time into working out), in meeting people (being less judgmental perhaps),  and in my to do list (here might need to be a little more rigid), I'm willing to take that on. :-) Sunday makes me so happy and I can't wait to take her on walks in the park, in the sunshine, with my day being centered on having fun and enjoying life. Because being flexible means I can do whatever I want, I just need to roll with the punches.



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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crazy room!

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Buy a DVD on Amazon; Start Watching the Movie in Minutes

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Slight delay in my 31 things made me think of 8 & 9

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Didn't end up getting to write yesterday because of a few things going on that made life crazy.

Yesterday little Sunday was looking a little mopey. She seemed lethargic from the moment I got home to about 10 o' clock. She didn't want to eat anything and was looking pathetic. I got nervous so I took her to the vet. Good news: nothing too serious. Bad news: she has parasites! Eeeeeks! That is what happens when you are a raggamuffin with an obscure past. Parasites. So the events of yesterday made me look forward to 2010 even more, because that means Sunday (sometimes called Sunny) will have been here for over a month, hopefully will be free of parasites, and will finally started to come into her own.

Number 9 is simple. I'm sitting in my apartment and I'm freezing. I want December to end, and to land on two warm(er) feet in 2010. We've had cold drizzly weather for the last week and I'm sick of it. I did not move to Austin to be cold, miserable or wet from misty rain. Also, in Texas, when the weather gets a little bit bad everyone starts driving crazy and it makes commuting even more tiresome. I know January isn't the best month either, but I just need to get through that and head to February where I've heard it gets back to warm comfort.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

7 of 31: polaroid photography... photography in general

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Since I now have the newest little muse, I feel like I should definitely start getting better with my photo skillz. There is a special place in my heart for my Land Camera that no other camera will replace. I also have a Diana that is a pretty great camera as well (light for travelling!). My SLR is obviously the crown jewel of my collection and it has the ability to make any of my dull (somewhat unfocused) photos into semi magnificant pierece of "art".

There are definitel yframes that need photos and adventures to be had, so I'm not too worried that I won't have the inspiration or the place to do it. I am more worried about not getting better and continuing with just Meh photo skillz. So in 2010, I will be opening up a book, learning photoshop and making photos that I take look amazing!
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Introducing Sunday

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Introducing Sunday! The coolest little beagle mutt around! Saved from the pound and forever a happy little camper!
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Training Sunday to be awesome: 6 of 31

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I adopted a puppy today. A little wriggling ball of joy with freckles on her feet and black markings on her face. She howls every once and awhile, which is probably one of the most adorable things on the planet.  Puppy training classes start on January 14th. We will socialize little Miss Sunday, and make her the best housebroken little puppy in the world. She will do tricks, learn to be hilarious, and go with me for long walks around Town Lake. This is put on here for 2010, because Sunday will be the most ready to learn around January. She is a little peach.



I thought long and hard about adopting her, but I just knew that I needed to take her home. I asked myself how I would pay for her bills, how much time I would be able to afford her, and if it was fair to her to be an apartment dog. She will be littlish - no taller than my knee, but because she is a mutt nothing is sure.  I know that I will be able to care for her, train her, and keep her forever. Because I make the things that I want happen. I'm sure of it. She was a little fleabag that needed a home, and I gave her one, a forever one. I love her because she is a little squeaker, gives puppy kisses, and has a little bit of doofus in her face. I love her. 

So as my sister says, today, I saved two lives from the pound, Sunny's and the other puppy that will be able to be taken into fostercare. Hooray! :-)
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

5 of 31 : Knitting projects

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A few weeks ago, I picked up my knitting needles, and started knitting a hat. I knitted, knitted. and knitted some more and finally it turned into a slightly oversized hat that is pretty adorable. It still needs three buttons on the flap or I would show a picture of it here. But trust me, it's cute.

I had bought the pattern at the local yarn store that has tons of yarn (many deliciously soft). Throughout the shelves  within my price range. The best part of the experience was that they were so helpful, helping me locate the correct needles, the perfect yarn and everything at the lowest price. It was a good experience all around, and it made me think a little bit about my mémoire and my ongoing interest in customer experience. By not trying to oversell me and give me honest good intruction, I can honestly say that that they won my loyalty. 

So in 2010, I can honestly say I will be visiting HIll Country Weavers a lot more. I have a pattern that I've been wanting to try and it involves me getting more needles and yarn.  I'm thinking a nice cocoa color for this one as I don't really like the yarn they used. I'm motivated and excited for fun new knits.







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Friday, December 4, 2009

More scrabble, definitely more scrabble ! 4 of 31

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I need more games in my life. Cranium, Scrabble, and Taboo, I like them all. I like playing word games and remembering how to spell movement during a rousing round of gnilleps! But I think what I've missed the most in 2009 is a group of people who love to play those game, love to get silly and love to giggle over someone misspelling something like "mississippi". But that is definitely something that is difficult when one moves away from everything.  

So hmmph, I need to also work on finding people as interested in the same fun things, and that is a challenge, a challenge, I'm willing to take on in 2010. :-) But maybe in interim, I will be inviting some of my friends to a healthy game of lexulous or downloading the iphone app. 





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Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 of 31: Getting my geek on

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Oh wait, don't I already do that on a daily basis?

Well, yea, but I really want to start learning some great geek things. I want to be able to easily code CSS and make little things dance across the screen in Flash and Photoshop. This means that I'm going to have to learn how to do all of that business. I know basic html, and I am usually quick to pick up programs, but I think that I might have to community college intervention ;-). I want to make space cats like little miss Frankenhoodie, and beautify my photos taken with my swanky new camera. I think it will probably be a great thing for me as a tech savvy individual and also as a professional in the Internet industry. 

</2009>

<2010, I can haz skillz?>


keyboard cat with a bit more from Frankenhoodie on Vimeo.



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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Make more delicious things: 2 of 31

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Nom, nom, nom.

I want to cook delicious things and put together recipies that make me excited to cook at night, even if it is only for 1-2 people. I want to experiement with spices, dabble with herbs and try new mixtures.  Last year, I started making cinnamon buns, which was a fun foray into making yeasty, cinnamon goodness. 

Whilst in Paris, my roommates and I started to make delicious salads without using lettuce.  We mixed beets, beans, corn, carrots, etc and created creations that we craved everyday over the hot summer.
So I'm looking forward to a delcious, healthy year in 2010. A year filled with veggies made in soups, salads, and bakes and a year filled with delicious homemade breads, buns, and deliciousness.

A tasty 2010! :-)


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1 of 31: Learning Spanish

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I'm going to Mexico in January! Woot! And while I accept that I will by no means be speaking Spanish by then, it is something I want to do. I'm not sure how or when I will do it, but sometime next year would be nice. Maybe I will take a class at a community college or maybe I'll use Rosetta Stone's program, I'm not sure. My life is a little bit up in the air at the moment and so my goals are allowed to be as well.

Why I want to learn Spanish:


  • It seems pretty handy. During my current stay in Austin, I have noticed that Spanish is all around me, and that is pretty awesome.  Through speaking French, I've learned a lot about how language helps you connect with and learn about a culture and that definitely excites me. Mexico has made me think about how much I should know Spanish, and then I'll have the trifecta of North America: English, French, Spanish!

  • I like Spanish movies. Pan's labyrinth was pretty good, as was Volver. A lot of great cinema has been coming out of Spanish speaking countries, and if you know foreign cinema then you know that dubs just don't cut it and subtitles are less fun.

  • Pantalones. I just love that word.  


So there you have it, my first thing for December.

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My 31 things to look forward to in 2010

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I wanted to start a project during December.  This blog has always been the place where I come to muse over different things, and so I didn't want to do a gift guide here, but I still wanted to gather some ideas and things I want to do. These aren't resolutions, but are just thoughts that I have, things I would like to do, and perspectives I would like to gain.

This is also a way achieve my resolution to blog more, and so I am going to end this year with a bang!



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Thanksgiving by Penelope

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I love her blog, and am so glad she is in the US experiencing some fun American things. Like Thanksgiving, the ultimate American thing that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  I love Thanksgiving!


via penelope-jolicoeur.typepad.fr
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Cute city plates

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I vow to own these one day.  When I have a home or maybe just a full time gig. :-)



notNeutral: Rios Clementi Hale Studios :: City Plates :: City Plates-Full Collection
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Strengths Finder

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Today at work we did a team offsite.  To prepare for this offsite, I was invited to buy a book entitled Strengths Finder.  It is a book written by researchers at Gallup that looks to define your strengths so that you work on getting better at what you are good at. This idea is to leverage what you are already good at so that you can become even better at that, and not waste (as much) energy on trying to be something you are not. I could study all my life and I would never have a knack for obscure maths and chemistry. It just isn't my thing, so there is no reason to try to make myself do that. Instead, I can focus on what I am good at, and that is what is important and can make me a stronger candidate in the workplace.  The assessment took 30 minutes and when I clicked the final continue button, it came up with results that were so dead-on it was scary.

Mine were as follows (in order of strength):

Woo
Instinctively, you are genuinely fond of your teammates. You can see the good in them more readily than most people can. This explains why individuals like having you in their groups. Driven by your talents, you engage life with gusto. Bursting with creativity, you approach assignments, tasks, projects, opportunities, or problems. You like to take the innovative path rather than follow the traditional and tried-and-true ways of doing things. By nature, you typically infuse energy into members of your team. You are apt to enjoy life more than many people do. Why? You choose to concentrate on what is good rather than on what is bad. It’s very likely that you may be known for your ease with language.
Communication
By nature, you very much enjoy the animated give-and-take of a lively discussion. You might choose to be forthright and plainspoken. This partially explains why various people seek your company and want to work with you. Perhaps your words and examples move them to action. Driven by your talents, you really like to be part of a team. Groups are apt to provide you with ample opportunities to voice your ideas or express your feelings. Because of your strengths, you derive much personal pleasure from reading. Because you continually fill your mind with fresh ideas, you probably can enliven formal discussions or season casual conversations with many interesting facts or stories.
Positivity
Because of your strengths, you can help others easily fit into groups. You quickly establish good relationships with just about everyone you encounter. How? You spontaneously notice people’s good qualities. When others hear your favorable comments about an individual, they are much more likely to make the person feel welcome. Driven by your talents, you may be emotionally attuned to what is going on in your own or others’ lives. Perhaps you concentrate on what is good. Sometimes you search for the best in people, experiences, assignments, or situations. Maybe you strive to fill certain individuals with joy. Occasionally you find ways to unburden them of their anxieties, frustrations, sadness, disappointments, fears, or anger. It’s very likely that you easily stir people’s enthusiasm with your cheerful exuberance for life. You have a gift for sharing your complete joy with others. Instinctively, you may feel better about life when you can train, instruct, or tutor an individual or a group. In the past, you might have said to yourself, “I’m a fine educator.” Chances are good that you might feel satisfied with life when your innovative thinking style is appreciated. You might pinpoint trends, notice problems, or identify opportunities some people overlook. Armed with this knowledge, you may devise alternative courses of action.
Includer
Driven by your talents, you likely are described by people as someone who makes a meaningful contribution to the group. You produce your finest results when you can work shoulder to shoulder with teammates. Having to labor all alone for hours, days, weeks, or even months can actually cause you to be less productive. By nature, you may exhibit tender feelings for all sorts of people. The affection you feel for certain individuals may prompt you to draw them into conversations or group activities. Perhaps your kind words or good deeds help you appreciate life a bit more than some do. Because of your strengths, you might strive to find something of value in each person you meet. Sometimes you feel affection for certain individuals whom others label unlikeable, annoying, or disagreeable. Chances are good that you regularly surround yourself with people. You are energized by what you learn about each
one.
Developer
By nature, you might introduce selected people to technical or specialized fields by instructing them in the language used by experts. Perhaps you help people add intricate, elaborate, or hard-to-understand words to their vocabularies. Once trainees have mastered key terms and phrases, they may be prepared to study the subject in depth. As you share your knowledge with others, sometimes you gain insights and make discoveries. This is one aspect of training you might enjoy. Instinctively, you have quick and ready insights into who is and is not fond of you. Being held in high regard by devoted coworkers, teammates, classmates, friends, or family members makes you feel very good about yourself. It’s very likely that you affirm others for who they are. You celebrate their unique gifts. Your encouraging words inspire and embolden people to be their real and true selves. Chances are good that you have a knack for talking to others. You know how to engage people in discussions. You encourage them to share their stories, ideas, and feelings. You have much to contribute to the dialogue. You look for opportunities to express yourself as often as possible. You routinely acknowledge and affirm each person’s comments.
So that is me in a nutshell. I highly suggest the book to anyone who is looking to become better at what they already are. I'm excited by the idea of it, and I think it is going to make me a better communicator, teammate, and person. Exciting!

Note: All of these descriptions are credited to Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Where's Halloween?

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Halloween this year is destined to be epic!
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spooky Meat Hand

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This is how I visualize meat. :-)



not martha - Meat Hand


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Parents Were Awesome - a blog

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This is perhaps one of the more hilarious and awesome blogs out there!
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Answer Factory: Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell | Magazine

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http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_demandmedia/all/1

Very interesting article about Demand Media. Looks like they are doing some interesting stuff in the UGC domain.  They pay users to submit content quickly based on search founded interests and have a profit sharing deal with YouTube.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Amazon Is Selling Designs of Its Own - WSJ.com

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Very exciting to see a Pure Player go into private label products. What is even more interesting is the fact that they are using feedback from the site to improve the products. Also hats off to Zappos to finding a niche to start their private label lines by seeing gaps that their customer’s mentioned. It all comes down to understanding that Social Commerce leads to interactions that make the entire value chaine more valuable.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coach Sylvester on failure

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Coach Slyvester quote of the Night:

“This is what we call a total disaster ladies. I’m going to have to ask you to smell your armpits. That’s the smell of failure and it’s stinking up my office.”

 
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Paris, je t'aime!

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So pretty. Actually a lot of the Japanese posters are pretty awesome. The Love Me If You Dare poster is even more amazing. Actually all of the French movies are insanely cute/lovely. Is it awkward that I want to wallpaper my hypothetical apartment in this stuff?



via www.jmshop.net
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Carrying a map

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Cute little bags made by a Brooklyn designer. I do love canvas bags… and maps. Happy coincidence!
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Google Launches Internet Stat Center

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http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_launches_internet_stat_center.php

Google knows everything. It can even find fun facts that generalize people. Kind of exciting to have a place to go to where you can find all those fun facts you were looking to spice up a report or paper with. Oh Google, there you go again - organizing all the world’s information and stuff. ;-)

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Glee impressions

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I have to admit it. I like Glee. I wasn’t sure if I would, but I love the over the top musical performances, Coach Slyvester’s (Jane Lynch) one liners, and last but not least Terri Shuester (Jessalyn Gilsig) as the more than slightly off-balanced wife. All of the characters brought together bring the show to be hilarious, awkward, and sometimes heartfelt (but usually followed by a big awkward moment). The kids sing their hearts out and I’m excited to see the guest stars that will be on this season. Yay for September premieres!



Sue Slyvester quote of the night :

“my first thought was that your children should be put into foster care”

Glee Season Premiere: Pushing It Real Good — Vulture
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cats and Lettuce

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My cat Wicky would always do this. One year at Thanksgiving, we had all gathered around the table and were serving up tofurky (there was real turkey too) and other goodness when Wicky jumped on the table. We thought she would head straight toward the meat, but no, not our Wicky. She went straight toward the salad and stole a piece of baby spinach with ease. We were shocked (maybe proud since we are almost all vegetarians) as she stole away to eat her prize.



Cats are weird.

The one about salade aux fines herbes and the veggie thief: chez pim
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chef Boyardee - Dinosaurs

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Recently saw a Chef Boyardee that showed some plastic dinos. This old one definitely puts that one to shame by featuring LARGE AWESOME Dinos (that are fighting)! Best commercial award is going here.  


http://www.retrojunk.com/details_commercial/130/
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Bored and not bored

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I'm at home. It is nice. I spend most of my days looking for jobs or schlepping through the Internets in search of fun things to read, potential projects to create, and amusing stories of my friends while they are doing fun things all over (this really just means obsessing over facebook). I should probably go swim in the pool more often, or go running with my dog : you know, healthy things. I haven't been reading as much as usual, but that is not a huge deal - though I have some good books on the shelf. So things are not so boring some days and more boring on others. I should probably have a better tan than I do. Anyone else would be.

I've been spending quite a bit of time in Austin as well. Hanging out with two of my sisters that live there.  We go on adventures, eat at fun restaurants, but this is not very helpful on the money saving side of life. I'm getting to know Austin more and more and loving it a lot. I wish it wasn't so hot there and that they had good public transit - these would be things that make it perfect. I can't live in a city without a public transportation system. I hate driving.    

But I'm happy to be taking things a little slowly. Taking a little time to take a deep breath before I do start working and need to move to another city. There is something to be said about having a little space from everything.

Funny update : Got a ticket from the San Francisco toll system in the mail the other day. Evidentially, we didn't pay a toll on the Golden Gate bridge. It happened at 2 AM when we had decided to drive from Tanya's party to the city at the spur of the moment. I was sleeping in the back of the car, as I had had too much to drink at the Indian food extravaganza.


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So Who Was That Guy Don Draper Drank With Last Night, Anyway?

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http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/08/so_who_was_that_guy_that_don_d.html

This is definitely another reason why I am very into Mad Men at the moment. I am all caught up and finally watching it in live. I want to know what happened to Peggy’s baby, and if Duck Phillips is every going to reappear… he definitely had something creepy to him. Remember when he let Chauncey go. Sad AND terrible.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Egg Curry noms!

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This looks so delicious and happens to be my favorite kind of curry! I<3 Egg curry so much. My roommate used to make it all the time and I was always ecstatic to see it on the menu along with my other favorites : Sambar, Beet/carrot business, and okra curry !


http://www.goodbite.com/the-dish/egg-curry
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Friday, September 4, 2009

iPhone envy

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Oh AT&T why are you failing the iPhone? It has so much potential! Such a perfect little machine (excluding battery life), that could even feed the Internets into my computer!


AT&T iPhone MMS and Tethering Delayed Due to Bandwidth Concerns? | The iPhone Blog
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Design*Sponge - Turn this Room into an Outfit

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OMG this is perhaps my new most favorite part of Design Sponge! I’m already obsessed with the Before/Afters, could this be my new guilty pleasure?

outfit-2missi-pawlecki-brian-caviness-birds-of-ohio

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Dancing in the Dark

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Good morning! It is Bruce Springsteen listening hour. I think EVERYONE should dance like this. All. The. Time.

Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In The Dark (via BruceSpringsteen)
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Facebook's Religion Question Prompts Soul-Searching

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/29/AR20090829024...

The 10th most entered religion is “jedi”. Lurves it.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Get the door, it's Dominos!

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Yessssssssssss




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Friday, August 28, 2009

Custom Tea Dress

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I want to have one of these made so badly! I think it will have to be a present to myself next summer!


custom tea dress by sohomode on Etsy
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Pixar Lamp

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I like! Lamp is one of the greatest parts about Pixar. Up is one of my favorite Pixar movies to date. I saw it in 3D and loved it.



Up - Limited Edition Luxo Jr. Collectible Lamp Pack
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Dinos + Pixar

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Are Dinosaurs in Pixar’s Future? I dearly hope so! That would be the most epic and awesome film ever.



Pixar Goes on a Dinosaur Hunting Field Trip | /Film
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Capitalism: a Love Story

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The new Michael Moore film trailer is out with a name : Capitalism : a Love Story. I like his perspective even if it tends to be a little overdone. Sometimes we need to be shooken up to see things clearly.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Meet the Robinsons

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Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Bowler Hat Guy: Now, my slave, seize the boy! What’s going on? Why aren’t you seizing the boy?
Tiny: I have a big head and little arms. I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through…Master?

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Here kitty kitty

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And what a good looking kitty you are!


brooklynbadger:
here kitty, kitty, kitty….

[via apple]
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Land Camera in Dallas

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Land Camera outing in Dallas. Went and saw the biggest photo op in Dallas. Obviously took some photos. I think the retro look of the polariods make the statues looking even more kitsch. That old cowboy look that sometimes I kind of love.
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Mooooo

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A little nosy cow in South Padre Island. Will you be my friend?
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Monday, August 24, 2009

High 5

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enjoying this! from ginevra.typepad.com
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God's Country

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Just saw a sign that reads “This is God’s Country. Please, don’t drive through it like Hell”. #Texas
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Road Trip : Southwest and California Tour!

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Sorry for the silence on this end. I'll admit it has been pure laziness. I've been catching up on sitcoms, obsessing over facebook, and flitting around between Austin and Pleasanton - oh, and did I mention I have a pool?

So now it is time for the epic recap of the road trip adventure! I've decided to split into a sort of list to make this clearer and give a  better recap of our itinerary. I'll take a destination and write out a few of the highlights or funny stories - whichever may have happened at that point.


But first off, I'll give a few details on the actual organization of trip. We were seven humans in a Chrysler Towne and Country - dubbed Napoleon, after that we switched (oil problems) and took a Dodge Caravan who never had a name. Of the seven, the three boys were of French nationality and the girls were German. I was the only American. We used an iPhone for all navigation purposes, and did not use a map. The iPhone kept dying after constant abuse by all road trippers. The Town and Country was actually quite excellent as it had storage in the floor. We put the tents that we packed (two, one for the girls and one for the boys) and the air mattresses that we had bought in that nice little section. In the back of the car - we had it packed full, making it impossible for anyone to see out the back of the car. It was a bit cramped at times, but we made it work. A bit of discomfort never hurt anyone, and that's the point of a road trip, right?

Ok, so let's begin!

Austin
  • The crew arrived on July 1st, I went over to pick them up at the Austin airport. We then picked up our car - had problems with National (this became a theme), and finally secured the van.
  • My sister took us to Gueros and we had amazing tex-mex foodz.
  • SEGWAYS. My other sister took us on an awesome tour of Austin, where we learned about how EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas (including our Capitol building). We also saw many other awesome Austin things, and learned tons all whilst riding segways. 
  • That night we went to Midnight Rodeo, learned to two-step and saw trucks the size of houses.
New Braunfels, Tx
  • Went tubing down the Comal river. We accidentally left one of our doors open during the entire (2 hr) ride down the river. Not one single thing was stolen. That is how awesome Texans are. 
  • On the Comal river, we lost two sets of flip-flops going down the first chute. We searched the entire way, but never found them. 
  • Want to know why there are so many Germans in Neu Braunfels?
San Antonio, TX
  • Saw the Alamo, searched for banks, and could not find one open in the Downtown San Antonio.
Pleasanton, TX
  • Pool party! Two huge cakes were involved. Tons of food. Excellent.
  • We let off a ton of HUMONGOUS fireworks (admist a burn ban - oops) and had one explode.  
  • We played beer pong in my garage, boys vs. girls. The boys showed up in uniform - matching superman undies!
  • We all ended up a little drunk. Julien slept in the gazebo. The next morning, we were ready to hit the road!
During the 8 hr drive toward New Mexico
  • We set the GPS from Texas toward El Paseo. Didn't realize that we had the iPhone GPS on "walking" mode. This made us take dirt roads in Pleasanton and probably added 1-2 hours to our journey. Best part, we ate lunch in Utopia, Texas.
White Sands, NM
  • Went sledding on white sand dunes.
  • Got controlled by US Border Control - had to explain the Europeans were all illegals. ;-)
  • Got very lost in White Sand dunes. All the dunes looked the same, and there were no markers (once we went off the path) to tell the difference. The result? Crazy burns on calves, arms, chest and face. 
Santa Fe, NM
  • Our first camping adventure. Sadly, a theme began in with BBQs ... they always ended up being almost as expensive as restaurants.
  • A woman in the bathroom, wearing leather chaps and a Harley t-shirt gave me aloe gel. My burns from White Sands sold me out. People at campsites are genuinely nice.
  • Bought cool earrings from a Navajo woman.

Petrified National Forest and Holbrook, AZ
  • Picked up a piece of wood - it was heavy like a rock. Wild. 
  • We even slept in petrified wigwams that night (ok, they were concrete!). Very cool fun going down route 66. Holbrook, AZ was definitely a highlight.
Grand Canyon
  • Got there and decided the view from up top wasn't enough. We asked for our backcountry permit that afternoon. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about the hike 7 miles down ( We did it in 4 hours : A descent of 5,000 ft) and then 10 miles (We made it in about 6 hours : to go up 4,380 ft). I'm not going to lie, it was really difficult, and it was hot. We lucked out on the first day as it was cloudy . Day 2 was not. The hike was more difficult than anything I have ever done. At the end of the trail we were tired - no, exhausted, but proud. I'm glad to say that I did it.
  • Slept in a tent at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and played 500 rounds of UNO. We learned about California Condors during a Ranger talk and worried about scorpions through the night.
  • Woke up both mornings at 3:30 AM to start the hikes.
Las Vegas, NV
  • Ah yes, finally some luxury! We stayed at the Luxor and slept in the pyramid. It was a great deal for the price. After the death march at the Grand Canyon, we decided to stay an extra day in Vegas. This was a good idea.
  • Saw the show Le Rêve at the Wynn and it was amazing. Best thing is that all the seats are good and it is a stunning show. Flips are rampant and people jump from the ceiling (into a giant pool). The stage moves in and out and become a living character in the show.
  • We lost Julien in the MGM, and discovered that it is very difficult to leave casinos!
  • Played beer pong at O'Sheas, and laughed a lot. Went to a strip club - we were the only patrons! We yelled at them and they drove us home at 5 in the morning.
  • Watched the sun come up behind a Sphinx in a desert. It was almost like we were in Egypt. ;-)

Yosemite National Park
  • The day was a long drive. Arrived at the southernmost point of Yosemite at 10 pm. I then realized that the campsite I thought we were staying at was not the one we had driven to. After some investigation, we discovered that we still had 2 hours of driving, down windy roads - with two very carsick passengers.  We retreated 30 miles to get some food (only place open) and then decided to do it. It took us ages and we ended up pitching our tents at 1 AM. For reference, we were at the Diamond O campsite.
  • Yosemite was beautiful and we walked up and saw waterfalls. Most of the park was done in the car as it is so enormous. We saw giant sequoias and walked all over the Mariposa trail. I did this in flip flops, my feet were disgusting at the end.
Mountain View, CA
  • Went to an Indian extravaganza to eat Indian food and attend my roommate's graduation party. There was singing and dancing. We convinced everyone to do the Cupid Shuffle with us on the dance floor. It was hilarious.
  • That night, we decided to head to San Francisco. We didn't really have a plan and we were all kind of tipsy (read : drunk), but we had wisely already nominated a designated driver. Got to San Francisco, drove around, and then went back to our hotel - in Mountain View.
San Francisco, CA
  • The sea lions were a highlight. We watched them over at Fisherman's wharf for a pretty long time. They battled, pushed each other off the docks, and made funny noises.
  • Saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - I liked it.
  • Went to Ritual Coffee, and had a delicious time. They had vegan pastries. 
  • Visited 826 Valencia and looked at all the Pirate stuff. Very cool.
  • I taught the Europeans about hipsters.
  • Decided I must live here one day. 
  • Saw the Pacific ocean for the first time.
Santa Barbara, CA
  • Coastal drive almost killed me. I was so carsick that I had to take Dramamine. Was out for almost the entire drive.
  • We tried to surf here, but there were no waves. 
  • Swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
San Diego, CA
  • Comic Con was going on, and so we saw Superheros running all over the city. 
  • The San Diego zoo was really awesome. It was big, pretty and very central. All things that I think a Zoo should be. We saw elephants getting a pedicure.
  • Did a few beach days (got burnt again). We did some crazy boogie boarding, and almost drown at Pacific beach.
  • Went to Yogurtland and had awesome personalized fro-yo goodness. 
  • Marlene and I almost needed to be rescued as the ocean decided we should stay a bit longer... We declined the invitation.
  • We went on a wooden roller coaster at Mission Beach.
Los Angeles, CA
  • Final city! Stayed at the Westin - woot!
  • Went to Universal Studios and saw the houses where they film Desperate Housewives! 
  • Ate at the Griddle Cafe, and had the most enormous pancakes ever. I ate one of the three and felt very sick.
  • We tried to find famous people's homes, but due to the winding roads, I had to sleep through it. I felt like death riding around on all of those curvy roads. 

Santa Monica, CA
  • Last day spent at the beach and on the Promenade. We did some shopping and then some sunning and came back for dinner.
  • Instead of getting a hotel for that night we decided to go see two movies and then head on to the airport. Everyone, but me, had a 6 AM flight. I was cool with it. We saw the Hangover and Public Enemies (I fell asleep).
LAX - Flight home!
  • Cleaned out the car and headed to the Airport. National rental tried to overcharge us (I fixed it later) and that was pretty annoying. I'll never rent with National again.
  • When we got into the shuttle, the driver asked us what airline we were using. I was just following the everyone (since I was leaving later), but realized quickly they didn't know what airline they were taking. This was a cause for panic. We told them it was American, but then it ended up not being American. There was more panic. After making a few phone calls and charging my iphone, we found out that they were flying United - this was perfect, because so was I. I took a standby flight to leave earlier and there was a teary-eyed farewell.
  • At the last minute, Julien went to buy a muffin. They had to call his name 4x's. Sigh. ;-)
  • I found my terminal and slept there (in my sleeping bag) for 3 hours. Finally got home and slept the entire way. At the San Antonio airport, I was a bit sad, a bit happy to be home, and exhausted.
All in all, the roadtrip was amazing. It was great to see parts of my country that I have never been to, and after being in Europe and doing quite a bit of traveling there - it felt right. I love the Southwest for its big wide open spaces, the friendly people and breakfast tacos. California was great too, but in a totally different way, and it was great to get beach time in at the end.  I also had an amazing time getting to know my group of friends even more than before.  We became a team, an awesome one, and now have shared such a great adventure. It was great because we were there to have fun and relax, which I felt was a rare commodity during the last year.

It was great to do it in a month tour. This gave us ample time to get to sites and enjoy them. There were some cities we wanted to see more in depth, but the road trip gave us a taste for places we would like to go back to. It was definitely an amazing experience, and I think I was in the perfect time in my life to enjoy it with the perfect people. ;-)

**my iPhone died the day I got back from the trip! Perfect timing ;-)
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Monday, July 6, 2009

This picture is almost 21 years in the making!

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Home for the 4th. Inspiration struck, and here we are much as we were long ago.
Less blond, still pretty adorable.
This picture is almost 21 years in the making!


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Monday, June 29, 2009

whirlwind

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home, home, home.
I haven't blogged in ages. Honestly, I've been pretty busy moving from France, hanging out in New York and visiting with my sisters to even be on my computer.
I'm really happy that I'm home and it has been really nice being around my sisters. I feel grounded when I'm at home with them, and it is hilarious to be part of our family (even if we sometimes behave like a bad family sitcom or drama!). I have been away for so long, but I love coming home and being part of my big, wonderful, disorganized family. I like being there to go on walks around the lake, go out to dinner at fabulous Austin restaurants, and just be here.
Some things that have happened since I left France with 3 sixty pound suitcases, one large bike and a 22 pound carry-on:

  • stayed with Lana in New York with her family. We had delicious hand cut french fries (as made by her momma), we out to yummy restaurants, and saw two great movies (UP and Away we go). It was nice seeing her and Edwin (who had to get shaved while we were there - he looks like a loser). We talked about new adventures, me moving to New York, and other life things.

  • went to see Austin's Girls Rock Camp showcase. It was amazing seeing 9-14 year old girls rock out with such confidence, talent, and ambition. My little sister was a camp counselor and it was mighty good to see her excited about her band.

  • received an email confirmation that my iphone is in the mail! Woot! This means that blogging will be going mobile.

  • arranged things for upcoming road trip. Booked a wigwam in Arizona, campsites in national parks, and have been anxiously waiting for the Germans (and French) to arrive!

  • started the job search, and updated my resume. Things are ready to go! 

  • Planned 4th of July pool party with my family! Our new pool is ready for its inaugural pool party! Veggie burgers, hamburgers, corn on the cob and other exciting delicious items are on the menu!

I'll be posting details about the road trip asap! :-D


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Monday, June 8, 2009

Need to pack all of this into 3 suitcases

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Bedrm2-2
Packing, Packing, Packing!

This is pretty much the saddest thing ever as I am letting go of a lot of things that I like. I do not like to let things go. EVER.

I'm pretty much a classic packrat, I enjoy having my things around me and even more, I like little whimisical and hilarious items to be near me at all times. This does not a clean, organized bedroom make.

I really want to bring my bike home to the US, but I have limited arms and legs. What's a girl to do?


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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Les admissibles CESEM

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Over the last week, I've been putting in long hours at my school for the two week period known as "les admissibles".  This is a huge event at my school and is the moment when potential students that have passed the written examination come to take part in their oral interviews. The day consists of them arriving in the morning, watching two presentations (one BDE and one from the Administration), doing a language interview (in the language of the program they want to go to : English, Spanish, German, Italian, etc) and then a personal motivation interview in French.
The students known as "les admissibles" are nervous and uncomfortable in their new suits, and are full of questions for us as they want to give perfect responses.  As "admisseurs" we are there to share our experience, keep them occupied and show them how awesome CESEM is. This is not difficult.
We start the day with our presentation. A presentation where I tell two personal stories of my experience in Reims, as do other members of my student council. Then we show them a few videos (both of which seem sentimental as we are nearing the end of our year), and we finish with a quick cheerleading routine done by our IBWE cheerleaders (utterly hilarious and awesome).  It is so crazy to see how small they are as they walk by full of ideas and excitement/nervousness.  I see myself in them five years back, so excited to begin Northeastern, and even more excited at the prospect of two years in France!
I'm also running the restaurant reservations, and so I have to make sure how many admissibles are going out to dinner each night, and which admisseurs are
going with them.  The school pays for the admisseurs to go out to dinner meaning it has been tight competition to get in for a free meal. This is totally normal with college students ;-). But is is also pretty tiring as it is non-stop conversation, and usually lasts till 11pm (dinner begins at 8:30pm).
At the end of the day, I'm so excited for the little admissibles that I meet. They are beginning their college experience, and (the lucky ones) might even be doing the CESEM program, a program that I am delighted to have taken part in. On a more selfish note, I'm really glad that the whole event is going on, because  it kind of forces us all to hang out every day and soak in the last weeks together.
The reality that the end is coming is starting to hit us all. Yesterday, a friend of mine brought a flag to be signed by everyone. I sometimes feel like my whole self just starts to feel like "error, error, error when I think of CESEM ending.  I'm really going to miss Reims, all my wonderful friends who are going to be scattered all over the world, and speaking and living in French.
19 days until I head off to NYC.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Done.

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I finished my undergraduate degree on Tuesday at 18h22. I defended my thesis, was told that I will get a good grade, AND that it was interesting.
This is delightful and exciting news. I really did it. 5 years and now done. DONE. DONE. DONE.
Things I've done....

  • Finished five years of school. Two of which were spent in France.
  • Interviewed more in French than in English as a result of doing a six month internship in Paris, France.
  • Received a French and American undergraduate business degree : Magna Cum Laude
  • Wrote a 89 page thesis on e-commerce and web 2.0 (in French) 
  • Found my interest in the Internets during my first internship (love at first site!) (pun! O_o)
  • Planned a trip for 100 international business students in Italy for IBWE
  • Wrote a weekly newsletter for my school during this entire year, in French and HTML.
  • Biked 750 km to Venice during a week of vacation to IBWE.
  • Traveled to cities all over Europe and Africa! 
  • Made lasting friendships with people who are going to be all over the world doing wonderful things
  • Developed the self-confidence and resilience necessary take me to my next adventure 
So there you have it. A small overview of me. College. What has happened. The magnitude of it all is still hitting me. But I can feel the small drums of excitement beating through me. The reverberations signaling the promise of new things to come. I'm scared, excited, and nervous all at the same time, but I'm ready for something fresh. Working world, look out, I'm coming...
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Comings and goings

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Things have been pretty good over here. Quick list of great (and remarkable) events:


  1. Finished my mémoire! Woot! So much work went into the 89 pages of Volume I and the 36 pages of Volume II, I can barely believe it is finished. I have to defend it on Tuesday in front of my advisor and another professor, currently working on that presentation right now.




  2. Had my last classes of CESEM and Undergrad. Can't deny it, feelz good.

  3. Went to London. Visited my good friend Misha. Saw dinos in the Natural History museum, and even went to see Star Trek. Ate so much good food - Indian, Portuguese, Greek, etc. I was in vegetarian heaven. Am going to start looking for jobs in London ASAP.

  4. Going to Disneyland Paris on Monday - this should be magical and fun, but Sunday we will be sleeping in Paris, drinking shreks galore at Le Kitch and picnicing at Flamingo Pizza OOOooo so excited!

  5. Epic Road Trip is in planning mode! Ze Germans arrive chez moi le 1 juillet! Woot!

  6. Currently planning orientation events for my school. I'm pretty excited to have a last hurrah with everyone. 

  7. Starting to look for a job - feelz weird.



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Friday, May 1, 2009

Magna Cum Laude : Northeastern '09

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Friday, April 17, 2009

And we're off!

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I'm leaving this morning to take on the 750 km all the way to Italy!



Wish me luck!



We've got our padded pants, spandex galore and we are ready to bike, bike, bike!




RELAY 2009
Reims-->Lucerne-->Altdorf-->Lugano-->Bergamo-->Verone-->Venice-->Bibione





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Monday, April 6, 2009

Busy

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Just a quick word to say, "I'm swamped"! Trying to finish the writing part of my mémoire this week, while also calling up companies and trying to get last minute interviews. Fun, right?



But WHATEVER, because I'm going on a 750 KM bike ride to Venise in 11 days! So I'm going to get this mémoire done so I can roll my way on to IBWE 2009!

I'm aware that I'm breaking my New Year's resolution to write very often, but I can't right now. Every word I have must go into that mémoire!



See you on the flip side!



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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mémoire

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Epicfail


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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Writing this mémoire

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It's getting down to the ticker. I have 26 days until my mémoire needs to be finished and I need to be packing my bags for a 750 km bike ride towards Venice.

The pressure is mounting, but I know I can do it. At this point, I can't even think in "can" or "try".... there is only do or do not. :-)

The mémoire is a pickle. On one hand, I'm really interested in my subject; it's what I want to do with my next chapter of my life. But on the other hand, it just seems like this unattainable thing that gets farther away from me with every step I take closer toward it. It's an odd feeling this treadmill effect, where I feel that even as hard as I try I don't get anywhere at all.

I have half of my interviews done, practically 20 pages written, but I can't shake this feeling of being farther away from my goal.

I'll just be happy when it's over with.



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Monday, March 16, 2009

A few things

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Ho hum drum.


  • I'm starting a new elective entitled "Global Leadership", that most likely is going to be pretty boring, but we shall see. It's the first day in like 2 hours so I need to keep an open mind. I am obligated to take it by Northeastern's rules, but who knows maybe I will be surprised. 

  • The series finale of the best television show around is happening on Friday. I'm going to miss watching Battlestar Galactica on Saturday mornings and I am glad I have a bunch of the seasons with me. If you haven't watched it yet, do it. It's worth everything hour. It is a tad on the nerdy side, but honestly the story is what gets me. It's powered by emotion and a celebration of people in hard times and it brings forth a lot of subjects like religion, redemption, and keeping order in a time of crisis. I could go on and on about how amazing it is, and it's really true.

  • I've made a lot of progress of my mémoire! Had two interviews and so things are going well.

  • Been applying to jobs and programs left and right - we'll see how everything pans out. Keep your thumbs crossed for me.

  • Went on a 30 kilometer bike ride on Sunday, our destination was a farm where you can pick your own veg. The daily pick was leeks and spinach - we passed on that. But we sat and ate peanut butter sandwiches (we packed) and drank fresh apple juice from the farm. It was a great morning.


That's it for now. More fun later.  :-D



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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Re: Something Bigger

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I was writing a bit of my mémoire today and I was focusing on how the Internet changes the way we view information. Through the internet, we have access to an infinite amount of knowledge, and it's amazing to think of how much information we touch everyday just by signing into Facebook and looking at people's links, reading blogs or browsing on Google News. 

I was reading Anil Dash's blog and saw that he wrote a post on "vision" and how it should be essential in reviewing how people run their businesses. As a marketing student getting ready to go out in the world, I couldn't help but be a little inspired by what he had to say. Here's a quote :

"And the truth is, Amazon, Google and Apple all make billions of dollars — that doesn't happen by accident. They should
have clear goals about how to make money as part of their efforts. But
since all of these companies also traffic in commerce derived from the
artistic and expressive works that shape our culture, it makes sense
for us to evaluate their efforts based on how well they articulate a
desire to give back to our culture. They should make
something meaningful for the world while making their money, at least
as a happy byproduct if not as an intentional output. It's a lot easier
for me to believe that employees at Amazon are doing something that's
meaningful to the world at large than to feel that way about Apple's
similar efforts."



And it's true, we need companies out there that have a vision of what they want to do in the world. I want to work for a company that has a vision of something bigger than only making money, and while I don't see anything wrong with focusing on profitability, I find that it is more important to me to feel like I am participating in something bigger.

At Six Apart, I would get excited  about the fact that people were able to publish their thoughts, passions and ideas on our blogging platforms. At Firstgiving, I couldn't help but be inspired by the millions of people raising money to cure cancer, supply hospital programs, and help others just for the sake of helping others.  These are two companies that really make it easy for people to do things that they might not have had the technical prowess to do themselves, and not only are they helping them doi it, but they are helping them do it more efficiently.  At the end of the day, Firstgiving and Six Apart can say that they were a part of something bigger just by making it easier for people to do what they do. I can't deny it, but that sounds pretty visionary to me. :-)

Anil ends his post like this:

And just as importantly, we can use this criteria of vision, of
responsibility for culture, as a way of analyzing announcements and
releases in the technology world. So, last night, Amazon released their
Kindle software for Apple's iPhone. Most of the reviews understandably
focused on the readability of the text, or how well the synchronization
features work. But I'm hoping that at least one or two lines of future
reviews will spare a moment to think "is it a good thing for the world
if this thing takes off?" My sense is that we're more likely to get
positive answers to that question if the teams that are making these
products are led by an appropriately ambitious vision.



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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TED : Ideas worth spreading

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TED.com is currently one of my most favorite websites to visit. I love searching the archives and seeing what some of the innovative minds of our day have had to say. The site is full of videos with authors, scientists, programmers and entrepreneurs all on various subjects.  One I really like was by Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity and then there is another done by J.J. Abrams the creator of amazing television series like LOST.

The site is overall well organized, well stocked and a veritable online feasting ground for inspiration.

This morning, I was perusing my google reader and they had a TED video featuring Evan Williams of Twitter. I couldn't help myself, but take this little distraction and hear what he had to say. I was not disappointed. My favorite part of the discussion is at the end, when they pull up a Twitter search to see what the audience had been twittering about Evan Williams while he was talking the results being both funny and interesting. How amazing it is that today we can post our opinions in less that 140 characters and in like than 5 seconds. Amazing, right?

As you can tell Frankenhoodie and I are Twitter fans, and twittering is a fun way to pass one-liners between ourselves and also among our friends.

I've put the video below of Evan Williams:




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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trois gazelles in Marrakech

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In Morocco, they call girls "la gazelle". . . just like the animal.  As we walked through the Medina in Marrakech, we could always hear the continuous hum of "la gazelle, la gazelle". It eventually became something we would block out, as you learn to stop paying attention to the men in the market pitching their leather wares, silver teapots, and beautiful scarves. But other than that the men in Morocco were really not that sketchy. I was honestly expecting them to be a bit more aggressive after experiencing the demeanor of 2nd generation North Africans in France.


In the souks
We stayed at an amazing hostel called the Riad Agdez. The manager, Claude, picked us up from the airport and my favorite thing will always be hearing him say into his phone "we'll arrive in 10 minutes, start the tea". He didn't disappoint us from there giving us advice and dropping us off at the Majorelle gardens, and who could forget the delicious sugary mint tea that was always at our disposal. It was a really great price for a great amount of comfort.
Riad Agdez

We had our own room and bathroom and every morning they served us breakfast on the terrace, which was always gloriously sunny. The weather was amazing, not a cloud to be seen, and the temperature stayed a steady 70-75 all weekend. This was exactly what we were hoping for during our weekend holiday away from cold, rainy, northern France.

Morning breakfast! 
Initially, we had wanted to stay in the desert overnight and ride camels. But our level of comfort and happiness at our Riad made us decide to book another night at the hotel and do a day trip to two Berber villages with Sahara Expeditions, a local tour company. 45 euros got us into a Land Rover with a toothless driver and an awkward German couple, and off we went to see a bit of the Moroccan countryside.

Trois Gazelles

We were not disappointed. Morocco has a breathtaking beauty to it in the spring, there is green everywhere and the temperatures are perfect. What we weren't expecting on our trip were little photo stops at gimmicky places; where the locals were waiting for us, ready to sell cheap necklaces and teapots. It was sneakily planned, but we were rather delighted to find that tourist trap #2 had CAMELS waiting for us! Ciara and I sat on camels for a total of 10 minutes and were perfectly content with checking off camels from our list of "must do's".

After a while, we got to a little mountain town in the Ourika Valley, where we were given the opportunity to hike up to see some waterfalls.  As soon as we arrived in the town a group of "guides " surrounded us and asked if we wanted a tour to the waterfalls. We were trying to be frugal on this trip and confidently brushed aside any offer, but even after our persistent "go away's" one of the guys continued to follow us around as we began to climb up towards the waterfalls.

We started to get kind of nervous as we climbed up and he was still following us. At one point we even stopped and told him to go away. He would not leave. So we waited until there were more tourists around and kept climb up. What we didn't realize was that it wasn't as easy as climbing up the side of a hill. There were slippery rocks and loose rocks as well, which our little guide happily climbed up like a little mountain goat. As we kept getting higher (this was all taking like an hour to just climb up), he would give us his hand on difficult passages. Little by little, we realized that we couldn't have made it without his help.

I, for one, am not a great climber (and usually do not climb as a rule) and  had to be helped numerous times as we slid, jumped and dragged ourselves around. He came in to use the time when we had to scale the side of wall to get to the "easier path" or when we were practically sliding down the hill with our cute converse on. These moments made us realize that a helping hand was definitely needed. I think when we finally accepted that we needed his help, things got a little easier, and we continued on our way. I guess, sometimes being less stubborn makes climbing a mountain that much easier.
Our second stop, four hours and some fun in the snow on top of the mountains later was in a little town called Imili. In Imili, we could spot the Jebel Toubka (the tallest mountain in Northern Africa). Zoe, Ciara and I bought friendship bangles from a guy that promised us they were "pure silver".
That night we went back into the center of the Medina to have dinner on the square. Every night, the little food stands set up their wares and start heaping out plates of couscous, tagine, and olives to all who pass. As you walk from stand to stand, you are welcomed, begged and harassed into sitting at stall #115 or #117 "just like heaven". At one point, we walked by a stand and I told the guy that we had already eaten, he looked at me, pinched my arm and said, "mais ça ne se voit pas (you can't tell)". 

All in all, I'm pretty in love with the haggling, the fresh orange juice stands (seen everywhere) and the blue from the majorelle gardens (I have house slippers in this glorious blue). I love the sound my bangles make as I move around my room, it's like a constant reminder of a really fun holiday, tinkling at all the right moments of my study routine.
Blue Majorelle! 

Two hilarious things happened as we were at the airport ready to return to France. The first was the fact that our "silver" bangles went off through the metal detector (I can see the German couple with "I told you so faces") and the second happened as we taxied toward the runway. I was reading a chick-lit book and settling into my seat when a voice came on over the loudspeaker. They announced that due to the French Food and Drug administration's regulations, they would be spraying insecticide all over the cabin to eliminate any critters we might have on us.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I passed!

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Yay! I'm pretty much on cloud nine, this whole idea that I don't have to retake my exams is sinking in wonderfully. We found out a week ago that we would get results this week, but I wasn't really sure how I would do since a lot of my classes are finance based (eeks!).  But wow- I did it! I kind of just want to go around high-fiving everyone! VICTORY LAP!



The thing is, not only did I do it, but I did it well! I REALLY passed. I think I am even going to have an A average in a school that is taught in French!

Sometimes it amazes me how well I am doing in an international context. There are days when I feel like I'm not up to snuff and then something like this comes along to reassure me that everything is okay.

There are some classes that I passed by the skin of my teeth (we take 9 tests in one week), but others I did really really well - classes I didn't even expect to do well in! Sorry for so many exclamation marks, but I am just so excited!!!

All in all, I'm having a great day today. A day that makes me feel like I am where I am supposed to be: in France, studying business, and kicking ass. And by the end of the week, I know I am going to be feeling even more awesome....in Morocco!



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Monday, February 9, 2009

NEW KINDLE: Amazon

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Wow, just saw the newest Kindle that is going to come on at the end of February. Needless to say as a bookworm and a geek, I kind of want one.

I don't know  what the reviews are about how reading on a Kindle affects eyesight, but even with that I'm really really (really!) interested.

Things that are different with the new Kindle!
It has more battery life, more storage and lots of other good things, but the size of it is what gets me. :-D So sleek, so shiny, so beautiful - I'm totally having a geek moment! I would be interested in touching it before I bought it though.

This is definitely going on my list of things to buy once I am a real person that, and a netflicks membership, a Deva hair diffuser, a MacbookPro and the list goes on to infinity!

NEW KINDLE: Amazon Kindle 2.0 Available February 24 (PHOTOS).



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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is where I studied for 10 hours today!!!!!

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At 2:00 pm this afternoon, my roommate Flore and I decided to recreate a library in our living room. We both need a good work environment, but weren't willing to schelp in the cold, rain and snow for that.
This is what we came up with (in our living room). My desk has been brought in from my room, and Flore is working at the kitchen table. 

*Note the awesome lighting, the large personal workspaces, snacks, and water bottles. :-)


At 10:00 pm this is what our study space looked like.

*Note the clementine peels, the new (and larger) coffee mugs and the eternal darkness outside.

At midnight we decided we were finished for the day.  Well mostly because the day...ummm... has ...errr officially ended. ;-)



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