Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cannot Keep My Calm

I hate complaining... but I must... I must complain about people who complain yet DONT CHANGE ANYTHING.

I hate weddings... I hate being a part of them... and I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate having one... at least a traditional one.

I'm my sister's Maid of Honour. It's a lot of work... not the actual physical work... but like, the planning phase, being supportive, accepting everything happening... its hard for me. It's hard for me to deal with my sister's angry outbursts, her moments where she feels sorry for herself, the moments she complains, and all the other terrible moments. I AM BAD AT THAT... I don't deal well with things I think are stupid.

I don't agree with everything my sister and her finance are doing for their wedding... but not because I'd do it differently (that's obvious) its because ITS NOT EVEN WHAT THEY THEMSELVES WANT. They've been bending over backwards trying to appease everyone and in the end they have neglected making themselves happy. My sister's big day is going to be shadowed by an overbearing father, a groom who needs to make is father happy, 2 parents who don't get along, a mother and grandmother who don't speak, a MoH who can't put up with it, bridesmaids who seem uninterested, and worse yet, a friend who is very ill. This is no way to celebrate your special day and I'm not okay with it. I love and care about my sister... she SHOULD BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME... but ESPECIALLY ON 9/19/09!!!

I'm becoming one of those

I try and deny it, I try and hide it... but lets face it... I'm engaged and this excites me... it means that I can look at dresses, jewelry, locations, themes, shoes, bridesmaid dresses and all that corny stuff and not feel like a freak! But I'm a tom boy... I'm generally not into fashion, I'm pretty low key... so how do you express your inner girl? In private... on your computer, while no one is watching.

Paul thinks its scary... the whole day today I've bombarded him with wedding questions... mostly generalities... but still... I'm apparently out of hand. This is understandable considering we will be long distance we won't have a wedding to plan for at least another 2 years.

I can still get excited and dream right?

I think the sheer sizes of our families has been daunting. We are faced with the ... when we get married who will you invite? question... and of course we WANT to invite everyone... and yet we simply don't.

I think we are in semi-agreement (agreeing with each other has been easier than agreeing with our conflicting selves) that we want a severely intimate wedding... with just our immediate relatives and a few life friends (as I now will call them). Basically the people you know who will really matter not just now, but in 20 years, and 40 years, and when you are old... you will compare pictures of your grandchildren... not online, but over iced tea in the backyard. That being said... maybe a 20 person wedding... hopefully. It will be precious... but hopefully everyone will understand... especially distant relatives and some of the not-so-distant ones.

UGH city hall looks so good... city hall and dinner! why not?

Missing You

I miss him a lot. He was important to me. He was my father.... grandfather... friend.

I wish I could have shared this week with him... and every other week since he's past on.

I miss you, Pa.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Edge - a Healthy Vent

I've been VERY on edge lately... it seems I have hit a complete 180 from last week. Last week I was on my own blissful cloud floating in a sea of happiness... this week I'm in a very dark place.

I want to be around no one... I want to speak to no one... I want to be involved with nothing... and I've decided that some of my friends are friends out of love but not out of like.

I'm tired of it all... and sometimes I want to just walk away from it all... why put on the show? I know I'm just being cynical, but maybe I'm not.

I try and think what it might be like once Paul is gone off to Boston... will I be lonely? Will I be cranky? Will I hang out with my friends 24/7 to keep my mind off of it? Will I stay home, eat dinner, watch some TV, go to bed early? Who knows what I will do till I'm there, but I suspect the last of the options will end up true. I don't see myself jumping into the long distance ways of my past.

Last LD which lasted 2 1/2 years I found myself doing 1 of 2 things almost EVERY day. I would either meet Tyler & Co. and go grab wings and beer at Croxley's (a Mon/Wed event) or go see a movie... and come Friday-Sunday... it was spent going from bar, to bar, to bar, to drunken softball, to chilis. It was like my liver couldn't get a break. If I wasn't doing one of the above, I was with Lori, having dinner in the city going for 12 hour long happy hours or having her over and having dinner, drinking, and eating again. I think it's safe to say I was FAT, UNHEALTHY, and probably VERY depressed in order to live that life - a drunken sleepless overworked fog.

You would have been disgusted to see my apartment... I would draw the line at bugs... thank the lord! Well maybe not, I think that if dust mites could be seen with the naked eye, I'd have a whole colony. My apartment was DUSTY DUSTY DUSTY and had cloths (enough to cloth most of Afghanistan in the winter months) were strewn about in EVERY room of the 3 bedroom apartment. It was a DISASTER!

Thank GOD, no really... not saying it in vein, really I thank GOD that change happened and my life was able to change. Between Paul coming home, moving into a smaller and therefore more manageable space, and changing my job to a 9-5 and still well paying has helped me to change my ways. I cook 80% of our dinners (because I'm home on time), I find time to exercise... its my will which is weak, I can do things, though most of the time I chose not to. I almost completely gave up drinking... save for maybe the 2 times a month I decide to indulge and most of those times is just splitting a bottle of wine with Paul over dinner. It's definitely a healthier and happier life... so why has this weak left me so bitter? Maybe the dreadful monthly visitor is on its way. This wouldn't surprise me.

So back to my dark place... its a bad week to not want to be around friends ... I just got engaged... it seems this is a time to be very social. AND we are hosting fight night on Saturday... which means my house will be filled to limits that are unsafe per the fire warden of Queens County (yes I made that up). I'll just need to take deep breaths.

It seems I'm very different from who I once was and it seems like some of my friends are unable to accept this. I'm different on many levels and my standards (wrong word but I can't think of the right one) are different now. I don't want to drink for the sake of drinking, I don't want to smoke, though I sometimes give in, I don't want to be mean, I don't want to be negative, and I don't want to project a poor self image. I want to be positive, I want to be light, I want to be happy... I want to be the way I used to be... before the dark 4 years of my early 20's. I want to be that happy person again... excited for the sun to shine and the rain to fall... happy to breath in the air.

Most know I've been trying to be "greener" ... and I'm going to continue to do so... I don't need comments from people, and I don't need anyone to do this with me. I don't need support from people, I will just do my part... and hopefully people can do theirs. I have my way of doing things, and THAT IS OKAY because it's okay if YOU HAVE YOURS... so don't judge mine! I'm sick of people and their opinions because really... they don't matter... I'm sick of having to answer to people... its MY life! I'm sick of having my schedule on display... I'm not 12. I'm sick of needing to display everything... I WANT PRIVACY! If I'm busy... it means I'm unavailable... it doesnt mean I need to tell you why I'm busy. If I want to make dinner tonight... you don't need to know what I'm cooking. If I go shopping, you don't need to know what I'm buying. People need to worry about their own lives... because frankly, they are not all that put together... so don't we all need to worry about our OWN LIVES?

Ugh anyway - my venting can end here... AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

AHA Heart Start! Walk

Papa's Posse: (From Left Top) Bryan, Lori, Lilia, Mom, Jomel,
(Bottom) Kyle, Amanda & Lauren

So as many of you know... Me and my family did the Heart Start Walk in memory of my Papa. Well it was a complete success! We went well beyond our goals (which we kept raising) and ended up collecting a total of $850! Thank you everyone for participating and for donating. You all are helping a great cause.

Seeing all the survivors wearing their red caps (people of all ages) was one of the most touching and emotional moments.

Amanda had some face painting done - a basketball
Kyle became a cat for a day

After that really hot day, I brought out the sprinklers... it was time for some water fun!

They are definitely water babies

Monday, April 27, 2009


I’m engaged!!! And I need to write it all down before I forget all the details.

The 1st picture with the ring... to send to Andy to tell him the news!

So some background:

Paul planned a date night. We had his nephew’s 2nd birthday party on Saturday from 2-5 and then were going to have dinner in the city followed by a broadway show. I didn’t know where we were eating or what show we were watching. It was all a surprise of sorts.

Saturday Morning:

Saturday we woke up bright and early around 7:30AM. We had planned on heading to the park to go bike riding/skating since it was going to be beautiful out. Instead we lay in bed talking while waiting for the fog to clear up. We talked about the rest of the day, the weather, how excited I was to ride my bike… and then he points at my ring finger and says, “If this finger got chopped off, like if someone cut if off right here (pointing to the last knuckle) where would you wear a ring?” I didn’t know why he was asking, but him asking me this didn’t set off any flags, we are random this way. I answered, “My right hand I guess.” He then finished by saying, “That’s very European of you.”

We continued our meaningless banter about who knows what where he’d throw in random I love you’s every now and then. This is not uncommon … he does this when in a particularly mushy mood so again, no flags.

He then said, “If I were to ask you to marry me, would you say yes?” I of course said, “Yes.” And again… talk talk talk… until I feel him sleeping a ring on my finger which so happens to be behind my head. What did I do? I said “Are you for real???” And he smiled and said, “Will you marry me?” To which I said, “YES!” but apparently I’m the only one who heard it.

This was followed by hugs tears and kisses… oh and laughter. Apparently I can do both at once.

After the excitement started to wear off, I tried calling my family… all of which did not pick up the phone so I made breakfast… Banana-Berry Pancakes… one of our favorites!

Saturday Afternoon:

So we took showers, packed some fancy cloths and were off to see my Grandma. We got to her house and were informed by a neighbor that she went to the Catskills with my Uncle. Not wanting to tell her the news over the phone, we waited… we’ll go there tonight and let her know.

We then went to Paul’s Mom’s house to let her know (she knew he was going to ask but didn’t know when). She was with a client but he soon left. Her reaction was melancholy at most. She had a solemn “congratulations” for me but then only talked about not losing the ring and to get insurance for it as soon as possible. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed… even discouraged. I was hoping for more of a warm welcome or at least a heartfelt hug. Instead I got a sad face talking about insurance and my responsibility over not losing what her son spent so much on. I tried to ignore it and hope it was because she was having a hard day. This I did already know. So I sucked it up, put a smile on my face and we were off.

Off to go back home because Paul forgot our show tickets.

After finally getting all the information necessary and while I was going home to get the tickets, Paul went to the bank to get Jaxon a savings bond for his birthday, but the bank was closed … bah!

So off to Staten Island we go … and what a nightmare that was… TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC! But at least my Mom answered the phone and I could chat with her for a little while. Turns out, everyone (except my Grandma) knew for about a month that he was going to do it and had the ring, but they didn’t know when. Good job to them for keeping it a secret!

Once we got there, I didn’t say anything. No one really noticed but after a while it was out and everyone knew (with the help of Paul’s Dad) and I was getting hugs left and right. I truly love Paul’s brothers and sister. They are amazing and I can’t wait to call them my brothers and sister! Besides, I’m a firm believer that you can never have TOO MANY siblings!

We left the party a bit late, unable to tear ourselves away from his nieces and nephews, but it wouldn’t have mattered.

Saturday Night:

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! It took us nearly 2 ½ hours to get into NYC… needless to say, we missed our dinner reservations and though they held our table, we’d never make it to WICKED in time. Yes, that was the surprise show, and I’m so grateful. Especially since he paid a premium for the sold out show. By the way, the show was GREAT!!!! I highly recommended it!

So as you can imagine my stomach was VERY angry. I hardly ate anything all day anticipating the feast awaiting me at 6PM. I sat quietly hoping the rumbling in my belly wouldn’t over take the show… and it didn’t but what it was able to do was alter my ever happy mood. Anyone who knows me knows that I CAN NOT BE HAPPY HUNGRY! I became cranky, impatient, nasty, and sad. And my pumps gave me blisters. Ugh I JUST WANTED FOOD! Oh and I was very sleepy!

So we got in the car and went to French Roast… a spot we love on 85th and Broadway… one of “our spots” from our UWS days. And being that it was 24 hours – we knew it was a sure thing. Needless to say we stuffed our faces leaving NOTHING on the plate. I think I even ate the garnish and I was once again happy with the world… except of course for the 2 WASPY women sitting to our right. They had the most depressing conversations (suicide/death/illnesses) and loudly! The weirdest part is they were appalled that I was paying for dinner; they even hovered over my hand to try and see the bill. What psychotic people! Ugh.

So homebound finally at 1:30AM… I was so tired!

Waiting to go to the show... which was AWESOME!!

Sunday Morning:


Yep that was my alarm going off at 6:30AM! It was time for the Heart Start Walk in honor of my Grandpa. IT was nice… with my family and Lori. It was a great event and we were REALLY happy to do it! But Paul had a soccer game and we were apart.

Fast Forward

Today, Monday 2:50PM

My ring is being sent back to get resized. It so happens to fit on my thumb. For the record I am a size 7


Tapered cathedral setting

Solitaire - beautifully simple

Side view

Asscher Cut in a Cathedral Solitaire

Good Job, Pauly!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Perfect Morning

Is in the works for tomorrow. I'm very excited. Paul and I plan on taking advantage of some of the fine weather coming our way by waking up bright and early and biking (he'll be skating) through Forest Park. After getting home, while still in our sweaty clothes, I'm going to make our favorite banana berry pancakes (they are AWESOME) with fresh home made whipped cream. After devouring this very fun and luxurious breakfast, we'll need to shower and get ready for his nephew's 1st birthday.

Lets not forget, after Jax's birthday party, we are heading out for a nice romantic dinner for two (where I don't know) and a broadway show (what I dont know).

My boy has been planning this date night for over a week. I can't wait!

:) What a beautiful Saturday I have waiting for me

Trader Joe's

I wonder what it will be like. I don't know if I've ever been there. I have a date to go there next week and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I can't wait to see what kind of dried bulk food they have (if at all) and any fun snacks.

Do any of you shop there?

I have a BIG date tomorrow

and need a DRESS!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gross thing I witnessed today

On the walk up 42nd to meet my Mom for lunch, I saw a pizza delivery man carrying his goods in those red insulated bags... his left hand... digging up his nose like I've never seen something dig before. I hope he isn't allowed to touch food, regardless, so gross! And in public! ugh vomit!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So I once said I reuse the poland spring bottles when I have to get them... but they aren't BPA free! So we can actually hurt our bodies by doing this. It was bad advertising on my part.

So I encourage you to buy your BPA free water canteen ... maybe Klean Canteen or many of the other BPA free products on sale.

This is why its important to switch to glass food containers as well.


Some BPA Free Products:
Klean Kanteen


Could Pac-Man really have just slipped my mind.

Thank goodness for that 1/2 Irish friend of mine... with his IM late last night: "will you be ordering the fight next week?"

Well hell yeah we will be. Next Saturday is Fight Night Round 2! Pacquaio vs Hatton! I can't wait!

I can already smell the:
Empanadas and oh so much more!

Happy Earth Day, Earth!

What are you going to give the Earth for Earth Day? Treat her with love and respect today and every day... for she gives to us ever nanosecond of our lives.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Indoor Herb Garden

I've been dying to have a backyard to plan beautiful flowers, plants and best of all... and herb garden. But it looks like my life living in an apartment will be at least another 3 years... and as such, my only option is trying to plant an indoor garden. Luckily my living room window has southern exposure and gets tons of sun.

I've been inspired to grow tons of basil, chives, thyme, cilantro and whatever else I can get to grow there. I've already bought cute little pots to start the action.

Basil... mmmm ... pesto, with tomatoes, or even chopped up in a salad... yummmm

Mint... what a smell... and you can throw it in tea or on desert or in mojitos!

Chive... potatoes!

Parsley and Cilantro... yum


Two things on drama...

1) Why must adults act like children while children act with the wisdom you'd expect of adults?
2) Why do we find drama (whether on TV, books, celebrities, etc...) entertaining... do we not have enough naturally occurring in our personal lives already?

Drama blows ass chunks... which is now my new adjective for anything annoying and needless.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fully Pact Weekend Behind and Another Ahead

This past weekend was pact tight with events, responsibilities, laughs, tears, crafts, and mostly love.

Knowing my mom needed help transporting kids from birthday parties to soccer games, I dutifully set my alarm and headed up to Putnam before breakfast. It was a nice drive... warm, windows open, music blasting, no traffic Saturday type of drive.

Once there, my mom made me some eggs over easy... just the was I like it with some homemade parmesan toast. Thank You and YUM!

After getting Amanda's hair in a pony and filling up some eco-friendly water bottles (and snacks of course) we were on our way to her practice. At the same time my mom was taking Kyle to his friends birthday party, which they'd later leave early for his soccer game. Low and behold, her soccer coach couldn't make it and after a few inquiries about my soccer related knowledge, I was asked to coach. I did reluctantly and had a blast. It was so much fun coaching again. She plays on a co-ed recreational team. Most of the children have played before but still tend to wander out of position... bumble bees. They took to me quite well and were undoubtedly enjoying the game. I only wish they could have scored. The blue team, obviously a bit more put together with 3-4 older kids and an actual coach managed to score 3 times, all by the same boy. But our defense was amazing, these kids were aggressive, talented and had passion to spare. They will be wonder footballers in H.S. and I can't wait to cheer for them in the bleachers.

Kyle too had a game following Amanda's. He missed practiced but managed to arrive in time for the game. He played 1/2 the game as is usual standard... 4 on 4. He did great playing a little too aggressive but having a blast. I can tell he is a little daunted by being the smallest on his team, but he has fun and thats all that matters.

While at the soccer field we got the phone call about their uncle's passing. We made a conscious decision to hold off telling them till all their planned activities were over. Amanda had her 1st sleepover birthday party that night and had been looking forward to it.

That being said, we had the house quiet and only Kyle to entertain. We packed into the car, had a chinese food dinner in Poughkeepsie and ventured off into the wonderful world that is Walmart. I purchased a few things for the house, a few things for the camping trip, and the necessary supplies for next weeks Heart Start! Walk.

By the time we got home we were so tired, we watched a children's movie ... and went to bed.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early and had a fun breakfast of turkey salad more parmesan toast and coffee. My mom knows how to please my belly. Kyle and I immediately got our shoes on and ran outside to check our camping equipment ... we set up our 7 person tent, unrolled all the sleeping bags, separating what needed washing and went through closets filled with supplies. We pretended to take a nap in the tent, letting the breeze come through the windows. It was a lot of fun bonding with my little helper. He even counted the tent poles... getting smarter by the day.

We then had to quickly get ready to head out to Alyssa's Communion party. It was a fun day hanging in the backyard, eating some nice food and watching the kids play... and at times climbing into toy castles, riding bikes, and pouring drinks. It's such a fun age to watch them play... Amanda riding her bike and being a big kid and Kyle climbing up any contraption he can find like a little monkey.

I had to leave towards the end of the party to begin putting away all the now aired out camping equipment which took a while in the beating sun. The kids chose to stay at the party a bit longer while my mom grocery shopped. I took the moment alone to call my sister Lauren for some idle chit chat seeing how she was feeling physically and emotionally after the bad news about my father and of course her still recovering body... Lyme disease. It was good to catch up and talk. We talked about the camping trip and how much fun it will be. I tried to encourage her to do the walk with us, but obviously its pending her health condition.

After finally getting through all the camping equipment, I had to get started on ironing all the white shirts we purchased for the walk. They couldn't have wrinkles or the iron on screening wouldn't adhere. After a group discussion and search on the internet we came up with the following picture to be placed above the heart:

Yes that does say Joseph G Barroso in the heart... my beloved Papa. Always in OUR hearts!

On the back of each shirt our team name "Papa's Posse" is written. I miss him very much.

So these little and big white shirts have all been screened by our own hand, saving money and allowing us to have something to remember the days events. A little token of this fun charitable event we will be doing as a family. We were going to order the shirts but instead made them ourselves making it a fun sibling activity. We were also able to save $20+ being that we paid about $4.50 a shirt by doing it ourselves.

We had extra screening sheets so I was also able to turn an old white t-shirt of Kyle's into a Hulk shirt... one which he chose the exact Hulk he wanted displayed. And Amanda was able to embellish a pair of sweatpants with a pink skull and a pair of Nike shorts with the heart shown above to wear during the walk. These are truly beautiful kids and I'm so proud of them.

After that, we cleaned up, I folded laundry and was on my way back to Queens but not before a sad good bye to Amanda and Kyle and a big hug from my mom saying thank you and drive safe just short of 100 times.

I'm very blessed because despite the horrors that had happened this weekend... I was loved and was able to love... limitlessly.

Celebrate Life... not Death

We received some bad news this weekend. My baby sister's uncle (on her father's side) passed away in Austria due to a car accident. We had received no details just the news itself. She is taking it hard yet strong for a girl of only 10. She is definitely sad. She planned on calling her cousin today to send her love. Her two cousins are about 11 and 3 if I remember correctly. It's sad to think what they are going through.

Kyle, a little too young to completely comprehend just asked my mom to explain exactly what happened just like she does for Amanda... not realizing the extra words said to Amanda were meant to console not to inform. He went back to playing after hearing the news but it did click. 45 minutes later, he found me in his room, getting my things together, when he just said out of no where... I miss Uncle Walter.

I hope they will always remember the good times they shared with them... back in Austria and during their visits here to the US.

May he rest in peace and may he live on in the loved ones he left behind.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Living an Examined Life

"The unexamined life is not worth living"
These were the words spoken by Socrates at the hearing for heresy.

I have come to realize that I must examine my own life. I must self examine regularly and challenge my way of life. We live in a day and age where our choices aren't between living unexamined lives or death... we now have the option to self examine.

Living a self examined life has no definition. It isn't a set of rules one must follow... its a mere belief system that one must look into themselves and examine their life style, their way of thinking, their actions and thoughts in order to live a life they can stand behind.

For years I worked in an unhealthy environment littered with waste, negativity, and overwork. I now work in a company striving to be "green", help the community, encourage their employees to live emotionally and physically healthy life styles. This is a great thing in our country to find.

I read a lot of books and a do a lot of random research because my mind turns lazy and bored. Because of this I've stumbled accidentally across essays, non-fiction publishings, and websites promoted to making readers aware of their actions bigger picture. We've all heard of reducing our carbon footprint, we've all read the words "think before you print" on the bottom of an email, we've all watched films dedicated to making us aware of the receding ozone layer and its effects in Alaska, but sometimes we are unaware of the little things we can do simply which will leave large and lasting impacts on the environment.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Here are some things I've been trying to do and with some success over the past two years:

Reduce Paper Consumption:
Lets save our forests... they are depleting and we are ruining our earth!
Paper towel use: I've reduced my use of paper towels tremendously by using dish towels to dry my hands and wipe up spills whenever possible. This however increases my water consumption because of the extra laundry. I try and use the dish towels for a few days (if no meat product was used) before washing to reduce the water used. I've managed to save money buy reducing my paper towel purchases. I purchased a large box at Costco over 1 year ago and have used maybe only 1/2.
Purchase Recycled Paper and Recycle yours: Paul and I are pretty good about recycling our paper. And we hardly ever buy paper, but when needed I buy notebooks which are made from recycled paper and so does my office. I'd like to start trying to buy hemp paper (some stats: 1 Acre of hemp makes the same amount as 3 acres of trees. Hemp can be replaced in 100 years as opposed to trees which takes about thousands).
Paper plates and napkins: We never use paper plates unless we are having a lot of company. We do however use paper napkins... but when we go out to eat or order in and end up with extra, we SAVE them and USE them. I doubt we will start using cloth napkins, but we will definitely try to continue to be sensitive of how much napkin we do use.
E-billing: I receive all my bills via online and pay that way too. It's safer than ever and I don't get all that paper mail going through my shredder (saving paper AND electricity).
Downloading Music: This actually helps to eliminate paper and plastic waste. With the packaging so bulky and wasteful, whats the point... log onto itunes and with the click of a button its on your ipod... no fuss, no garbage.

I'm definitely working on not relying on Klenex as much for my runny nose, but I can't seem to let go of it. What I do need to snap out of though is purchasing my books instead of heading to the library. I'm so selfish to need that stocked bookshelf for satisfaction.

Reduce Petroleum Consumption: It has both negative health effects and is bad for the environment. It also costs a lot of money. The easy and simple ways I've begun to reduce my use of petroleum are:
Reduce Gas Consumption: car pool or take mass transit whenever possible
Reduce Plastic Consumption: When grocery shopping I try to use reusable cloth sacks rather than plastic bags. Additionally, when buying produce, if possible I do not put them in the plastic bags available and when I must I reuse them for storage or to bring lunch in to work with me. I try to never buy bottled water unless its my only option. I use a Brita filter at home and when I purchase a water bottle I reuse it by refilling it. I try not to use ziplock bags when possible and use reusable Tupperware (which I should switch to glass but while they are still here and working, I might as well not throw them out till their lifespan is complete).
Cleaners: This one has been tough for me. I am trying to begin eliminating non-natural cleaning products to clean my home. I'm having a hard time letting go of wood floor cleaners and Clorox though.
Polyester and synthetics: I try and buy natural fabrics more often... however I still fall victim to the $20 Forever21 dresses now and again. Its at least a start... besides lets face it, its not as cute - it looks cheap!
Fertilizers and Pesticides: I don't use them but also I'm trying to limit the purchasing I do of producers who use them buy purchasing organic and locally grown foods.
Paint: I use only water based latex paints

Reduce Electric Consumption: Living in a rented apartment doesn't leave us many options but we do take care to:
Windows: We make sure our windows are closed as tightly as possible during the winter, keeping our shades down. In the summer we keep our shades low during the day to keep the apartment cool and keep them open at night. This allows us to go longer without the AC.
Laundry: We only do laundry when the load will be full and try and use the cold water setting whenever possible (which is 90% of the time)
Dish-washing: I was our dishes in cool/warm water whenever possible, only using hot for hard crusted pots and pans and greasy items.
Energy Star: When we do buy new appliances (rarely), we try and buy energy star
Travel: When we travel we unplug as many appliances as possible, specifically the TV and Computer

Reduce Water Consumption: By far my biggest vice with buying books:
Laundry: As mentioned above - only on a full load
Food: Again - purchase locally grown foods!
Dish-washing: Fill up your sink, don't let the water run, and what I always do is soap and scrub everything and then rinse at the same time.
Brushing: My biggest problem - turn it off while brushing. I always fine toothpaste all over when I do that... so now I try and turn on the water only when spitting - its a start!
Baths: I don't take them, period. I'm a shower person - and a quick shower person at that... I don't linger.
Plant watering: Even though my plants are indoors, I water at night... to let the water stretch as far as possible without evaporation. When I finally live in a home, I hope to have a rain catcher which I can use to collect water to water my plants both indoors and out.
Fix leaky faucets: I don't fix them per say but Paul and I are quick to call the super with ANY and ALL leaks!

There are obviously MANY more changes I need to make in my life - and none of the above I do 100%

Read, Educate, Entertain

Aside from reducing my carbon footprint, I try to examine my life by reading, which I've spoken briefly about. I just enjoy doing it. Its a great activity, its entertaining, it keeps me away from the TV and I can do it anywhere.

Spiritual Awareness
I've begun reading the bible and other more spiritual works, trying to find a balance between spirituality, realism, and myself. It's been a success thus far. I don't think anyone needs to be religious to be spiritual and I think people who are spiritual seem to be more at peace with themselves. Everyone should give it a try.

I'm trying with great effort to simply relax. Not to say, sit down, do nothing, but more so, relax while you work, talk, act. While performing tasks that we do daily like work, eat, converse, clean... I try to keep my mind positive and try to relax.

Positive Reflection
My most obvious and terrible vice is my inability to stay positive especially when judging others. I am highly critical and have a hard time hiding it. I now try and take a step back, look at that persons good qualities and why I love them. I try not to dwell on the bad... and I try and enjoy my time reflecting on the situations and people around me. This is definitely a work in progress and sometimes something that feels completely hopeless but I won't give up.

Exploring my Creative Side
The heading basically says it all... These blogs are helping. I'm having a hard time reaching into my mind where the words used to flow endlessly in rhyme but at least I have this. I also have been trying to hang pictures, take some simple photos, and creatively think of new and fun dinner menus. I'm an accountant after all, how creative can I get?

Active Lifestyle
I am trying to maintain an active lifestyle which always seems to hinder after snowboard season. This summer I have already planned out 2 camping trips, which will include paintball and/or rafting. I plan on riding my bike often (which has only been once to date... we'll get there). I'd like to swim more, go to the beach, go on hiking trips upstate or to PA, and continue my active adventures. I did try Kayaking at the beach in Punta Cana and it was not as difficult as I thought. I still think a lesson or 2 is in order and maybe soon, I'll have a rack a top the ol' Malibu with a kayak and bike in the summer and the snowboards in the winter.

Oh and before I forget, I managed to bring lunch to work EVERY day this week ... and all in recycled containers!

A Good Friend

Is one who picks up your camera and
takes a picture of you because
he/she thinks you look that beautiful.

Longest Most Random Ever

I don’t know how to explain this or if I should even try. I came home on Tuesday feeling a new sense of self. I realized that I really want to move out of NY, probably somewhere in Colorado (Steamboat Springs would be great) or anywhere that promotes healthy living, loving, and snowboarding.

I was excited to get home and explain to Paul that it’s not just something I’ve been thinking about for years but something I’m willing to take action to actually do. I also wanted to tell him all my thoughts surrounding locally grown foods and organic produce. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go to extremes only purchasing produce from farmers markets – though I would if I could, but I’m also being realistic… there are some dishes and ingredients that aren’t locally grown and aren’t locally produced and I’m not willing to give them up just yet (yeast, cheese, mangos, etc…). I can try to reduce my consumption of imported foods though… by buying what I can locally and foregoing foods not in season. I can also try and buy local dairy such as eggs, yogurt and when possible, cheese! He seemed confused and not ready to take this plunge but after a few days of convincing, he is well aware of the benefits to the earth and our bodies… and is now getting on board.

I’d one day like to be a mother … and when that day comes I’d love to raise healthy children… I’d like them to learn that fruit comes from the earth, not from plastic containers and I want them to know that apples come with SKIN (a pre-teen didn’t know this – true story). I want to keep harmful chemicals whether that is hormones or pesticides OUT of their small fragile bodies and if I have daughters … I’d like to ward off puberty as long as possible instead of inducing it at an early age due to ingested hormones. Not to mention its links to breast cancer and other cancers… and the more tested negatives, its run off from animal waste ending up in our water supplies increasing both testosterone and progesterone in human drinking water which have been linked to female fish becoming more masculine and male fish being more feminine than normal. Is this what people want their children ingesting?

However, purchasing organic and local can still be very expensive, so you must pick your battles. There are however, certain items that are considered to have extremely high levels of chemicals and therefore should either only be purchased organically or not at all. For your benefit I will list them: EWG’s List . Also beware of oats, rice and milk!

Also – see The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen

Anyway – that was a tangent – there are certain things I feel so strongly about that I just can go on and on and on trying to inform you to what I’ve learned and what I feel is something everyone should know and act on.

So anyway I told Paul I am a different girl than I was 4 ½ years ago… and before I could go on, he said “yeah you are”… he went on to tell me a number of things that I felt hurt me… they were: I’m boring, I don’t like to do anything anymore, I’m old, I sit in our living room completely content and more or less I’m a bore.If I was on the couch like this when he got home, I'm sure I'd get less complaints

This was particularly upsetting considering I was hoping to come home and express how much I love him and how excited I was for all the tomorrows of our future. At that I got up and went into the kitchen to continue to cook us dinner. (A little thing he sometimes forgets I put a lot of thought and energy into every night).

[I had to leave to meet Paul’s family – thus I am picking this up today]

None the less – this is how thinking anything romance usually happens in my life… I get kicked in the ass!

After a quiet night at home where I heard the reasons I shouldn’t sit on the couch… and relax, but instead should play scrabble, I decided it was time for bed. No sense listening to someone criticize me for sitting down and hoping to catch a show before I head to bed at a decent hour which apparently is too early.

The next day on my way home from work, I gave him a call asking what we should do for dinner. After that disappointing night, I’d completely forgotten to defrost something. He suggested we go out and take a walk … it was nice out. I decided on a restaurant and we were on our way. The food was good, the restaurant was quaint, I talked his ear off and he for the most part listened. It seemed all was forgotten … until Thursday (that would have been yesterday)

Paul was home sick after he received 2 vaccinations that hit him hard. During an IM conversation he reminded me that he has designated next Saturday date night. He then asked if I’d be willing to see an 8PM broadway show. Well of course I would! I love to see shows but Paul isn’t really into them. He is initiating this… he must really be trying to make up for something. So basically it’s a surprise… I don’t know what we are going to see, where we are going for dinner, or what we will be doing. All I know is that in the afternoon we are attending his nephews birthday, followed by dinner and a show in NYC. The next day I need to head upstate bright and early for the AHA walk (please donate)

Paul had a friend named Matt… I used to really like him. He was a cool guy but then he began to change and act like a mini Tyler like the rest of my old “friends” and it was soon easier to not hang out with all these people all together. He recently added me to his google chat… but never actually chatted with me. I was clicking on Paul’s name when I noticed his away message (his name stands right above Paul’s) … and it said something about weddings. I asked Paul if he was getting married and I suppose he asked him… and the answer is yes.

I don’t know his fiancé. They began dating after the demise of our friendship, but I am happy for him. I know for a while he was working within the depths of a very complex love triangle and some stability is always a great cure for that. I don’t care either way for this person or his future but I don’t wish him harm… I actually wish him well. I just don’t need to be involved in any party of it… you all know have someone like this in your lives as well.

Anyway – it put me in an unbelievably foul mood. I was still giddy about my semi-surprise date night, but then got instantly sad. I’ve been dating Paul years before this couple even knew each other existed… and this seems to bet he case with many of our married or engaged friends. I’ve been sitting around (sometimes) patiently waiting for Paul to be ready to commit the rest of his life to me. He knows that I am more than willing to take that leap. I’m more than ready to commit the rest of my life to him as my husband and to the family we will [God willing] create. It’s something I want more than anything… and I suppose me saying that does in fact prove Paul calling me old… but what’s so old about getting married and starting the next chapter of your life. Should I be one of those 30 year olds trolling the bars drunk on beer and whiskey dancing to Van Morrison with a bunch of early college grads? I’m only acting my age.

Anyway… that is where this horrendously long unreadable blog is going… that I’m a schmuck because I feel this way. And I hate that I do.

Did I mention how I didn't want an engagement ring or a traditional wedding - yet he said no. Now whose the girl in the relationship? ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birthday Blues... and Booze

It's not for another 42 Days and the actual party isn't till another 43, but I'm stressed and excited already.

I'm going to make it happen... we are going Camping for my birthday :)~

There are some downsides to camping on your birthday... you can't invite everyone you want to be with... too many people will just cause:
1) us to be too loud (and get kicked out)
2) disagreements about what to do (during the day)
3) we don't have enough equipment
4) hard to coordinate

So I narrowed down my guest list to only family I'm very close with between the ages of 25-30 (so basically my sister, cousin, and future bro-in-law). Then I was trying to think of super close friends that I couldn't celebrate without... of course that left me with Lori, Anthony & Jerry. Then the ever important Paul and Andy (if he could be in town). That was 9 people... and I knew some people were likely not to attend (Lori and Andy).

I was right... Lori not being a huge fan of the great outdoors or any type of "roughing it" in the wilderness let me know she'd pass on the weekend. I understand. Then Andy decided that he couldnt swing flying back to NY so soon after Mother's Day. Again... no sweat. Jerry has an Aunt's big birthday at a catered hall... its cool. So that leaves the rest all yeses. I can't wait. Kareen asked to bring her S.O. and that makes 7... not the ideal number, but I can't complain. A site comfortably holds about 6 people... a raft is 4 per boat... a canoe is 2 per boat... it seems camping is not made for odd numbers - who cares!

After reading some reviews for the campsite I originally booked near the Lehigh River in PA, I became worried. As it turns out the owner is a drunk who has psycho violent tendencies. I wouldn't subject myself or my loved ones to abuse by anyone... let alone pay for it and travel 2 hours to endure it. I got my deposit back and continued the search for our venue.

My cousin recommended Kittatinny and after reading reviews and a few phone calls I was pleasantly surprised. We are booked and reserved in a nice secluded space right on the Hudson River. We won't have any immediate neighbors and as such... no complains when they hear the battle cries of "MOOSE!"

With my cousin in attendance - it means we'll have two willing and able cooks to prepare some tasty marinades and prep some dishes before we even get there - allowing for more fun times while full on good food. Anthony ... a great friend will be there to lend his over 6 foot 200+ lb body to the cause ... helping carry tents and fire wood. Not to mention - he's a great cook.

My sister will be there with her future husband... some much needed bonding time is in order. They were unable to attend my birthday last year due to a wedding that just popped up last minute?

I'm pretty excited... but also a little worried. Camping requires LOTS of planning... and lots of packing. We won't be 100% in the middle of nowhere so if we forget bottled water, medicine, bug spray, underwear... it's only a short drive to the nearest store. But still... think about it... besides the obvious you need to bring: dish rags, sponges, buckets, plastic dishes, cups, pots, pans, knives, cutting boards, water shoes, bug spray, SPF, drinking water, and meals (for 3 days). That's a lot to remember and that doesn't even include your personal supplies and actual shelter.

I took Friday off - Paul and I said we'd try and get out there early and enjoy the day setting up our tent, reading books, getting in the river, and hanging out. It's not Paul and Lilia time... anyone willing and able to get out there early are welcome. I just need them to let me know ASAP because if we will only be 2-4 people on Friday... I'll cancel the 2nd site for Friday night. It's costing us 11/night + 13/person after all.

Anyway - can you imagine how much fun this will be... card games, drinking games, stories, smores, moose, rafting, tubing, paintball... laughs - lots of them.

I've always wanted to do this and now we finally are!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thin Walls

As many of you know... my apartment is prewar... its big, its spacious, its freaking GREAT! I don't even notice the speed bump any more.

But these thin walls/ceilings are killing me!
Time Table: 1st week living in apartment -
While unpacking some of my things in the bedroom, my ears were flooded with strange sounds... I was unsure if it was a manslaughter in the act, a teenage wrestling match in the livingroom, or the most violent sex I've ever heard. I heard banging and the strangest groaning I've ever heard... it sounded like someone dying of dysentery after attempting the Oregon Trail coupled with a goat at the slaughter. I quickly called Paul in so he can witness this horrendous noise. We looked at each other and came to the conclusion it was sex... loud obnoxious sex. Just then I heard the groaning ever louder and turned to Paul... our upstairs neighbor is gay.

Don't get me wrong, I don't care if you swing left, right, or both ways... but any sex, gay, strait, or otherwise shouldn't be so obnoxious that I think you're doing it in my room! Have some respect for your fellow neighbors... this is an apartment after all. Do they just not realize because they are on the top floor?

Repeatedly throughout the year -
You would laugh and possibly cry at the sounds coming down from above. It can start as early as 9AM and go through the night... at which point I immediately start throwing things at my ceiling. Our S&M sexer upstairs is into the worst most horrible music which he demands to blast in his bedroom... to which I can only imagine he dances to in front of the mirror while trying on his cloths. I've been laying down... headache... listening to Hadaway, La Bouche, Ace of Base, Madonna, Prince, B-52s, Paula Abdul, etc... I was home sick on Saturday and was literally brought to tears by the horror that was ringing in my ears! He was playing it SO LOUD I was convinced Paul had it playing in the livingroom. No amount of banging convinced him to turn it down... so we turned on our subwoofer and started blasting music like Metallica, Pearl Jam, Korn, etc... We played that game... I turn mine up, then you turn yours up, then I turn mine up... well guess what... WE WIN! Our surround sound mixed with obnoxious rock was no match for his boom box blasting Debbie Gibson's house remix.

On the Train -
On the F train heading home, I noticed a guy ... maybe 5 feet tall. He caught my eye not because of his exceptionally short stature but because of his outfit. His jeans were tight... yet he wasn't a hipster. His shirt was fitted and trendy... his fake leather jacket stopped at the waste... but what really caught my attention was his silver metallic hightops coupled with his LARGE neon sunglasses and cap. It was definitely a trend I haven't witnessed outside of the LES. Interesting...
I got off the train at my usual stop... and low and behold, so did the little spaceman. I began to walk up my block and he was right behind me. I then went into my courtyard and started to unlock the door... and you guessed it... behind me. He followed me up the stairs but when I stopped, key in hand, ready to either bash his face in or unlock my door.... he kept going... thats right, to the apartment right above me. He is the S&M, 90's pop remix listening, metallic shoe wearing neighbor!

Last Night -
I got a text from Paul... he wanted to meet some friends to go to Croxley's for wings at 10PM.... you know, passed my bed time. After he left I meandered through some channels, finding nothing, strolled into bed and was assaulted by the sound of springs. A sound springs can only make under the pressure of constant hard gyration. The sound of springs under two thrusting bodies unable to coil and uncoil at it's intended force. I tried to ignore it... I tried to close my eyes and will myself to sleep but I couldn't. It sounded like the springs were creaking right next to my ear... loud, clear, freakishly close. I then began to hear a ruckus, it sounded like things were dropping, people were walking, and I hoped it was over. But 5 minutes later the creaking springs began again... louder than before. I began to bang forcefully on the wall and threw shoes at the ceiling They seemed to notice and slowed their pace making the staccato creak more quiet. Clearly they were not accustomed to slow deep sex and thus proceeded to throw each other to the floor in order to continue their romp they call sex. (You may wonder how I can give you a play by play of this S&M love session... well I could hear them as if they were in my own home!). I believe the floor may have been too rough or too dirty for them, because they returned to the bed with a bang and continued their creaking.
I was about to either bang, hit, scream, or call the police when I thought I heard something in my own apartment. They were literally shaking the bed so hard, insulation between our floors was shifting, leaking, or cracking above my head. I pictured their bed covered in messy moist sheets entwined with two naked sweaty bodies falling on top of me... what would the obituary say? Headline: "Gay S&M Sex Cause Bed to Fall, Kills Annoyed Woman"
I considered writing a post it note and leaving it on his door "Please buy a new mattress... and test it to make sure its QUIET!" I considered knocking... but was afraid they may open the door sweaty and dirty and angry. I considered calling the police, but what do I say? I considered moving in September but then remembered that this is only the 3rd time in 7 months this has happened (but this by far was the loudest).
Just when I thought I was at my wits end and would need to take a couple of shots of strong Whiskey to fall asleep I heard wailing and grunting like I've never heard before... the bed rocked with such force, I thought for sure, it must be broken.... and then there was nothing.
Just kidding, at that they both JUMPED out of bed and ran around like 5 year olds on Christmas morning. WTF is wrong with these people?!?!?!

Am I okay with homosexual intercourse = yes
Am I okay with heterosexual intercourse = yes
Am I okay with hearing homosexual intercourse = no
Am I okay with hearing heterosexual intercourse = no

Really - I don't want to know what your sexlife is like, I don't want you to tell me, show me, or force me to listen to it... it's disgusting. BUY A NEW BED, FUCKER!

Monday, April 13, 2009


jokes - are NOT funny

Nor are racist jokes... end of story

Happiness if a Fish You Can't Catch


A lot can change in a reasonably short period of time…

There is a lot of me to understand… and I am still trying to understand it all myself.

A lot has changed… my attitude, my friends, my surroundings, my goals, my hobbies… everything changes.fluid.evolving.unpredictable.

The old attitude was much like the same, but sometimes hidden beneath a façade. It has come center stage basking in all its attention. It’s in your face. It’s truthful. It’s resentful. It’s strong. It’s impatient. It’s bitchy. It shows I care.

The streaming memories… friends of the past. They were loud. fun. giddy. crazy. disloyal. selfish. dishonest. unfair. unmotivated. unloved. unable to love. free spirited. prisoners of their own invention. They were contradictions of themselves… constantly fighting an internal fight and external ones. New friends… are the old, but the true, loyal and motivated. The ones you bring the best you forward.

My goals… now simple. Live, love, hope, achieve, give, abandon, pray – be happy!

My hobbies = more more more. Nature. Clean air. Outdoors.

My life is changing… and has been since my first breaths… but I’m taking it by the reigns and aligning my future with my dreams.

The Beatles

I don't like them... it's nothing personal

Friday, April 10, 2009

Costa Rica or Peru

I don't know which I'd rather do. I'd love to do both... but not this summer.

I found this Costa Rican tour I'm dying to do. It's a honeymoon tour, but it works out cheaper that way - go figure. It's still not cheap but includes so many things... if only I can get Paul to do it. I'd almost be willing to do it alone.

You travel from San Jose to Rincon de Vieha to Osa Peninsula and back to San Jose... and the activities besides sitting on your private balconies range from hiking, zip-lining, bird watching, kayaking, horseback riding, ATV riding, puddle jumper flying, swimming... private beaches, lush jungles etc...

It's 10 days worth of excitement.

Wish me luck getting Paul to do this for our pre-honeymoon, honeymoon... It would be like our last horrah before Bean Town takes him away from me. :(

The Weather

I hate this weather... its the kind of weather that gets me depressed... always has.

It's warmer... but not warm enough to sit outside with a cup of coffee... or have an outdoor happy hour... or a BBQ.

It's cold... but not cold enough to strap on my board.

It's wet... cold and wet

It's unpredictable... one day it's 60 and one day its 30

It excites my allergies... I don't like my allergies excited.

~ so yeah... I don't like spring. Spring is for pansies!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back from DR

I'm back from DR and I suppose there about 1000 stories I can tell... all of which will make you laugh... or confuse you as you'd have to be there.

Some key words:
Sexy Face
Small Penis
No Toque
Mama Juana
etc etc etc....

The people in DR were very nice. The people who worked at the actual resort were too nice for words... similar to those on cruise ships and other all inclusive places... their livelihood is in the tips... and they worked hard for theirs.

The men there have no shame about coming on to a woman... it might be the culture... not of DR but maybe of such a touristy spot.

I'm tired and I'm glad I'm home.

I'd like to fly to Costa Rica next... if not, maybe Peru... yes I know they are completely different.

Being away made me realize how much I love Paul... I missed him each and every day. I now dread his move to Boston more than ever. We will be okay... but I want to be better than okay. I will settle for okay.

I realized that you sacrifice sometimes... and sometimes you cannot. So sometimes I do and sometimes I do not.

I realize that there are good people and bad people everywhere... and that you cannot escape racism.

I was pleased to realize I know more Spanish than I realized... if only I could speak it more often.

I don't eat as much as I used to.

I saw that average and thick girls got hit on more than the skinny fit ones... and it wasn't because they were intimidating but actually less attractive to some... interesting.

I found that saying please and thank you in ANY language gets you far in life.

Respect humanity.

I learned that American Airlines will continue to fuck me over.

I found my necklace... the one Paul bought me long ago to represent our future together... I almost cried as I thought it was lost during the move to Queens ... and then I lost it in DR.

The trip made me happy and relaxed... and made me very depressed all at once. And... I don't know why.

I'm still tired.

Just uploaded some pics so why not....

Me the Bridge at the main pool

Lori on the Bridge at the main pool

Our last night... posing for some pics before we leave the next day

At Club Mangu celebrating Lori's 26th

Dancing... and being our psuedo lesbian selves!

A Birthday pic before our Brazilian steakhouse dinner

Horseback on the beach (Lori's 1st time... and boy was she freaking)

Posing where the river meets the ocean

A table of fruits and veggies at a local typical house

Lori outside the house

A picture with our flowers on our balcony

A picture with our flowers on our balcony

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I had the best cry of my life last night. I hope to cry like that again... maybe even often.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mother Nature Strikes Again!

I'm sure some of you remember my Whistler rant... no snow AND my period.

Well... Mother Nature strikes again! Yes that's right... I am again ON THE RAG!!!! WTF! She must me out to get me for some injustice I've done to nature.

All I asked was to dawn a bathingsuit, sip a drink and relax beach side for 4 days... CRAMP and BLOOD FREE