Monthly Archives: January 2010

Yet Another Neighbor First

I’m starting to wonder if my neighbor reads my blog (if he somehow could ply himself away from drinking his bottom of the barrel domestic beer and smoking generic cigarettes).  Between the tossing of food in my yard and his dirty underwear in my yard – I didn’t think he could top himself.

Well holy f’n crap.  He did it again.

It is currently snowing in Baltimore.  Secretly I’m relieved because I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately (this would explain my lack of blogging, tweeting and reading all of my favorite blogs and commenting).  Anywho – Jeremy and I are holed up in our house, sitting cozily under a blanket with our dogs, eating pistachios and watching Fringe (I love Joshua Jackson).

There is a knock at the door.

I figured it was someone asking if we wanted to pay them to shovel our steps (all 3 of our steps).  But it was my neighbor.

He asked if he could come inside and Jeremy let him in.  And then he asks us for money.  Yes, you read that correctly.  He asked us for cash.

Jeremy told him we didn’t have any cash (and sadly that is the truth – we just don’t carry cash).  The neighbor went on to say he needed cash for food (as though we were lying).  Again – Jeremy said we don’t have cash.

Then the neighbor mumbled something about him having to write a check and left.

While I’d love to feel bad for him if he really can’t afford food… he sure as shit can afford his cheap beer, cigarettes and prostitutes.

And now I’m freaked the fuck out.  He has never been in our house before.  And I’m not saying we’re living in a house covered in gold and diamonds… but I will say our house is a hell of a lot nicer than his. 

Now I think he’s going to try to rob us. 

What.the.fuck.

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Another Neighbor First

So my idiot neighbor (the one that periodically throws food into my backyard and I shared a moment the other day.

When I got home from work, I let my dogs out into our backyard (aka the concrete jungle with a small patch of grass for them to do their business).

I immediately heard my neighbor’s back door open.  I was irritated by this because he likes to antagonize my dogs while they go to the bathroom.  I wish I was joking about that.  I don’t understand why.  Would he like it if I went into his bathroom and started yelling things at him while he was trying to take a shit?  I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like it either.  (Or I’d end up getting held hostage in a weird sex dungeon in his house… seriously, dude is creepy.  We’re pretty sure he brings prostitutes to his house).

Aaanywho.

As I’m walking down the stairs of my back porch, I notice an article of clothing right at the base of my steps.  At first I thought it was a t-shirt.  And as I stepped closer I realized…

… it my creepy neighbor’s underwear!  TIGHTY WHITEY underwear!

He leaned over the fence and politely asked if I’d hand him back his underwear.  They had blown into my backyard that day (during the crazy wind gusts happening in Baltimore).

So f’n gross.

I picked them up by the elastic band with just 2 fingers and handed them back to him.

And then I dipped my hand in bleach.

Okay, I didn’t do that last part but I definitely scrubbed my hands like Lady MacBeth.

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Commando

I go to the gym at my office (located 25 miles from my house) every weekday morning.

Doing this allows me to miss rush hour traffic AND get in my workout before any day-t0-day activities get in the way. 

In order to adhere to this schedule of things, I leave my house in my gym clothes and pack my work clothes in my gym bag.

So what does this mean?

It means I’ve experienced one too many days of:

  • Outfits not really working together because I failed to put together the outfit first.  You know what I mean – sometimes you envision things working well together (a particular blouse with a specific skirt) but once you’ve actually put everything together on your body, you realize that it just doesn’t look as good as you thought it would.  This happens A LOT.
  • Parts of an outfit not FITTING.  Oy.  Hopefully I’ve done away with this happening again since I’ve just done a major purge of my closet but let me tell you – it isn’t fun to realize you’ve shrunk something until you’re putting it on in the locker room.
  • Forgetting something.  You know – socks, jewelry, UNDERWEAR.  I’ve gone commando more times than I’d like to admit (it is terribly uncomfortable for me).

Some of the funnier moments have involved me packing the wrong color shoes (you know – black shoes with a brown outfit) and one time I actually grabbed 2 left shoes.  I actually had to wait until Target opened so I could quickly purchase some shoes.

Well – today was a first.  Not only did I forget my underwear, I forgot my fucking bra. 

Whaaaa?!

I contemplated just wearing my stinky and flattening sports bra.  But I couldn’t take the smell.  Oh… this bra smelled so bad.

Could I really just NOT wear a bra? 

Well – yes, I can really NOT wear a bra and totally get away with it because I did it today.

Sadly – nobody noticed. 

I mean, clearly my cups do not runneth over.  Shit – my cups are barely filled. 

I spent the first half of the day really self conscious and uncomfortable.  But by the end of the day, I felt comfortable and free.  However, I’d rather have full cups (than be the kind of adult gal that can go braless without any discomfort and anyone noticing).

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My New Best Friends

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hanging out with a group of friends that I absolutely adore and never really hang out with often.  This is mostly due to my being a complete lame-o when it comes to going out.  I’ve seriously turned into a senior citizen.  I go to bed early.  I eat dinner early.  I get angry with my neighborhood kids (and sometimes even shake my fist at them).

Anywho – Jamie hosted a party at his house and it was one of the few times I went to something like this without Jeremy.  And?  Well – it meant that I wasn’t drinking because I was driving.  Jeremy is usually my DD. 

I got to see some of my usual faves (and spent a good portion of the evening attached at the hip to Geoff).  I was stoked when Vonni was there and she told me that she reads my blog!  I get really excited when people I know read my blog.  Don’t ask.  Most of my friends hardly leave comments so I have no idea who reads this and who doesn’t.  Hi Vonni!

I was introduced to a couple that I’ve never met before (but learned that they lived in the same building as a friend of mine).  They seemed very nice and when the topic turned to the “what do you do for a living?” (a horribly boring question, I know – but sometimes I don’t know what to ask a person) – I was told a nurse and psychiatrist.

While this may not interest ANYONE else, my immediate reaction was:
OHMYGODSHUTUPTHATISSOCOOL.

I then asked, “what type of psychiatry?”

Response: “Child psychiatry”.  My response?
YOUHAVEMYDREAMJOBYOUAREMYNEWBESTFRIEND!

Its tough to play it cool in these situations.  First of all – can we say power couple?  I have lots of weird medical questions so knowing a nurse (that would clearly not make me feel like an idiot if I asked questions relating to the color of poop) is amazing.

But then to have a CHILD PSYCHIATRIST?  Blogosphere, you have no idea.  Once upon a time, I was working towards being a child (or clinical) psychiatrist.  It was and still kind of is my dream job.  I started down the psychology major in undergrad until I realized:
(1) I hated school
(2) I’d have to stay in school for a ridiculously long time then go to MED school to make it in this field
(3) I really really hated school

In chatting with my dad, he urged me to go down the IT path so that’s just what I did.  I switched majors and now work in the boring IT field instead of the amazingly awesome Psychology field.  I have a minor in Psych (that’s how far I got in the program).

Upon pouring my heart out to my new BFFs, they encouraged me to still follow my dream (and the nurse even planned out how I could go into clinical psychology through the nurse path… and let me tell you, I am THISCLOSE to actually doing it).  And the psychiatrist?  He told me that I could come and observe one day!

I almost shit myself.

But I didn’t.  I’m pretty sure that would have resulted in him taking back his offer.

As for my dream of psychiatry?  Well – I really do just hate school THAT much that I can’t even fathom going back.  I’m really just hoping that Jeremy graduates law school, makes some awesome lawyer connections, gets a ridiculously high paying job in the UK and we can move.

A girl can dream.

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The Lights of the Eiffel Tower

Okay – I’ve decided to make this my last post about Paris! I have too many pictures and too much to say but was only there for 2 FULL days. I’ve dragged this out too much! Plus, it just makes me hate being here even more. So for my sanity (and everyone else’s, I’m sure) – this is the last post. I’m dedicating this post to the many lights of the Eiffel Tower.

The twinkling lights that twinkle every hour on the hour for 5 minutes. Everyone gets really jazzed about the twinkling lights. I was too… the first 5 times. I was then like, “meh… they twinkle. Ooh – look at that crepe!”
Eiffel Tower on NYE

Blue lights!
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Crazy multi-colored light show:
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More crazy colored lights from the light show:
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This isn’t easy to see but the colors and pattern looked like a Christmas tree! (I accidentally left the flash on my point & shoot and this lady got in the way):
Eiffel Tower on NYE

My favorite light show display – the French flag!
Eiffel Tower on NYE

And my absolute favorite? The crepe stand just outside the Eiffel Tower:
Drunk off of Crepes

People have asked me what my favorite thing was in Paris. My response? The crepes. I got a chocolat-banane crêpe avec chantilly. Basically it was a crepe smeared with chocolate sauce and sliced bananas and then filled with the most divine whipped cream. So.f’n.good.

If you really want to see my ridiculous pictures, you can view my albums here:

Our Expedition in London

Our Photo Montage of Paris

I missed so many things and rushed around so much that I definitely didn’t get to fully appreciate Paris.  And now I can’t wait to go back!  Next time, however, I will go back in the Spring!  I met a lovely couple in the Montreal airport that told me that April/May was a great time to go.

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Trés gay, trés chic, Trés magnifique*

*lyrics from “Bonjour, Paris!” – Funny Face (One of my favorite movies)

I’m going to try to consolidate my 300+ pictures (many of which are “bad” according to my brother) into this one post. We did another round of marathon sight-seeing in Paris and two days was definitely NOT enough time to see and do everything I wanted to do.

First – if I had to do this all over again, I would have done more research! I would have created a plan. Going with the flow only works if you have more than 2 days… otherwise you waste time wandering around trying to find the open bus tour stops and dealing with a husband with frozen feet.

Second – my fear about Parisiens being rude to Americans? So NOT true. Or perhaps we just lucked out? Everyone was SO nice to us even though I completely blanked everytime someone spoke French to me. I would always open with “Bonjour” and could even order 2 coffees (deux cafes… ha!) but everyone knew immediately that we were American and would just start speaking English to us. And they were so nice. Everywhere. I loved it.

So now onto things we did. Well, I mentioned previously that we walked to the Arc de Triomphe. Because of that, I really wanted to go to the Louvre the next day. I didn’t know (apparently I’m an idiot) that the Louvre is one of the LARGEST museums in the world! You need an entire day or two just to go through the whole thing. We didn’t have that kind of time.

Because the Arc de Triomphe was so much closer to our hotel than we thought it was, we figured we could walk to the Louvre. It wasn’t that bad of a walk but when you factor in freezing temps, a long walk and then MORE walking and standing around inside a museum – it kind of blows.

We walked through the Tuileries Gardens and I imagine that it is probably gorgeous in the springtime.
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le Louvre!
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A note about the Louvre. We got to the Louvre around 10am. There was a line wrapped around for what appeared to be MILES. It was insane! We found the end of the line and one of the employees said that there was a 4 1/2 hour WAIT TIME. But then he also said there was another entrance into the museum. Hmm…

Jeremy had read something online about a small newspaper stand that sold tickets to the Louvre. We walked around the outside of the museum and didn’t see a single newspaper stand. After being told of the 4 1/2 hour long wait, I decided that it wasn’t worth it (since we were so pressed for time).

A few people started to walk away and we noticed a few quickly duck into the mall that is attached to the museum (Carrousel du Louvre). I really needed to pee and it wasn’t very clear where the bathrooms were located. And wouldn’t you know – we stumbled upon the small newspaper store IN THE MALL.  Jeremy noticed some folks buying tickets to the museum so we bought our tickets through them.

… and there is an entrance into the museum from the mall! Our 4 1/2 hour predicted wait time? It took us less than 20 minutes to get into the museum. Score!

The underground entrance into the Louvre:
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Because of the enormous amount of things to see in the Louvre, I had to prioritize. I decided that I was okay with just seeing the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo:
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(The Mona Lisa is quite popular)

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We stayed primarily in this wing of the museum and quickly walked through each section. We were only in there for about 2 hours but we were EXHAUSTED. We saw lots of religious art, egyptian art and greek statues. I liked this guy. Despite being naked, he’s totally hanging out like, “hey – what’s up?”
Naked Man in The Louvre

The Louvre was crazy crowded too:
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We ended up grabbing lunch at the food court in the Carrousel du Louvre because it was convenient. But holy hell – it was crowded in there too.

After the Louvre, we walked around for awhile. We saw the open bus tours driving around but couldn’t figure out where they stopped. We were getting tired so the idea of sitting on a bus and checking out sites seemed like a magical idea to us. But alas, when we finally DID find a stop (in front of the Musee d’Orsey) – we found out that they did NOT accept credit cards.

And we also didn’t go into the Musee d’Orsey because the line out front was insane! (This is the side of the museum)
Musee d'Orsey

It was also New Year’s Eve / Jeremy’s birthday. With the holiday and the limited amount of daylight, we knew we had to start heading back to the hotel.

We picked up a bottle of champagne and stopped into a patisserie to pick up a small dessert (to celebrate Jeremy’s birthday!). I didn’t take a picture of either.

We also stopped by a restaurant around the corner from our hotel because we saw that they had vegetarian pizzas. Yes, we were in France but we ate pizza. And? It was f’n fantastic! And our waitress was so sweet. She recommended a fantastic wine to go with our vegetarian pizza. I didn’t take pictures of us at dinner because I was trying to play it cool and not look SUPER touristy.

One thing I noticed in Paris was how slow the service was. I didn’t necessarily find this to be a bad thing. It appears most people took TIME to enjoy their meals and restaurants appreciate that (versus having your check thrown at you if you sit at your table longer than 30 minutes in America!).

Okay – crap, there is so much more to write. I’ll save the NYE Eiffel Tower stuff for another post. My Paris adventure to be continued…

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Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris*

*-Appleton,Thomas Gold
Quoted in Oliver Wendell Holmes The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table (1858), ch.6. Although the speaker in Holmes’s book is not identified by name, he is generally identified as Appleton.

The long awaited post about Paris (long awaited by the small handful of you that have asked me where the eff my Paris post is… haha!). What can I say about Paris?

I am in love.

I googled quotes about Paris and after weeding through crap about Paris Hilton, I came across the one I used as the title for this post because I thought it perfectly summed up how I feel about Paris.

First, Paris is ridiculously expensive. Oh my god. I haven’t even looked at our credit card bill and quite frankly, I don’t plan on it (a benefit of being married!).

Second, Paris is ridiculously COLD in January. I’m not sure why I expected anything else. It was freeeeeezing. There were a few times where Jeremy requested that we duck into a warm store so that he could regain the feeling back in his feet. I told him to stop acting like a baby. :-)

Finally, Paris on New Year’s Eve is kind of underwhelming. Let me take that back, watching the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s Eve is underwhelming. I (and tons of other tourists) expected fireworks. Instead, we got a light show that they’d played every hour leading up to midnight. It was a cool light show on the Eiffel Tower, but when you’re expecting fireworks – it is a letdown. This is something I should have researched because apparently Paris only shoots fireworks off of the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day and only once on NYE (the millenium). Boo.

Still – despite everything above, I fell in love with the city. It was cold, the skies were gray and the trees/plant life were all dead… but it was still beautiful.

We only had 2 full days in Paris (something I wished I would have planned better) but we stayed right by the Eiffel Tower at the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel. I think choosing this particular location was one of the best choices we made! While the hotel wasn’t fabulous (it was a bit run down) – the staff was fantastic, the breakfast was good and the location was amazing. However, our room view of the Eiffel Tower? Here it is:
A View from our Paris Hotel Room
The Eiffel Tower is right behind the building on the left. Ha!

However, this is right in front of our hotel:
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We landed in Paris on December 30th around 9pm.

While I was super excited about this trip – I was also terrified of Paris. I’ve always heard that Parisiens are rude to Americans and even though I took French in high school (and a little in college) – I was not up to par with my French. I can read bits and pieces of French. I can even say that I don’t speak French (or that I speak very little French). However, anytime someone spoke French to me while we were in Paris – my mind went blank. I would look like a deer caught in headlights and sometimes, when I did understand what was being asked, I would turn to Jeremy (someone that has never taken French classes) and tell him what they said as though he would turn to them and reply in perfect French. Don’t ask. My mind was spinning!

Anyways.

We landed at night and immediately I wanted to go for a walk over to the Eiffel Tower. I squealed when we pulled up to our hotel.

We picked a good night to walk around the Eiffel Tower. They were practicing their New Year’s Eve light show (but I was unaware that this was “practice” – I just assumed it was like this every night). Music was blasting, tons of people were walking around. It was awesome.

We walked over the Seine River and found a great spot to take pictures with the Eiffel Tower behind us. A TON of people were doing the same thing so we had to walk down the street quite a bit to find a spot away from other people.
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And Paris lived up to the whole “city of lights” thing. The energy was amazing. The city was lit up beautifully. And there were even a few river cruises that had some blinding lights.

We decided to just walk aimlessly (but always towards lights). We came across a traffic circle and I realized that we were pretty close to the Arc De Triomphe. So we walked up the Champs Elysee to check it out.

And let me just say that it was nearly midnight at this point and there were no signs of people going home. It was crazy crowded everywhere!

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This area is jam packed with high end stores (Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Christian Laboutin… you name it… I was DYING of fashion envy).

We walked back to the hotel and passed out knowing that we had a very big day ahead of us (and me secretly trying to figure out where I was going to go SHOPPING!). The only thing really on my agenda at that point was to go to the Louvre. (we had seen the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe so I was good on that front)

Our Paris adventure to be continued…

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