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:
London and Paris 2009 245

More crazy colored lights from the light show:
London and Paris 2009 128

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.
London and Paris 2009 307

le Louvre!
London and Paris 2009 308

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:
London and Paris 2009 157

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:
London and Paris 2009 167
(The Mona Lisa is quite popular)

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London and Paris 2009 342

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:
London and Paris 2009 166

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:
London and Paris 2009 621

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.
London and Paris 2009 269

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!

London and Paris 2009 292
London and Paris 2009 278

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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City Living

I promise I’ll get to my Paris post but I just wanted to share a fun “city life” post with everyone.

Since I grew up near an airport (not too close, but close enough to hear airplanes quite often) and a hospital – I no longer notice the sounds of airplanes or ambulances.  Well – I notice ambulances when I’m driving.

Since living in Baltimore City for the past 7 years, I no longer notice the sounds of trains or police sirens.  Again – when I’m on the road, I hear police cars.  I swear!

Since living in my current neighborhood in Baltimore City, I’ve started to not notice the ice cream truck at 11pm.  It took awhile for that to happen.

However, the thing that will always wake me up in the middle of the night are my ridiculous neighbors. 

Some of them like to hang out on their front stoops and drink.  And talk loudly.

Some of them like to verbally fight with their significant other or neighbors. 

Some of my favorites were:

- Domestic dispute that included a brick being thrown through the window of the couple’s OWN home and the police being called

- Drunk man locked out of the house in the pouring rain screaming for his whatever (roommate? significant other?) to let him in.  Phrases like, “I’m going to keep yelling all night until you let me in” were shouted repeatedly.  Good times.

These events usually involve the same couple of houses.

Wednesday night was a little different.  I heard shouting.  I couldn’t understand the shouting.  When I finally got up to see what was happening, I noticed 3 police officers trying to haul a very drunk and passed out man onto a stretcher.  What the hell?

Jeremy said our next door neighbors (the roommates) got into a fight.  And I guess one of them was so drunk they had to be taken to the hospital?

Our neighbors (the roommates) are three men well over the age of 50.  All of them have a severe drinking problem.  I think only one of them actually has a job and it does not seem steady.

There is one roommate that floats in and out of the house.  I’d peg him to be in his 40s.  Hispanic.  And a heroine addict.  Strangely, he’s my favorite of that group of men.

So the sound that I will never sleep through?  A bunch of drunk idiots fighting in the middle of the night.

I love city life!

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A Jolly Good Time

As I mentioned yesterday, my husband and I took a super secret vacation the week after Christmas. I didn’t intend for it to be so secret – and in fact, didn’t realize just how secretive I kept it until I shared my Flickr pics with friends and got lots of, “you went to Paris?!” responses.

We booked the trip very last minute and with the holiday and my graduation – it just became a topic that fell by the wayside. I also failed to plan anything for this trip (something that I kind of regret).

I have always wanted to go to London and Paris. I still hold on to a dream of moving to Europe and living an uber fabulous life. This short trip just solidified that dream for me.

If I had to do it all over again, aside from wishing I had done some actual planning, I wouldn’t have squeezed in 2 large cities into 1 week. We definitely rushed around to catch the sights (something I like to refer to as “marathon sight-seeing”) and it left us exhausted. We need a vacation from our vacation!

We spent 3 full days in London and 2 full days in Paris (2 days were lost traveling).

I bring to you… the jolly good time in London.

We flew out on December 26th. I was so unprepared for this trip that we didn’t even pack until the MORNING OF THE FLIGHT (another decision I regretted… as I was feeling pretty unstylish abroad). With the layover in Ottawa and the time difference, we didn’t get into London until Sunday morning.

We stayed at the London Bridge Hotel. It was a great location (right outside of an Underground stop and very close to the Tower Bridge and Tower of London). Our room was a shoebox but it was very cute and clean. Our bed took up the majority of the room (and it was not very comfortable) but overall, I liked the hotel.
London Bridge Hotel room
London Bridge Hotel room

Breakfast was included and while it wasn’t anything impressive (most hotel included breakfasts are just a buffet of crap) – I did appreciate the french pressed coffee. Regretfully, I never took the plunge and drank tea.

Because we had such a short amount of time there and SO MUCH TO SEE, we did one of those open bus tours. I love those things! Because of the off season, the tour company offered a 2 day pass for the price of 1. We checked out: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Tower of London… so much. To keep your attention, I’m just going to post a bunch of pictures of what we saw.

Tower Bridge:
The Tower Bridge in London

Buckingham Palace (so much smaller than I imagined it):
Outside of Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey:
Westminster Abbey

Tower of London (a part of it):
Tower of London

Big Ben:
Big Ben!

Trafalgar Square:
Trafalgar Square in London

The Top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London (you climb 311 steps…and get a certificate):
Top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London

Inside the London Eye:
A View from the London Eye

And that’s just a small chunk of our trip. Another highlight was checking out a play in the west End. Originally I wanted to check out “Wicked” but read the paper and saw that Keira Knightley was starring in a play. I got starstruck and opted to see that show. So we went and saw The Misanthrope. We walked into the box office at 2:15pm one day and asked if there were any available tickets for the 7pm show. The guy said there were standing room only seats available (boo!) and then mentioned that there were box seats still available that normally fetched 125 pounds A PIECE. But since it was the day of and they weren’t sold yet, they offered them to us for half off. SCORE!
The Misanthrope - London

As for eats… here is where I wished I would have planned better. I didn’t know that London was voted one of the best vegetarian cities IN THE WORLD. We basically winged it most of the time and ate at a few unmemorable places. We did grab indian food one night but apparently went to a not very impressive indian restaurant (um – I thought London was known for having great indian food?).

But one day (our last day… which happened to be a half day since we were flying out that afternoon) – I forced Jeremy to make the quick trip to Harrod’s. When I realized that I couldn’t afford a pair of socks there, we decided to grab lunch. Due to the time crunch, we ran across the street to the Harrod’s food court type place and dined at a Lebanese restaurant that offered appetizers on a conveyor belt:
Conveyor Belt Lebanese Cuisine

And the last thing I want to mention is the Tate Modern Museum. I *love* modern art. It is unbelievably entertaining (much more so than 16th century art). One of their big exhibits was the “Big Black Box”. And its just what the title describes. It is a giant black box that you walk into.

It is pitch black and as you’re walking in, you can’t see a damn thing. You run into people and you wonder what the f you’re doing. And then you reach the back of the box and turn around. At this point, you realize that (1) your eyes have dilated and (2) you can see EVERYONE walking into the box. So you can see the people who are scared of the unknown and you can see those people who have no issue running into the dark. Weird.
The Black Box of the Tate Modern Museum
Tate Modern Museum London

Also in this museum was a featured artist named Paul McCarthy. There was an art installation in a separate room with a giant sign warning of graphic images, nudity, blah blah blah. Of course I had to go in.

Oh.my.god. I watched a video of a man throwing around raw meat in a bathtub and dry heaving, a man rubbing what looked like lip balm on his weiner and I don’t even remember what else… the images are burned into my brain FOREVER. You really should read his wikipedia entry. Go ahead. Go. This man is REAL.

We also went on a Jack the Ripper walking tour (led by the author of a Jack the Ripper book that I giddily purchased and had him sign like a dork).

It was freezing and it drizzled/lightly rained for 2 of the days we were there. I definitely would love to go back but PLAN my trip a bit better. Maybe planning a trip (and perhaps giving myself more time there) would allow me to actually RELAX on the trip and not make me feel like I was running a damn marathon.

And I never drank any English tea!

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Reflections

I don’t have it in me to do a recap of 2009 and I really couldn’t resist NOT talking about one nice goal I have for 2010. So I’m taking a page from Doahleigh and answering these 2 very good questions (these were answered by everyone in her family on Christmas):

1. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2009?
2. What is one thing you plan to accomplish in the future?

Two very good questions that don’t require me to try to recap every month (I’m quite impressed by some of the bloggers that are able to do so!  Sometimes I don’t even remember what I did in the morning).

1. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2009?

Sometimes I feel like I didn’t really accomplish much when I really think about it.    However, judging by the look on my mom’s face when I donned a lame cap and gown, walked across a stage when my name was called and accepted a fake piece of paper (the real one is being mailed) – I’d say getting my Master’s degree was my biggest accomplishment. 

I’d like to think that the triathlon and marathon were big accomplishments but my performance and training weren’t ideal.  So they were awesome things to have done, but I don’t think they beat the sweet relief of graduating (with a 4.0 GPA!).

2. What is one thing you plan to accomplish in the future?

Here’s where I’m going to try really hard not to write out my super lame goals that I come up with every year… such as: find a hobby, do a split, complete any of my 101 in 1001 list items, etc.

Instead, I think one of the biggest things that weighs heavily on my shoulders is the fact that I feel like I don’t have a purpose.  I don’t have a passion.  I don’t do anything meaningful.  Apologies for sounding all “woe is me” – that’s not my intent but I mean, what the hell am I doing with my life? 

I focused a lot last year on physical goals (running, p90x, etc) but is that how I want to be remembered?  It all seems so selfish.  I’ve spent a good portion of my life (okay, maybe all of it) being incredibly selfish.  And quite frankly – I’m feeling a bit empty these days.

I’ve always talked about volunteering, donating, doing anything where I feel like I’m making a difference in something.  I think I will try to shift my focus to doing just that.  As many know – I feel the biggest connection with animals so my goal is do more to contribute to animal welfare. 

… but that doesn’t mean that I’m not also going to find a hobby.  I’m trying to learn to sew.  I just need to get a sewing machine and find an inexpensive class in Baltimore!

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