I Suck at blogging. I know it. Don't worry. I thought I had a new venture but I have been perfect since writing the all revealing post. Ok that is a liiiiie, but in truth writing it has helped me hear in the back of my head little reminders sometimes when I am about to go down a bad path with a reaction to something.
So I may have to change direction again....to what I have no idea.
On the whole I get an A for today! Perhaps that is because I didn't interact with anyone but my husband and that was just for the morning. HOWEVER, the minute he got home from work my grade took a hit. I promptly pointed out to him that I had cleaned up and vacuumed the main floor of our home! I am only taking a minus on that since this is not the worse of offenses on my list. October 1st: A-
Alright, here it goes. First up, I am posting a list of those things I want to change. This is the accountability part. If I put it out into the universe those items that I am trying to change than I can be called on it more readily. 1. I have a short fuse and can be easily frustrated. Much like a child I often allow my emotions to overtake me and have trouble putting them in check like an adult. 2. I apologize too much. 3. I seek out praise too much. Just last night I pointed out to my husband that I had done the dishes. He could see that. 4. I interrupt too much and don't listen as well as I used to. Often when I should just be sympathizing I tell another story that has to do with me. My intention is to show I understand but really I should just keep my mouth shut. 5. I get so upset at people who judge others but find myself judging at times as well. 6. I have trouble admitting I am wrong, even to myself. 7. I have a tendency to wallow when I am down and it seems I think that if I beat myself up it will somehow make it better. 8. I allow others to get to me. 9. I need outward acceptance. 10. I often speak before thinking...end up with my foot in my mouth. 11. I am fairly self-centered/self-involved. 12......I have a strange obsession with my faults......
The Philly Search will be changing! I know what you are thinking...it isn't like there is anything to change considering how infrequently I write! Well, that aside, it is changing just the same. It is now going to serve a more therapeutic purpose. Apparently, Benjamin Franklin would keep a notebook each week. In this notebook were all kinds of things he wanted to change about himself and he would give himself grades at the end of each week on how successful (or not) he was. I find this inspiring. Therefore, the definition of "The Philly Search" is going to no longer be about searching this city, rather it will be a bit of searching within me (who happens to live in Philly :). This is the reason I would like to warn you. This blog is going to be taking a very personal and narcissistic turn. Why am I doing this? Simply put, I want to improve myself. However, I have been trying for a very long time and I need help. So I think, if I put this out there, then I will feel more accountability. My husband wants me to be sure that this is for me and not for any one else. However, I have some difficulty separating my want to do this for myself and my want to do this for the people I love. But, essentially, I agree with him. If I am doing this for other people, then he thinks I will be able to get upset with said other people for not noticing my efforts at improvement. If I am doing this for myself, at least 80% for myself, then I only need my own approval to feel better about myself and love myself more. As I said, narcissistic, but I think this might be just what I need.
I can not even begin to explain how much I love surprises. Is there really anything as thrilling? I think I have the same amount of fun on either side of it. When I really think about it, I suppose I am a bit self involved. If someone is surprising me, part of the exhilaration is that someone or multiple someones are willing to take the time to plan a surprise for me. When it is me getting to be part of a surprise, I get SUCH a kick out of seeing the reaction that it is all a little bit for me too. They say there are no selfless acts and I guess this is just another example of that.
In the past two weeks I got to be involved in two and a half big birthday surprises. My dear sister was turning 31 and after having conspired with her boyfriend last year to throw a surprise party, I wanted to do a little bit extra this year too. My awesome new job was able to be flexible enough to let me go early last week. Fairly last minute my husband and I were able to show up for the friend celebration that was being held the day before her birthday. It was being held at an excellent restaurant in Petworth, D.C. We walked in about 20 minutes late and the group was sitting at the bar. Perfect. This meant her back was to the door. Her boyfriend nonchalantly glanced behind him and went back to his conversation. My sister did not even flinch. My husband and I simply walked up next to her at the bar and waited quietly until she turned around. After a full 30 seconds she glanced at us. And stopped. She looked back and then turned around to her friends at the bar and gaped at them. "Is that my Sister?? They aren't supposed to be here! They don't live here!!" She repeated, "They don't live here," about 5 more times before jumping out of her seat and gaping at us before enveloping us into great big bear hugs. The emotion on her face was just so genuine that I could not have been happier myself.
The following day was her family birthday celebration and I spent half of the day carving and icing a somewhat simple dinosaur cake. Somewhere along the way she had mentioned wanting a dinosaur cake so by gosh I was going to make sure it happened. We hadn't had a cake in a shape of anything specific in our family before (that I can recall). When she came in the house after pampering herself with a pedicure (a treat from her man) I could barely contain myself. Typically we bring the cake out at cake time, after dinner, after presents. However, I could not wait. So before dinner we brought it out and OH MAN did it go over well. She freaked out. It was awesome.
Finally, I got to be a part of a yet another birthday surprise. My father in-law's 60th birthday was this past Tuesday. He lives about two and a half hours away so after work, my husband called his Dad and wished him a Happy Birthday and lamented the fact that we would not be able to be with him, being it was a Tuesday. As soon as the call was over we hopped in the car and drove to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His wife was practically dancing when she answered the door and just acted as though we were a neighbor stopping by. We walked into the living room where his father was reading his newspaper and said a simple, "Hello there." My father in-law stood up with a subtle, "Wow, where did you guys come from?" He gave us big hugs and then said he would have to sit down again we had surprised him so much! His surprise was far more understated than my sister's but equally as powerful. Today we received a grateful email from him letting us know that it was a memorable birthday for him.
This has been so fun for me :) I highly recommend, if you need a pick-me-up, plan a surprise for someone you love. Even if it is something small, I promise, it will make you feel good.
Obviously it has been ages since I have attempted to update this blog. Frankly, I have lost focus and inspiration. Reading that, I am certain you are thinking, "Oh, I know how that feels, she must have found a job!" Har de Har?
Well I have found a job! Thanks to a lovely neighbor and a little bit of getting the word around that I was still in the market I ended up with an exciting new job mere blocks from my house! Because I am paranoid about writing on the internet about my place of employment, I will leave it at that.
In the mean time, bear with me. I realize anyone who may have read this beyond humble blog is long gone, but I shall find inspiration again. I swear it. Much love to you :)
I still have not found a job in Philadelphia. Granted, I have not looked in the past 8 weeks or so, which may have a little something to do with it. However, I have been working. Where, you ask? My old job in Maryland needed a hand with a big fundraiser I used to run and asked me to return part time to fill in. It was a success and I made a little bit of money in the process so it was most certainly worth it.
However, it was not the best situation to nurture this new marriage of mine with me spending at least half of each week away. The whole point of this move was to be together in a new-to-us city and cultivate our present relationship status. So, in order to get back on track, I got to take my husband on a date. A sort of reward for being so supportive of me and a time to focus just on us...and the amazingly rich and delicious food of L'Oca.
It was a beautiful balmy evening and the clouds had actually taken a break after over a week of raining down around us. My husband made us drinks that he has since named Paisley. This name is very appropriate in a way I can not quite make you see without you tasting it. It is sparkly and warm and a soft rose color all at once. We tucked those in and then set out for the restaurant. It was a short walk through the pretty evening and everyone was out. We were not the only ones excited to be able see the sky. Our neighborhood hummed with a light-hearted vibe setting it up to be a lovely date. We arrived at L'Oca and were seated at a cozy table for two right by the open windows. We had a great view and we easily agreed on our menu choices. The evening was just amazing, sipping on wine with a soft breeze floating in and good conversation with the man who chose to spend his life with me.
My husband and I absolutely love our new home in Philadelphia. An adorable row home on a great street that is rumored to have impromptu block parties during the summer. The minute we walked in the door while searching for for a place to rent, I was sold. The living room has an exposed brick wall and that was good enough for me to start babbling about how much we could pay for rent rather than playing it cool like my husband had hoped I would have.
However, recently, the house turned on me. It was late one night and I had just come home from a girls night out. Sure, I had a drink or two in me, but I still blame the house. I was wearing very slippery socks and as I came down the wooden stairs one last time before bed, my feet slipped right out from under me and WHAM! I landed on three steps sequentially with one butt cheek and my two elbows. My breath was torn from my lungs and I began to cry with the screaming pain I felt. The next two nights of sleep were fitful as I woke up each time I rolled over, past one or all of the bruises that had quickly formed. The one on my right butt cheek formed a black replica of England and took almost two weeks to fade.
Finally, I was healed, the man in the moon had disappeared fully, and I was once again able to sleep through the night. Apparently, this was not to be. My husband and I were emptying out the storage space for our old place in Maryland last weekend and this time I had to brave a set of tile stairs. These stairs were not fond of me either. It had rained the previous evening and my shoes were slippery. Had I learned my lesson though? It turns out I had not. I hit the bottom step with the arch of my damp shoe and SLLLIPPP! Out went my foot and WHAMAGAIN! went my bottom. Only this time I hit the other butt cheek. I was angry instead of crying so much as a result of this fall. I couldn't believe I had done it again! So here I suffer a map of Indonesia on my left butt cheek.
My main concern at this point is the age old things-come-in-threes truth. I have found this to be true many times in my life and here I sit on my second bruise. I imagine in the next couple of weeks I will fall once again on a set of stairs..only this time I will go right for the middle and nail my tail bone. OUCH.
Sunday morning dawned with the kind of sunlight that makes you want to leap out of bed, raise your arms in the air, and take a deep breath of it. After having a couple of bottles of wine the previous evening, the sun failed to inspire such feelings in Abby and Rad. It was in fact their stomachs that enticed them out of the warm cocoon that was their bed. Abby, feeling a bit fuzzy due in part to the wine and in larger part to the warm conversations from dinner, contacted her friends to meet them for brunch. There were still some hours to enjoy in this city before being forced to return to reality. Johnny Brenda's was the site of this brunch and it proved to be everything Abby's friends had promised. There was a large whiskey doughnut waiting on the table when they arrived to start the day out right. It was still early for the Philadelphia brunch crowd so they virtually had the place to themselves allowing for the conversation to naturally turn to fiber. Such a conversation is a great example for you, the reader, to get to know Abby and Rad. Abby and Rad are sweet and affectionate to one another, yet are comfortable enough to talk and joke about one's regularity over brunch. If that is not personal, I am not sure what is. It is refreshing to see them together as there is this certain honesty between them wedged in between fond jabs and jokes.
Not wanting the fun to end they all decided to head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Abby's friends live a very short walk away so they all parked at their house and used the bathroom and met their cats before heading out. Rad was particularly enthralled by their cat's fascination with the DVD player. This is a trick her friends love to share with anyone who comes over. This may sound quite lame and like her friends have no lives, but it is always a crowd-pleaser. Both cats treat the DVD tray as though it is a game of Whack-A-Mole, darting their paws out as the tray recedes into the player. Naturally this display is exploited for human entertainment.
After such excitement it is hard to see how the day might get better, but it did. Arriving at the museum, the friends passed first the Rocky statue with a line of people extending out from the base to take pictures of him, and then arrived at the bottom of THE Rocky steps. There they were, rising above Abby and Rad like a metaphor for their relationship. Difficult to climb but well worth the view once ascended. They exchanged a meaningful look and began the rise to the top.
The view from the Rocky steps was a spectacular scape of the city. After admiring the vista the foursome turned around to discover a line of about 100 people in between them and the art inside. Not to worry, Abby's friends were members of this particular museum and were given inside information allowing them to completely bypass the seemingly insurmountable line. This elite information was to go to the back entrance where the line was only about twenty people deep. Phew! They spent the majority of the afternoon wandering amongst masterpieces, excitedly pointing out their favorites. Abby and Rad strolled blissfully, holding hands, looking the part of a happy couple.
Soon everyone was tired and it was time to leave the museum. Not wanting it to end just yet, everyone decided a trip to Pat's would be the perfect way to end such a delightful weekend. After all, it is Philadelphia and not only do you eat it to know it, but as we all know, cheesesteaks are the epitome of it all. Another line awaited them but it was OK by Abby and Rad as it would merely stretch their time in this magical city of brotherly love just a little bit longer. The conversation again turned to bodily functions, reaffirming the level of comfort that existed between Abby and Rad.
The cheesesteaks filled the last nook in their bellies that was left and it was at last time to bid adieu. Things had gone so well over the weekend that Rad was going to spend two more days with Abby in her town. Hugs were passed around as well as promises to see one another soon. Abby and Rad got into her car and vowed to meet at the Rocky steps in Philadelphia again as they rode of into the sunset with "Back in Baby's Arms" playing softly on the radio.
Well folks, that is the story of Abby and Rad. Think of them fondly when you need something heartwarming and remember their honesty when entering into your own relationships.
Valentine's Day Weekend, a time for friends and lovers to come together, be it from across the room or from across the Chesapeake Bay. This year Cupid was able to cut a deal and have it fall on a Saturday, dooming all those men out there to try to think of a weekend of fun vs. a single evening, and that is just what my dear friends Abby and Rad did.
This is a tale of two lost souls who fell in love at the wrong time. He was running off to The Big City to chase a dream while she remained behind to build on the strong foundation she had already constructed in her own town. Would they reunite? Would they be able to reignite the flame that once burned fiercely? They decided to meet halfway, at the top of the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia on Valentine's Day to see if these questions could be answered.
The first question was answered quickly when they found that they both had shown up, the second remained to be seen. Abby and Rad were delighted to see one another; Abby a bit more than Rad as he had brought her a special gift. He had brought french fries.
They spent the first evening with good friend's of Abby's who had recently moved to Philadelphia. In truth, it was because of these good friends that this tale is made possible. Had they not lived in Philadelphia who knows where Abby and Rad could have met up? I digress, back to the story at hand. The four friends went out on the town enjoying delicacies such as chorizo nachos and beer. The company was good and the laughter-filled evening was looking to be one for the books, er, blogs.
After quaffing a few brews at Bridgid's, Rad's friends from across town encouraged the foursome to join them at Mad River. A quick cab ride and Abby and Rad arrived to find a line with a cover charge. Abby and Rad were a bit embarrassed for fear of Abby's friend's scorn, but they need not fret as her friends were in a jovial mood by that point. They danced the night away....
The next day was a relaxing one for everyone. It was Valentine's Day so Abby and Rad headed out to explore the city. It was becoming apparent that the way to see Philadelphia was to eat your way through it. They began with a lovely brunch and then headed to the Italian Market. The romance was blooming and they saw everything through rose-colored glasses. Abby began to think about moving to this enchanted town. That evening they had a romantic dinner at L'Oca, just the two of them, while Abby's friends stayed in for a fantastic feast of shrimp and asparagus risotto. There was just one day left in this city and they still had not seen the Rocky Steps...
Will Abby and Rad see the Rocky Steps? Find out in Chapter 2....
Ahhh my cats. I love them dearly. Currently I am listening to the plaintive cries of my fuzzy orange one named Tug.
You see, for a change of scenery I have taken to sitting with my computer in our "library" i.e. second bedroom, to conduct my job search. (And write emails, And play on facebook, And write on this blog) I had previously been spending my days on our couch in our living room and bugging my husband who works downstairs in his basement office. So, this week, I am in the library. It gives my husband and me more separation and honestly I feel a bit more productive.
Here is the problem. My cats can't stand it. Our guest room (library) is cat-free. We have a few wonderful friends who stay with us on occasion who are allergic to cats, so we do not allow ours into this room. Tug and Osita have become quite accustomed to having someone around ALL DAY. My being in this room has thrown them into a downright tizzy. Periodically, throughout the day, they will come to the door and tell me all about their displeasure with the new arrangement. Tug, our puffy, short haired, orange, Garfield type, rubs against the door and meowowowow's and rowowowrrr's for a solid ten minutes. Occasionally, he pulls his signature move and sneezes all over the door.
Osita on the other hand, has a slightly different tactic. She is a beautiful, sleek, black, short haired girl who is, shall we say, pear shaped. Bluntly, Osita has a booty and she uses it. I will be sitting quietly, typing away, and all of a sudden schhhhhh-BOOM! Osita will begin her dance with a flirty rub against the door finished with a hip-check that makes me jump out of my skin! Then she proceeds to trill and purr and meow for her ten minute turn. Of course this is all punctuated with intermittent hip-checks.
I may feel guilty at times for depriving them of me and all of my wonderful-ness, but one day my children, I WILL have a job.
Last night my awesome husband and I had a very nice date. We were extremely excited to bet going out and spending a little bit of money as we have been existing on a tight budget thanks to my unemployment. The perfect opportunity arose with Restaurant Week! Restaurant Week is an excellent way to feel like you are living it up on a budget! We arrived promptly at 6:45 pm to Mercato, a small corner restaurant on Spruce St. The hostess told us our reservation was actually for 7 p.m. Well,you see, I am fairly certain I did not mishear 6:45 being that is sounds quite different from 7 p.m.... Oh well! That is ok, we went down the street a block to one of the Tria's in Philly to have a glass of wine before dinner. Here is where basic simplicity becomes my issue of the evening. Tria is a lovely restaurant with excellent beer and wine choices. The decor is simple and extremely tasteful. With nice soft lighting it all comes together to create quite a relaxing experience. That is until you have to use the restroom. After settling in I excused myself to do so. This is a small place, as most city restaurants are, so I figured that even though I had never been there it should be no problem to locate the bathroom. After a moment, I realized I was wrong. I found two different unmarked doors, one on each level of the restaurant as the dining room is set a few steps above the bar. So I paused on the stairs and saw a waitress behind me. She told me the bathroom was to my right in a somewhat rushed yet polite tone. Now, I am CERTAIN she has answered this question about a thousand times. So Why on God's Green Earth would you not label your restroom??? I suppose it is something that doesn't fit with the decor? It can't merely be an oversight as my husband suggested. This makes me absolutely crazy! You are asking your customers to feel foolish, bumbling around in your way as you try to serve appetizers to the seated patrons. This is not hospitable. If you think it is tacky to write Restroom on the darkly painted doorway in the dining room, then do what Mercato did, and use another language like "el bano" or "la toilette" or even the adorably small word "loo." Want even less on your door? Simply put WC on the door. Heck, you could even paint those letters the same color as the door and it would still be better then a blank door. I almost walked into your kitchen, Tria, and in my opinion that would NOT have been my fault. On a non-ranty note, we tried two excellent glasses of wine at Tria and then had a fantastic meal at Mercato. Overall, a wonderful evening.
My husband rules. We had a fantastic date night this week that was both inexpensive and very fun. It fit our goal of exploring this city to a tee! We started out by parking near the Greyhound station in Chinatown. Woo! Good date so far right? There were many interesting folks to see in this particular area... We walked about two blocks to a Malaysian restaurant called Penang on 10th St. The place had good atmosphere and we were seated right away. They provided us with a pot of tea at the table automatically so we just stuck with that. We decided to order three appetizers and enjoyed them all. Our most favorite was home made Roti Canai (Indian Pancake)a crispy style pancake & curry chicken potato dipping sauce. The three apps did a great job filling us up so we asked for the check. It came with a smile and two complimentary small bowls of Tapioca Green Bean Soup! Hmmm..this is definitely not something that I would have looked twice at...but not wanting to offend after such a kind gesture I took a small sip. Sure enough the soup was really pretty good! It was sweet like a dessert and I am sure it had fiber content. We left the restaurant feeling pretty happy and headed over to The Trocadero for special movie night! This place for those of you who don't know is much like the 9:30 Club in D.C. A good venue for a variety of bands. However, on certain evenings they host $3 movie nights which turns out to basically be a free movie that you can drink during due to the $3 token they give you when you pay at the door. The movie this particular evening that we attended was Pineapple Express which we could not have seen in a better setting. Even with the low over hang making the top half of the movie a mystery to us! This is one of those movies that was meant to be seen with a large rowdy group. Finally to cap the evening off we headed to The Barbary in Fishtown where our friend Rabbit DJ's on occasion. We chatted with her and her friends while watching the timid dancing crowd evolve into a confident pulsing mob underneath the large disco ball as the evening crept into the wee hours. All in all, an excellent night.
I have an interview!! I began this job search about a month and a half ago and here I am with my first interview. I am quite excited by this fact. More excited then I might have expected and here is why. In these past weeks I have gone through a whole range of emotions. Unfortunately for me, the predominant emotion involved in this job search has been guilt.
Guilt has been the overriding feeling because I fear what other people must think of me as the new wife with no job. For that matter, what do I think of myself? Who do I think I am? This lazy mooch sits on the couch and eats bon bons while watching soaps and her husband slaves away making a living. This is not true of course, I have been trying to make myself useful by making three meals a day for us and doing the general cleaning, all the while spending a couple hours a day on the job hunt. But then I realized that the guilt isn't completely because I don't have a job. I think that I feel guilty for kind of enjoying not having a job... That in turn makes me feel ashamed which guilt and shame combined can bring you pretty low.
But let's throw in feeling a little lost as well! I realized recently that for four years I was defined by my job. It was who I was in every way I could mean that. I was on call 24/7 so every time my phone rang I got a little crawly feeling in the pit of my stomach. I worked nearly every single weekend, feeling like I was not doing a good job if I arranged to have a weekend off to go away. Every time I did go away it was for a reason such as a friends wedding or to see a dear grandmother. I don't know of any time during my last job that I went away with my husband just for the sake of getting away. Don't get me wrong, I was and am very happy. But now that I am not defined by this any longer, it has left me feeling strange and volatile.
THUS, I am excited to have an interview. It may not be for my ideal job, but either way it makes me feel productive, gives me practice in an interview situation, and gives me something to tell people. Wish me luck!
Ok, so today I am going to write about something that is often considered controversial. Most anyone who would read this blog knows how I feel on the subject matter that I am getting to. Nature vs. Nurture and Homosexuality. A big topic for sure, which was brought to mind the other evening when my husband and I stumbled upon The Gorilla King on PBS. If you have not already seen this excellent documentary, please do. It is an incredible tale about a silverback gorilla named Titus in the Virunga Mountains in Rawanda.
Titus was born 34 years ago to a fairly typical group of gorillas. There are many politics and family dynamics swirling around within any group and his was no exception. In an atypical move the group allowed an single outside male named Beetsme to join. When the silverback leader, Uncle Bert, was killed by poachers, Beetsme saw it as an opportunity to make this his group. He became aggressive and showed his dominance by killing the infants in the group. This is a common move so that the new leader would be able to sire his own infants. One of these infants was Titus' sister by Flossie, an influential female in the group. Flossie and the other females left after this leaving the males to form their own group for a while. This is not normal in the gorilla world for so many males to cohabit so peacefully but it worked for a while. They would spend their days eating and playing. They did not seem to be concerned that there were no females around. When another group near by disbanded and the females joined Titus and the others, Beetsme drove off all of the males except Titus. Here is where I get to my point..
Papoose, a female, took a liking to Titus and tried to mate with him. At this point, Titus had been with a group of males for so long that Papoose had to help him mate correctly. This surprised me as I always thought of this as something quite instinctual in nature. If he 'forgot' how to mate does that imply it is a learned behavior, not an instinctual one? I have always been on the Nature side of the Nature vs. Nurture and Homosexuality debate. However, Titus' behavior seems to be an argument for the Nurture side of the debate.
Regardless whether the answer is Nature or Nurture or a little of both, it is my opinion still that homosexuality is not a choice made by an individual. In light of many species proving to mate for life with another of the same sex, I had been pretty much sold on Nature only. I have now opened my mind to the possibility of Nurture playing a part as well.