Monday, January 31, 2011

Love Where You Live or Live Where You Love?

I was asked this question Saturday night by a young(er) girl than myself who found herself in the middle of a newly hatched romance.  Her boyfriend is from the west coast and has that Tupac pride, as many west coasters do.  He apparently has spoke at length about the beauty of the west coast and it’s perfect weather and some day moving back.  Meanwhile, the girl is from NY and her entire family resides there, so moving isn’t something that has ever crossed her mind (and certainly not picking up and moving across the country).

My answer was quick, “Clearly I believe that you should live where you love…  or else I wouldn’t be living in Connecticut.”  She giggled.  “But”, I explained, “I think you can have both.  I don’t think you have to choose one or the other.”  There are places in the world that no one can deny are beautiful and fun.  Places where couples or families could set up camp and make their own life out of it with new surroundings, new neighbors and new paths.   This choice, however, takes compromise.  One or both parties making the decision to move together will have to compromise. 

Some people are stubborn, and you will have to choose one or the other.  People who are unwavering in their decision have already made their minds up that they will love where they live and not the other way around.  The only way they get both is if the person they are in love with decide to stay where they love living. 

I think there’s a lot to say about loving where you live.  I have recently moved to a place that I’m not in love with, but for a person who I am in love with.  It hasn’t been an easy transition at all because of not loving where I live.  It’s actually the opposite of everything that I did love about where I was living.  I belong in a city that has pace to it and life around each city corner you turn.  Noises and people and music and art. 

Memory Machine

I had an amazing weekend.  It was exactly what I needed.   I know that I've been craving human interaction and "fun", but I didn't realize until I was in the thick of it last night, breathing in the energy and inspiration of NYC, just how much I need it and thrive on it.  I had so much fun making new friends, laughing with old friends and dancing the night away.  It was fabulous.  I couldn't have asked for more.

Dismemberment Plan @ Webster Hall, NYC 1/29/11

The night was planned around the reunion show of The Dismemberment Plan.  They were a band I was fortunate enough to be introduced to while they were still very much together and playing frequently in Washington DC, which was very close to where I was at the time.  I had seen them countless numbers of times at the Black Cat with my friend Joel (almost always), and had even traveled to go see them in Pennsylvania amongst other areas.  They broke up in 2003 and I was there for their second to last show.  It was sad to see them disband, but I felt lucky to have been a part of what they had built.

I was unbelievably excited to hear that they were planning a reunion tour this year and as soon as this news hit, all of my old friends who were also fans were buzzing with excitement.  We all bought our tickets and spent the following month gearing up for the reunion.

I hadn't listened to them in a long time and hearing their music definitely reminds me of certain times in my life or certain people I spent most of my time with, but seeing them live was a different story completely.  I was transported back in time.  It felt like home.  I felt like I was in DC, young and ambitious and full of life.  It was an odd, but welcomed feeling that came over me at the show.  This new life I felt gaining momentum stayed with me after the show.

We went bar hopping, met up with other friends, danced, drank, talked about all the good movies we had seen lately, then caught a cab back home.  The night ended late (or early in the morning) and I was all smiles and giggles heading to bed.

Hungover train ride back to CT.
I truly hope that this kind of experience can happen more often.  I'm trying to be optimistic that our moving closer to Hartford will create more of these nights with new friends, or that maybe old friends will be more inclined to visit and make new memories with me in my new "home".  I'm hoping for the best, but it's hard to think that a city in Connecticut without any friends or acquaintances will somehow measure up at all to Charm City or NYC...  But it's my last hope.

In the meantime, I'll be trying to make more trips to NYC to get my small doses of feeling alive.  It's no longer a want.  It's become a necessity.  I feel like my tattoos have become a sham, as I'm definitely not living life to the fullest.  In my defense, being in this area with little to do and no one to know, it's pretty damn hard to live it up...  but all I can do is continue to try.  It's all I've got.


"If they can make machines to save us labor
Someday they'll do our hearts the very same favor" - D Plan

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Engagements, Weddings, Babies, Oh My!!

Well, it seems as if I have hit the age where most people start "growing up" - including myself, I guess with moving to CT and all, but I mean the stage where my facebook newsfeed is completely filled with pictures of diamond rings, white dresses and/or ultrasound or baby photos.  Before I write any further-- I'm not upset by this.  In fact, the baby photos make me smile 9 times out of 10 and brighten my days.  The wedding photos are always fun to look at.  I love seeing people's dresses and colors and venues.  I also love looking at beautiful jewelry (duh!).  But it can be a bit overwhelming when it's one after the other.

Since I'm friends (on facebook) with so many people I went to high school with, it increases the number of these posts that I'm seeing every day.  It's not just people I talk to "IRL", as Dan would say, so it just seems like a crazy amount because of our age.

One of my friends posted this article from TIME tonight:  "Who Needs Marriage?  A Changing Institution" 

It's incredibly interesting.  It makes a lot of sense.  I've always been deeply interested in people's psyches and what makes men and women tick (so differently at times and different stages in life) and society's impact on these trends.  My bookshelves are packed with books on these exact topics and I graduated with a minor in Literature (concentration was Gender Studies).  Recently, with all of my friends getting married, I've been thinking about the institute of marriage, what it means to me and the stats that are so frequently regurgitated that put quite the damper on the romance of it all.

I found it hard going to friends' weddings thinking "half of these will end in divorce".  I hate saying it, but people think it.  It's just the truth.  You hear it all the time.  "50% of marriages end in divorce."  I've been predicting a big change in those numbers.  Why?  Because people are waiting later and later in life to make that step together.  I think people are more mature when they do decide to take that step and it's less of a "mandatory next step" and more of a choice these days vs. when our parents were our age, or even more, their parents.  I could be totally wrong, but I'm a hopeless romantic, so I'll always be an optimist when it comes to the future of romance.

I do, however find the article's research hopeful.  Loved this: "Marriage is like glue, says Eisenberg. You can build something with it. Living together is like Velcro. The commitment of marriage gives people the opportunity to grow and thrive in ways that other relationships do not." Interesting and a positive, or at least not jaded, way of looking at marriage.

I was intrigued by the idea that marriage is becoming something for the wealthy (no surprise there-- look at the glorified shows like Say Yes to the Dress where brides (or their future husbands or their parents) pay upwards of $5K (that's a cheap dress on that show) for a dress that will be worn once (hopefully).  Like marriage is a gucci bag or something...  A less positive view on the new trends, so I digress...

Cindy looking less than thrilled at her wedding 
Anyway, marriage is constantly on my mind because it's EVERYWHERE.  So many TV shows about it, so many celebrities engaged (or preggo), so many friends or acquaintances doing it, it's hard not to think about it and what it means to each of us.  I guess I'm a bit irritated with the sheer volume of it all being in front of my eyes at seemingly all hours of the day (even my facebook advertisements are for engagement rings), because it does turn into a material type of goal achieved at some points--spending way more money than I could ever imagine spending (for who?  For what?  The guests?  For ONE day?  To prove something?), it's still nice to see when it's done for the right reasons and done for the couple, not for show or family or any other silly reasons.

My parents were high school sweethearts and have been married forever.  Hard to live up to, but something that was great to watch and learn from.  I think there's something beautiful about marriage or at least the idea of marriage, but divorce has always terrified me.  To the point, at times, of really questioning if it was ever worth chancing.  Obviously I'm making leaps and bounds at taking myself out of my comfort zones, but we will see what the future holds.  Marriage to me isn't an "ultimate merit badge" as they say in the article.  I don't think it proves anything.  I think every girl dreams of someone being so in love with them that they would make such a bold move to prove it to the world, but aside from that Disney ideal I grew up with, do I think it's NECESSARY?  No.  Probably not nowadays since the things/reasons that most people married back in the day was because society said it was the next step after high school and a must step before children.  That's no longer the case, so...  there ya go.  But do I still think it's a beautiful thing when two people who are deeply in love make that commitment to one another because they feel the need to make that step in front of friends and family (even though the pressures of society to be married to move along with the next steps of life have dwindled)?  Yes.  I do.

Any thoughts?



Today I got to do something unusual.  I woke up, got myself ready for work and right as I was about to throw my yogurt into my bag, I got a text from my co-worker (and friend), Heather, telling me she say in traffic for over an hour to get to work (which is about 15 minutes away from her house).  I decided to check the traffic report and saw that the entire route from my house to work was red and pulsating on the map.  Even the alternate route was red and angry.  I decided to wait it out at home instead of bringing my shitty old car out onto the snow-covered highways and become just another accident backing up traffic for miles.

Instead, I put the yogurt back in the fridge and cracked two fresh eggs from Dan's parent's chickens, popped a piece of light rye toast in the toaster and cut up two little tomatoes.  Holy yum.  Usually I add a bit of Dan's mama's homemade raspberry/blueberry jam on the toast, but since I've joined Lose It! I've been very careful of what I've been putting into my food hole.

272 Calories of pure YUM.
My usual breakfast is a Chobani fat free yogurt (flavors vary) with some Special K cereal (flavors vary) sprinkled into it and a medium cup of coffee with a turbo shot and cream from Dunkin' Donuts. That adds up to 225 daily.  Was the picture above worth the extra 47 calories?  You bet your sweet ass it was.

What was NOT so unusual today was waking up to this shitty snow we keep having.  I get it.  I live in Connecticut, now.  Enough.  I got the picture after the 28" on snow that was dumped on us two weeks ago (which is all still here), then the 6-8" we've gotten since then.  We're getting more tomorrow evening.  I'm willing to bet I won't be able to get up my driveway again tonight considering I couldn't see it when I left at 11:30am to come to work today:

My driveway (?) through my windshield this AM.
I really can't wait for Spring and Summer for so many reasons...  I would give just about anything to wake up to waves crashing on a beach tomorrow morning...  A girl can dream...  Lord knows I do most of the time I'm awake these days...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Love (for lots o' things)

I must say firstly that I'm pleased as pie that Big Love has returned for it's final season.  I love this show.  The characters are amazing and I find the concept intriguing.  It's hard enough to have one relationship and deal with jealousy that comes out of insecurity and outside attention, much less being in a relationship with several other women and sharing one "anchor".  Not to mention the women are in such different stages in lives, the different sacrifices each of them have made, their future goals.  I have always been highly interested in each character's motives (watching them at times truly living as three sisters-an eldest, youngest and the middle, starved for attention) and after the first two episodes, I can see that this season is going to really let their different personalities unravel.  I am looking forward to it.

I am looking forward to Portugal even more after today.  I got my first taste of Portuguese food today.  Dan's fam took us to a little Portuguese restaurant in Danbury today and it was delightful.  I had no idea how tasty and meaty sardines can be!!!  We had grilled sardines (sardinhas assadas) and HOLY. SO good. I can't wait to grill up some IN Portugal in our backyard by the pool. Mmmm. AND we will definitely be getting some more chourica grelhada (grilled pork sausage). It came out in the cutest little pig dish ON FIRE!! This sausage was RIDIC. So tasty. I am getting better at eating little bits instead of huge portions which is great when you are out to diner with a buncha food lovers who all love to share!

One thing that's killing me is the weather...  I have been reminded this year of my therapist back in college saying, "I have patients who have S.A.D. that are so affected by the weather that they moved to Cali and Florida."  And here I am, further north.  I know.  WTF.  It's been brutal the past couple of weeks.  Pretty, yes, but freezing and miserable, yes also.  I'm having to try extra hard to keep the glass half-full.

This week, I'm looking forward to lots of gym time, getting my commercial finalized and on-air and catching up on many movies I wanted to see (in the theater), but never did:

- Cyrus
- The Social Network
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Freakonomics (the movie)
- Machete

Super stoked about that list.

Hoping to find more during the week to be stoked about...  Hmmm.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ballet and Birds

**SPOILER ALERT**  I'm going to discuss my thoughts on Black Swan.  Nothing too detailed, but some ideas expressed in the movie will be revealed.  You've been warned.

For the first time in my life, I went to the movies alone.  My boss at TBC (and dear friend), Kenny, used to go to the movies by himself all the time.  He loved it.  I didn't understand why until Sunday.  In some ways it made me really sad and I was reminded of how many friends I have/had in Baltimore and how I never had to be alone if I didn't want to.  I could ring up any number of people and paint the town.  Solitude was a choice back then.  However, once the movie started, I was transported to a different world.  

I wanted to see the movie as soon as I heard of it because of the cast.  I LOVE Natalie Portman.  I have since The Professional - French title "Leon" (note:  if you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and get on it.  It's definitely in my top 10).  I also have a bit of a girl crush on Mila Kunis.  I just assume she must be awesome since she does a voice on Family Guy and after she worked with Jason Segel on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I was smitten.  Add ballet into the mix, and I was sold (I danced competitively for 13 years).

That's all I allowed myself to learn about the movie.  Every time someone started to talk about it, I would quickly shush them.  I didn't know it was a thriller or a horror-ish type of film until my little sister spilled the beans comparing it to Requiem For a Dream in "fucked-up-ness" (I politely disagree).  The only other bit I heard was that there was a Natalie masturbation scene and some lesbian oral sex action.  So aside from those things, I went in blind.

Because of my dance training, I am always leery of actresses portraying professional dancers, but I must say, this is the second time I have been utterly SHOCKED at how amazing these actresses danced (the first time being Julia Stiles in Save the Last Dance).  I know Natalie had some sort of background in dance, but it's near impossible to be that talented if you study your entire life and dedicate every single day to the craft.  It blew my mind.  It also made me miss dancing terribly...  For a few reasons.

One, the camera work often was right on Natalie's shoulder, so you felt like the lead.  This was incredible during the performances, and convincingly uncomfortable during the anxiety fueled scenes.  The brilliant costuming and choreography certainly didn't make me miss performing any less, but the things that got me the most were surprisingly the ritual associated with preparing brand new pointe shoes for wearing (sewing on the ribbons, burning the edges, breaking the shanks of the shoes, scoring the bottoms), the ballet class fashion (wraps, leg warmers, itty bitty sheer skirts over the palest pastel leotards), and most of all-- throughout the entire movie-- the audio.  Seriously.  Whoever did the sound design for this movie deserves lots of awards.

The sound of pointe shoes, the sound of the cracking rosin under her toes and heels before she went onstage, the accompanying piano playing or strings in the practice room with her, her breathing.  It transported me right back to dance class.  I could smell my old studio.  I remember vividly the smell of my ballet shoes and that movie brought it right back to me.  The director did an amazing job at making you feel that you were in the room with her, if not living her role.

Okay--  so, aside from all the visual and audible stimulation (that I thoroughly enjoyed), there were other filmmaking elements that I really loved.  The mom's character immediately drew up visions of Joan Crawford/Mommy Dearest and the mother in Carrie.  There was something very 70's quality-wise about the actual film and lighting during the scenes in the house with the overbearing (and obviously living vicariously through her daughter) mother.  Her character was almost a joke because of how heavy-handed her actions and lines were delivered.  It added a certain kitsch element that was reminiscent of 70s and early 80s horror that can't be topped.

There were some special effect elements I thought worked (skin), and others not as well (feathers).  CGI isn't quite perfected when it comes to certain textures and movements and knowing something fake is happening can detract from certain important moments in a film (that's all the detail I'll go into there).

Overall I really enjoyed the movie.  As far as the stresses she dealt with in the film and the struggle within, I could type for miles about how I interpreted that, how I identified with that, the metaphors I found within the movie, etc.  And maybe I will at a later date when I don't feel like I would be spoiling the movie too much for too many people, but I refrain for another reason.  This movie has gotten such high praise from the masses, which I find strange in one way and predictable in another.  Art school ruined even semi-artsy movies for me in a way.  Many audiences rave about these "films" for no reason other than not understanding it and feeling like they had to be smarter than they actually are to "get it".  I have a big problem with that and also with the shit movies that pretend to be so clever and high brow so that they are held in high regard, but with no real substance.  It's offensive to the viewer, I think.  I do NOT think Black Swan was one of these movies, but there are pieces of it I would love to dive further into at a later date concerning this topic...

I didn't find the film overly gory, unnecessarily sexual or unwatchable at any moments (granted, after a childhood filled to the brim with horror films, I have a bit of an iron stomach).  There is one scene I really loved and even looked away from unintentionally, but I still don't think the discomfort level before, during or after the film reached the heights Requiem did.

I also wouldn't recommend bringing your 12 year old daughter to go see it with you (like the woman and her daughter in front of me). I don't care if she takes ballet.  Even I was asked if I was over 17 when I bought my ticket (which I know the woman selling me my ticket was old and therefore probably had less than 20/20 eyesight, but it still made me smile).  There's definitely reason for the R rating, and it's not just for blood, filthy language or a nipple popping out...  A mature 12 year old can definitely handle this picture (picture?  what am I?  80?), but being that I've been a 12 year old before, I would NEVER want to see this with my parents (and I'm sure my parents feel the same).

I'd love to start a discussion.  Anyone at all who has seen it and feels differently or loved it for different reasons, please feel free to leave comments and maybe sometime after the film has left theaters, I will write further.  For now, I'd just suggest paying the full ticket price and see it for yourself.  Alone.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Date

It's been a wonderful (long) weekend.  I've really done well with my diet and exercising aside from my date night Saturday with Dan to the Japanese steakhouse that's close to our apartment (and even then, I wasn't over by MUCH).  We've been before and really enjoyed it and I got a sweet groupon deal for it, so decided to make a date night out of it.

Since I rarely get out (sad, but true), I wanted any excuse to dress up a bit.  I just got these adorable over-the-knee wintery Free People socks, along with a great knit wool hat by Coal from (really getting into the fun winter accessories up here in the north).  How do you make such tall socks work in winter?  Like this:

I rocked tights under the short sweater dress, then hiked those puppies up.  I loved the look, so now I'm going to buy more short sweater dresses.  :)

Anyhoo, we headed out to the restaurant.  I was very excited about a romantic night since Dan had to work overnight Friday night AND Sunday all day.  We were seated first at the large table around the hibachi grill.  Slowly 3 couples filled in the rest of the seats and we started to realize that they were all a group meeting there for dinner.  The first thing we noticed was that they were there because of the groupon.  They were very upset that they couldn't use two of the groupons on one check.  They immediately agreed to all be on separate checks.  That was fine, but what I noticed right away was that the girl furthest from me couldn't let anything go.  She was pissed that they couldn't use more than one groupon per check and let the poor waitress know it.  She then complained some more after the waitress had left, and found more and more to complain about as the dinner progressed.  Surprisingly, she wasn't the worst at the table when it came to complaints.

As dinner went on, I figured out that the couple seated closest to me were the parents of the complaining girl and the husband in the second couple, who also found plenty to complain about (his sprite was flat, for one).  The father of the complaining "children" (who were in their 30s) had maybe...  never been out to eat before?  Certainly not to a Japanese steakhouse, which he was very open about.  He was joyful and reminded me of a child because of how curious and easily amused and impressed he was at every new piece of information he found out about his upcoming dining experience by ogling the surrounding tables with chefs in action.  Grinning ear to ear with eyes wide as saucers, "THEY THROW FOOD AT YOUR MOUTH??!"  The child-like bewilderment was quickly cut off by a mean scratchy voice.  "You are a fucking asshole.  You know how fucking stupid you sound?  You're making a fucking fool out of yourself."  It was his wife.

I had never heard such language in a restaurant - by anyone other than teenagers craving attention.  I felt so bad for the husband.  He really enjoyed the experience and the meal.  Poor guy...  Makes me wonder what happens to the poor dear if he ever really accidentally screws something up at home.  :-/  Yikes.

Dan made sure to make lots of fun of the situation to make me slightly less uncomfortable sitting at the table right next to the constant stream of degrading remarks flowing from that evil woman.

We came home, snuggled a lot, played lots of Rock Band and watched lots of Mr. Show.  It was a perfect date night.  :)

Sunday, I was very productive.  Gym, shopping for things to redecorate the bathroom that has bothered me since the first day we moved in and finally buying a frame for my Charmain Olivia print Whit got me for xmas!!  I love it to pieces.  Birds, and also a loaded statement for where I find myself in sooooo many ways.

"Yes You Have" - Charmain Olivia Illustration
 I also figured out my Valentine's Day present plans...  Can't wait for that.  :-)

Also, I had a new experience...  went to the movies alone.  I saw Black Swan.  How did I like the movie?  That will be my next post...


Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Need a (Clothed) Vacation.

Ah, Emmy.  Our talks get me through the day, the week, the year, my life.  This bitch keeps me constantly laughing, thinking and dreaming.  She told me today that I should go to the nude beach in Miami to see the withered 80 year old men with their yellow teeth and small ding dongs (well, that part's a direct quote from DR, actually).  And while I know I'm not suited for any beach (much less a NUDE beach), it got me thinking about vacation and how long it's been since I've had a real one.

I told Emmy about Randy and I laying on the beach and John coming up to us saying, "Jesus!  You look like two pieces of newspaper laying on the sand!"  We're white.  Grayish white, even.  Newspaper was a pretty solid description of our skin pigmentation.  I'm like a whiteish-grayish-clear.  My veins are VERY apparent.  The paleness is why tattoo artists love me and why the cast of the Jersey Shore thinks I should be hospitalized, or at the very least institutionalized.  Locked up FAR away from any beach clearly.

I'm ultra-aware of my body and its imperfections.  I have trouble walking around my apartment without a towel from the bathroom to my bedroom!  I know what I look like (and it may actually look worse in a bikini - score one for Emily).  I told Em if we were to go to the nude beach, she'd look ahead in the distance and wonder why there was a white trash bag full of vanilla icing and library books with tattoos blowing about the beach.  And frolicking, I would be.

White trash bag full of vanilla icing and library books with tattoos - on the BEACH!

The sad part is - I LOVE THE BEACH!  I love the fine grains of sand, I love the salty smell, I love the HOT sun.  I love writing in the wet sand and dipping my tootsies into the cold water.  (I'm irrationally terrified of open water, however, so I don't go too far in.  Aquatic plant life that touches my feet is automatically transformed into dead bodies - well, the full heads of hair on the dead bodies- floating somehow close to the floor of the ocean and moving like silk back and forth with the waves...  against my legs and any rock is surely a crab or open shark's mouth waiting for me to put my whole foot down.)  But I know my limitations.  So most of the time, I'm pretty covered, aside from an occasional sunning with just shorts and a bikini top on.  OCCASIONAL.

The last time I had a real vacation...  well...  I can't really remember.  I don't know that I actually ever have.

This June, however, I'm having one.  I'm going to Portugal and staying HERE.  Yes.  That's right.  The same place Bono stayed.  If he wasn't such a tool, I'd boast about it.

Anyhoo, I think it will be my first REAL vacation.  Good food, beautiful surroundings, great company and relaxation.  Oh, relaxation!  I can't wait.

Until then, I'll work on getting some of the vanilla icing out of the trash bag and a few of those library books returned...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow day.

"Clothesline and Swing" 2011
The view from my back deck

I almost forgot the thrill and anticipation of waiting, wishing and hoping for those magical words to appear:  SNOW DAY.  WE ARE CLOSED.

"Sammis" 2011
While snow days as a child are the greatest thing on earth-- you miss school, you spend the day sledding and drinking hot chocolate-- they seem to be a little less fun for adults.  Sure, I got to spend the day at home, not working, but I'm going to have to dig my car out of 15+ inches of snow, and to make the day even less fun, Dan HAD to go to work.  They were going to send someone to pick him up.  That's how important he is at work (doctors tend to be pretty important).  Instead he drove himself and how he made it there safely in his little Corolla, I'll never know.

So I've spent the day doing laundry, watching SNL reruns, watching the snow, sleeping on and off and drooling over what may be my next handbag...

LAMB Trademark Audrey Leather Tote
While watching an old episode of SNL, Paris Hilton was hosting and Keane was the musical guest.  I realized that Keane's lead singer, Dominic Scott, bears a striking resemblance to A League of Their Own's Marla Hooch.  See for yourself:

Keane vs. Marla Hooch

So, as you can see...  it's been a very busy snow day for me.  I think I'll make myself a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle back up on the couch and hope the rest of my laundry does itself.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Has Arrived

Crazy.  2011.

So much has changed for me in this past year.  I cannot believe how much is different from my last NYE celebrations.

I no longer:
- Live in Baltimore
- Work at TBC
- Live within 1.5 hrs. of my family

The reasons for all of these being that I made the decision last year to follow my heart (my love) to Connecticut.  The transition has been incredibly tough for me.  I really made a name for myself and a home for myself in Baltimore.  I lived there for about 10 years - on my own - as an adult.  I made my way and was (and am) very proud of all that I accomplished in Baltimore.

When the time came for Dan to decide where he was going to apply for his residency, I could tell he had his heart set on Connecticut.  His whole family is here and the program is great for him.  Each interview he went on couldn't compare to his experience with Middlesex, so I knew that he was headed to CT.  I told him to choose what he thought would be best for him and his career, and I meant it.  I had 5 years out of school to be working and gaining experience in my field, and now it was his turn.

Even though we haven't been dating for the whole 8 years we've known each other, I feel like he knows me in and out and compliments me like I have only dreamt about in the past.  He truly is my best friend (other than Whit & Ems, of course) and I can't imagine being back in Baltimore without him, so when the time came to decide if I was going with him, even though CT has never been appealing to me, I knew there was no other choice.

Every day, I'm reminded of why I made the decision to come to Connecticut.  Literally - every single day there is at least one tiny detail (some bigger than others) as a reminder of why I am here.  Whether it be us laughing and giggling for hours over our personal TV commentary, him kissing me goodbye every morning before he leaves for work, or simply noticing I was almost out of my favorite snacks and having them on hand when I get disgruntled over finding an empty carton of whatever...

My favorite recent reminder of why I moved was that I was having a rough morning the other day.  I went to the gym after a whirlwind of stress and anxiety and bad mood was vomited out by me (towards Dan), came home and got straight in the shower.  Our kitchen and bathroom floor are the only two non-carpeted (also see: FREEZING) floors in the apartment.  Unfortunately, you have to go through the kitchen to get to any other part of the apartment and the bathroom is connected.  Since I went straight into the shower, I didn't have my trusty slippers.  I knew getting out of the shower, standing on the bath mat that I was in for a rough trek to the bedroom.  I braced myself and opened the door only to find my slippers sitting right there.  Dan put them there.  How thoughtful is that?

Maybe that's not a big deal to any of you, but it's those things that fill me with insane happiness.  The little details that show someone is paying attention and someone gives a shit...  It's a big deal to me.  I almost cried.

I'm so very lucky that I get to curl up and go to sleep with this amazing man who clearly cares about me (for some odd reason) each and every night, and if it means I have to be in CT to do that, then that's where you'll find me.

We spent our New Year's Eve ringing in the new year with some friends for dinner, then settled in at home for some Rock Band, champagne and smooches.  I couldn't have planned it any better myself.

If there was one word for how I'm feeling at this moment in the very young new year, it would be "lucky".

Hope you all are feeling the same.

Here's to striving to keep that glass half full all year long.

"Picture Pose Kiss" vs.

"How Real People Actually Kiss" 01/01/2011