Friday, September 9, 2011

What I've Been Up To!

Hey ya'll!

Soo ... it's been awhile! In addition to starting my new job (which has me away from home for 11 hours a day ... meaning I have gone over one week without ever opening my laptop haha!), I've been working on a little side project with L. I don't know yet what it means for this blog, but I am excited about this new project since it's a creative outlet for L. and I to work on together. It's a football blog, which I know some of you ladies could probably care less about haha, but what makes it interesting is that it's going to be from two perspectives, a male and a female. I'm going to be posting gameday receipes, hopefully hosting giveaways, and just writing about my favorite sport from a gal's point of view. So if you want to see what I'm up to, catch up with me over there! =)

And I've still been reading all your blogs faithfully ... sometimes I feel like I enjoy reading about you guys more than writing about myself! =)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

working girl

I know, I disappeared again. L. and I had one of our best friends from college come visit this weekend, and yesterday I started my new job! And Which, hush hush, I actually wasn't sure I would. Of course, it's only the second day, and my duties will change a lot as I move up the ranks (hopefully in the next couple weeks), but the atmosphere is so exciting and interesting, and I'm running around a lot, and I'm rarely bored. I work 10 hour days, so that's saying a lot! Plus, my office is in downtown Beverly Hills, right off Rodeo, so there's lots of pretty places and people to look at!

The only downside? Seven, count 'em, SEVEN water blisters on my feet. OUCH! I'm on them all day, so I don't expect they'll heal soon. At least it's good cardio! =)

Friday, July 15, 2011

don antonio's

One of the first orders of business upon moving to LA was to find some great Mexican food, which is my absolute favorite. Surprisingly, the best Mexican food I've ever had was in New Hampshire (go figure!), but I knew there had to be somewhere in LA that was on par!

L. and I have already been to
Don Antonio's twice. The food is just as good as my favorite restaurant in New Hampshire--or as any Mexican food I've ever eaten--but get this: their huge, cheesy, fill-up-an-entire-plate, I-can-only-finish-half burritos? $5.95. Seriously. And taco truck this is's a really pleasant dining experience. And for two people on a budget, like L. and I are, it just doesn't get much better than that!

Heidi and Spencer frequent Don Antonio's (or used to) (and, I know...), but we haven't seen them in the few times that we've been there. I think they sit in the special "cave" room, which I haven't figured out how to gain access to...yet. Maybe next time...because my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! L. and I are trying to avoid being the car as much as possible because of Carmageddon, but we are driving over to Santa Monica tonight to see Harry Potter!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

fourth of july (better late than never!)

This post is so ridiculously late, but what are you gonna do? L. and I went to Santa Barbara on Fourth of July weekend for his graduation party on Saturday and wine tasting on Sunday--- the latter deserves its own post (if only for Solvang alone. You'll see.) But then Monday we rushed back to LA (we still haven't had a full weekend in LA without either having guests, aka L.'s parents, or going on a trip!) to see fireworks. We went down to Culver City and it felt delightfully suburban, almost like being back in New Hampshire.


(Who knew I would miss New Hampshire so much? Boo.)

Do you like my red, white, and blue floral dress with my blue cardigan? What can I say--- I love America. Happy Belated Birthday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

gainful employment. finally.

Today is a good day. Today, I am not waking up feeling anxious, with a stomachache, and unwilling/unmotivated to work out or do anything productive that requires energy. That is because today is the first day I've woken up knowing that I have a job!

A few days ago I learned that though I was in the top two for the teaching position I had really wanted, the school had offered it to the other girl. It was a blow, and I really started to feel down in the dumps. I felt a little spoiled-- here I am, in this beautiful apartment in this fantastic city with my wonderful boyfriend, feeling sorry for myself. But I just didn't pack up my life and move across the country, and leave my family, to lay by a pool and run errands and shop all day. I needed to feel like I was doing something meaningful.

Then yesterday, I finally got the call-- the other job for which I had interviewed offered me a position! I start on July 25, which gives me some time to finally relax and get in better shape before I start. I was feeling guilty that L. was at work all day and I was home, so I was running around all over the place, cleaning and grocery shopping and cooking these three-hour meals and doing laundry and getting the car washed, to feel like I was contributing. But now that I only have two weeks left in my last summer vacation ever, I'm going to lay by the pool a little more!

I can't tell you where I'm working (and in this industry, it takes NOTHING to get fired, so I'd rather keep work-related posts, if I write them at all, completely vague). BUT. I will give you one hint, in addition to a hint I gave a couple months ago:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So, in part one of this post, I mentioned that I don't do well with change, and I usually dread it before it happens but then move on from it very quickly afterward. The days leading up to graduation were sort of a daze, but I was pretty positive on the day itself I would be an absolute mess.

We lined up and began marching in bright and early, and luckily we were graced with a beautiful (but hot in those gowns!) day.

Most of Williamstown turned out to wish us well along our route.

My best friend (and high school boyfriend of four years) came to see me graduate!

Here's a great one of me and the in-laws ;)

And L. and my family

After all the photo-taking (I ripped my gown off as soon as my high school graduation was over, and so I had to indulge my mom this time around), it was time to pack up and get out. Williams is great, but we all joked about the fact that they put on this amazing senior week and graduation ceremony for us, and then four hours after it's over they kick you out (we were required to be out by 5pm that day). The next couple hours were a whirlwind of packing, and so for the couple moments I felt like a breakdown was coming on I immediately had to focus on something else, and kept pushing it down, and pushing it down. I forced myself not to cry when I said goodbye to my best friend C., who is studying in England for a year.

The one moment that day that got me was when the guys in my suite and I took the following picture. We recreated a cartoon that Andrew had drawn earlier in the year for our newspaper. (The scene is probably some amalgamation of us watching a football game and/or playing video games).

You can't really tell in the real-life picture, thankfully, but I completely lost it at this point. It only lasted about 5 minutes (because I had more packing to do), and then, strangely, I didn't cry for the rest of the day (or at all since). I drove home in my car alone and my dad, mom and brother followed behind, thinking the time to myself would help, but I just felt sad in a quiet way I've rarely experienced. It's definitely been the first time in my life that I haven't over-dreaded the upcoming change and then adapted within a couple days. Maybe it's because I don't have a job yet, and am sort of feeling a little aimless and unsure of what to do with myself. L.'s working now, so I spend the day grocery shopping, working out, cleaning, and exploring the city--which should be a great life! But I think until I start doing something that keeps me as busy and as engaged as Williams did, I'm still going to feel this strange disquietude.

On the upside, I do have a lot of fun posts written about our first couple weeks in LA, and I can't wait to share them with you guys!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

senior week and graduation

It's taken me awhile to post these pictures and write this post, partly because I've been so focused on my move, but also partly because I was afraid posting them would make me very, very sad. I do NOT do well with change--well, sort of. I dread it more than most normal people and work myself up into a mess, but then two or three days later I am usually 100% adjusted, while most people might not get so upset in the first place, but then need more time to move on. Interestingly, that didn't quite happen with graduating--which makes me fear that I just haven't dealt with it correctly and it's going to rear its ugly head at an inopportune time (which it basically already did, in the middle of Arizona, when I started sobbing in the car and told L. I wanted to go back home to Boston and that I felt horrible leaving my parents and moving 3,000 miles away). But still, that was home-specific, not Williams-specific.

I didn't feel teary or apprehensive at all during Senior Week-- it was just tons of fun with my favorite people in the world:

There was the Mt. Hope dinner dance and tent party.

Mt. Hope is a giant mansion the College owns, and every Senior Week a dinner dance and a champagne brunch the following morning are hosted there.

Of course, even though we were on the lawn of an enormous mansion, we had to go pee in port-a-potties hidden in the bushes. Typical.

Later in the week, we had another tent mingling event...

where joyful selfies were necessary.

Friday night, L., the guys in our suite, and I hosted a cookout on our balcony for all of our families. It was the first time my parents and L.'s parents had met!

Bestie Paloma.

One of the cutest pictures ever. My mom is not a huge fan of "pictures on the internet" so we'll see if this one stays!

After the cookout was our last party all together (aptly named Last Chance).

The night before graduation, my dad and my brother took us all out for drinks at the pub and the Red Herring, our two college bars. It was so great to see all my friends bond with my family.

There are so many graduation pictures to sort though that I think those are going to go on a separate post of their own, to follow this one. So, for now, to be continued...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

what will i do with my life? (besides, you know, blog...)

Friday marked one week of us living in LA (it still feels weird to type/say that!) and tomorrow is L.'s first day of work. Since this little bird is still going on interviews and waiting to hear back from a few places, I officially feel like I have no idea what I will do with myself once he's at work all day. I mean, aside from vacuuming the apartment and doing the dishes and the laundry and returning broken things to West Elm and returning jeans to Old Navy and getting a haircut (god do I need one) and cleaning/dusting and getting the car a smog check and registering my license in California and grocery shopping and cooking dinner. Yes, there are all those things to do. But I wonder when my honeymoon with LA is going to wind down and the reality that I moved across the country, am currently unemployed, and have lots of money going out but absolutely zero coming in (for the first time since I was 14, when I got my first job) is going to set in. Am I completely pumped about my new life? Absolutely. Making homemade turkey burgers (recipe soon!), getting Pinkberry at night, basking in sunshine all day and having a pool 30 feet's wonderful. But I'm not sure it will be enough to keep me from getting anxious if I don't start making money or find something meaningful with which to occupy my time soon. At least you guys can expect lots of blog posts from me! Starting with graduation, next.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LA is exhausting!

Hooray! We just got wireless TODAY, so after being on the road for a week and in the apartment since Friday, I finally have both the time and the wireless connection to write a post! Just a short one for now, but I have tons of pictures to upload and organize from our trip and our first few days in LA. So far we've been to West Elm (three times), Ikea, Bed Bath and Beyond (three times), Z Gallerie, the bank, the power company, the Social Security office, the pharmacy, the grocery store, Living Spaces Furniture, and countless other places. We've gotten a ton of furniture, and I can't wait to share pictures! We've also gotten to try out some local restaurants and I finally cooked my first meal tonight (after not having any food in the refrigerator for four days). We've also had delivery people come to the house literally since we've been here.

More soon! I'm alive!

ps- It's been so much easier to catch up with all your blogs on my laptop rather than L.'s iPhone!

Friday, June 3, 2011

graduation week by the numbers

June 1-June 5: Senior week at Williams.

3: The number of English Department awards I've won, giving me a permanent glow all week.

4: The number of parties we have as part of our Senior Week festivities.

6: The number of dresses I've needed for Senior Week events.

20: The number of family members coming to L.'s and my balcony cookout tonight. (Lots of burgers, lots of hot dogs!)

June 5: Graduation Day!

June 13: L. and I set off, with a very tightly-packed Subaru, on our moving adventure, ending up at our new apartment in Los Angeles!

I know I've been really absent these past few weeks, and I am so sorry. I promise lots of Hilton Head pictures, Senior Week Pictures, and of course graduation pictures next week while L. and I are at my house, packing up and getting ready to embark on our big journey cross country!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

in my mind i'm going to carolina...

We are back from Hilton Head. But I don't want to be. See, in HH, it was also high 80s and incredibly humid most of the time, just like Western Massachusetts, but it was okay because we had an amazing breeze from the ocean, and pools to jump into, and ice cream to cool us off. Oh, and these. Lots and lots of these.

And it looked like this. All day, everyday.

I guess it is sort of nice to be back, though. 20 hour car drives, especially when there are tickets and accidents involved, (More on that later). And now it's Senior Week at Williams. Last night we drove to Northampton for dinner at the director of the Honors program's house, which was lovely. Today I had lunch with my history prof. Tonight we all take buses to the mansion the College owns, Mt. Hope, for cocktails, dinner, and dancing with our favorite profs. Tomorrow is a champagne brunch, Friday is our final party. There's lots and lots to look forward to.

But a part of me definitely still wishes I were sitting at the beach with one of these. I'm going to try to make my own, now, before we leave for Mt. Hope. It probably won't go well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

highest honors

Yesterday morning was a lovefest. It started when I got an email from the English department administrative head which contained my thesis evaluation. It was possible to have gotten no honors, honors, or highest honors. I was absolutely shocked and humbled to learn that I had been awarded highest honors on my thesis! Lots of years go by when no one gets this, and so it was truly one of the greatest moments of my academic career. The lovefest came in with the multiple emails and calls from my parents, friends and professors who just made me feel so great and helped me to see that I just absolutely need to go to grad school, because I love this so much! And apparently I'm not too bad at it.

With that happy news, friends, I am off to Hilton Head! We're leaving at 7pm tonight and driving through the night to arrive down there at noon. Sort of scary but there's 8 of us and two cars so I think we'll be okay.

And hey, if the world does end on Saturday...well, I will be on a beach, with all my best friends, having just finished college, with no cares in the world. Not a bad way to have it all go down.

Have a great weekend! Any beach trips in your future? xo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

earning my vacation

I woke up this morning at 9:00am. An hour later than the 8:00am alarm I had set to ensure I got to work on time.

Then I woke up my computer and tried to read my email, to discover that the Williams network had found a few trojans on my brand-new computer, and had quarantined me. No network access, no email, no internet. Oh, and no access to the tons of pdfs, Google books, etc. I need to complete my 25-page research paper due this week. Ran a scan, nothing showed up, but I was still quarantined. Had to bring it to the tech help desk and leave it there.

Blogger has still not restored all my comments.

Ran to my 11:00am meeting with a prof, for which she did not show up.

Went to the library to print a thesis copyright form (so weird that I have copyright over something!) and had my advisor sign it, but had forgotten to print it on the acid-free paper. Will have to scan it in and re-print it.

Brought almost $300 worth of books to the bookstore to sell back; got $43 for them.

It's rainy. It's rained for the last five days.

I am horribly bloated and therefore have no idea if I will fit into my shorts in Hilton Head, even though I've been working hard and dieting.

...The universe is really, really making me work for my vacation!

Challenge accepted. Three days!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

done with college!

As of today (well, yesterday, officially), I am done with all the undergraduate classes I will ever take. And now I am happily enjoying the most college-y beverage I can think of (Jager and root beer...a no-go if you don't like the taste of licorice) and getting ready to attend L.'s and the Octet's final a cappella concert ever, which may bring a tear or two to my eye.

Also, in one short week we are leaving for Hilton Head.

Finally, I know Blogger has been rull messed up the last couple days, but WHAT happened to all the lovely comments you guys left me on my apartment post?! They were so sweet, and I was so excited about them, and now they are just GONE. And I want answers.

I hope you guys have wonderful weekends, and to all of y'all who are graduating this weekend, congrats! I can't wait to join your ranks on June 5. In the meantime, I'll get back to finishing the last undergraduate paper I will ever write and enjoying decidedly frat boy beverages before I'm not allowed to anymore. <3

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

our new LA apartment!


I'm still here. In case you were wondering.

The unexpected, impromptu blog break was partially a result of finishing and presenting my thesis, finishing undergraduate classes forever, getting ready for Hilton Head, and other end-of-the-year time demands.But mostly, last week was full of calls, emails, faxes, scans, and finally, celebrations, because L. and I just signed a lease on our very first apartment together!

You have no idea how excited I am about this. See, our great big move to California in June is fairly up in the air at this point. I have not officially accepted a job, though I expect to have two offers by the time we move out there, we haven't finalized our route across the country or where/with whom we're staying, and until last week, we didn't even have an apartment waiting for us when we got there.

If you know anything about me, at all, you know that this lack of a plan= major anxiety for Michelle.But then, L.'s parents so, so generously decided to drive into LA two weekends in a row to scope out some places that we were interested in for us. There was some good, some bad, and some really ugly.

I think this article sums it up pretty well.At first, I was a little bummed that we weren't getting to do the process ourselves. I had always built up the time that I would finally get my first apartment, how I would schedule tons of viewings and run my hand along granite countertops and envision where my white slipcovered sofa would go...

But I realized that having L.'s parents help out was more helpful than I ever could have imagined. L. starts his job on June 27, and we're only arriving in LA less than a week before that. Could we really have found a place--a good, safe place--in that amount of time? Plus, a lot of the complexes book a month or two months in advance. What if we had gotten there in June and there were no openings until August? We thought about subletting, but some questionable Craig's List interactions made us shy away from that. Plus, I was just anxious to have our own place, all ours, right when we got out there.

On their second weekend looking, L.'s parents found the place. THE place. I had spied it online and was really excited about it...but not so much about the rent. It's definitely not cheap. Doable, but not cheap. And when they got inside, it turned out to be everything we wanted, PLUS. It's luxurious--way more luxurious than I ever imagined my first apartment out of college would be. But that's not the reason we were willing to pay a little more. It's in Brentwood, in a super cute, nice, safe, and walkable neighborhood. We have a Whole Food's, a Pinkberry, a Starbucks, a movie theatre, a million restaurants, and everything else we could need no more than a 10 minute walk away. It's only a ten minute drive for L. to work, and if I work at one of the agencies, it's less than a twenty minute drive to Beverly Hills.

And the management is so, so great--we've spoken on the phone with, emailed, and just generally bothered our manager so many times in the last week or so, and she's been so pleasant and lovely the whole time. And unlike some other horror stories I've read (I'm looking at you, Park La Brea), I don't think that she was just putting on a show to get us to sign the lease. I'm really comfortable having her as our manager.But I know what you guys really want. The pictures! Here it is, my shining little baby. (I'm obsessed. Could you tell?)

The lobby. I love that it has a hint of Spanish flair, but it still manages to avoid being tacky.

The courtyard. That fountain lights up at night!

Ahh, friend. You and I are going to have some sunny, lazy days together.

And now the interior! My favorite.

The entryway/living room/dining room. I believe the bedroom would be behind you if you were standing here. I love the open floor plan and the neutral tones. Actually, that accent wall (you'll see it in the bedroom too) is painted by the staff, and you can choose from about 10 different colors. I really like that one, but I'm excited to flip through the options!

I also was dead-set on hardwood floors, because the thought of old carpets that who-knows how many people before us had lived on really grossed me out. Plus, carpet is so '90s. But, they're completely steam-cleaning, if not replacing entirely, the carpet that's in there, so it was a small con on a very, very long list of pros?

Oh, and beyond those sliding glass doors? Our patio. It's almost as big as the bedroom. Swoon. I can't wait to make some yummy meals out there and enjoy them with L. while watching the sunset. Also note the AC. Major plus.

Around that corner on the left, you'll find...

The kitchen! This is what really sealed the deal. for me, at least. And the bathroom too, but we'll get to that. The granite countertops. GRANITE COUNTERTOPS. And the stainless steel appliances! (Well, except the fridge. You can't have it all.) My mouth waters just THINKING of all the gourmet meals I can whip up in there. The brushed nickel hardware makes my knees a little weak, too.

And now the OTHER thing that sealed the deal:

The bathroom! I have never in my life been so excited over a bathroom. Again, the granite countertops and the brushed nickel hardware are so luxe and so contemporary. And even though I'm usually a fan of white cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms (and dark wood furniture), I really like this birch. It's not as dated as oak and I like that it's not as orange as oak, either.

And finally, we have:

The bedroom. There's that other accent wall, and a closer look at that taupey-gray color I love and think I will request. I love that window; it's large enough to let in lots of light but the design also gives us lots of privacy. I'm also really happy there's a ceiling fan in here, so we can hopefully use the AC less at night.

So there you have it. Our new apartment. I am positively giddy about the idea of moving to such a gorgeous place with my wonderful boyfriend. And, as you can imagine, now that we have the place I have been going nuts hunting for furniture, decor, utensils, appliances, etc. etc. etc. online and stashing them in all sorts of bookmarked folders. Since the apartment is already so nice and neutral--the beige floors, the taupey-tan accent walls, the light granite--and since we both really like neutral, anyway, I've been hunting down lots items that will fit in really well with that scheme. I'm thinking lots of metallics--platinum, nickel, silver, charcoal, gold--lots of glass, lots of white, gray, and some pops of yellow and maybe turquoise to liven it up. For wood, I'm thinking cherry or espresso-colored pieces, and for furniture, I am all about the white slipcovers.

Actually, L.'s parents have this huge queen sleeper-sofa that they have generously offered to donate to our cause. The one issue? It's fire-engine, primary red. L. and I aren't really about the bright warm colors, and I suspect his parents aren't, either, so there was this polite back-and-forth about the whole thing for awhile. But finally we realized we're poor, we need somewhere for guests to sleep, and we would be stupid not to take it. I was trying to figure out how we were going to work around a huge red eyesore in the middle of our apartment, but then L.'s parents, who were trying to figure out how to have it shipped to Brentwood for us for the day we move in, found a place that will pick it up and drop it off, but in between, will slipcover it! So as a graduation gift to us they are having it slipcovered white. It's going to look gorgeous and I can't WAIT to see it.

This post is long enough as it is, but I really want to share with you guys what I've been looking at in terms of pillows, furniture, etc. I'll definitely do that soon! In the meantime, I'm going to go drool over our new apartment some more...

Friday, April 29, 2011

at least Harry's still available!

My best friend C. and I, armed with croissants, lattes, champagne, and raspberries, woke up at 4 am today to watch the Royal Wedding.

C. had already planned her wedding to Prince William in her tween years (sorry C., I had to), so I expected her to be distraught about this "other woman." But it was a happy day, and though the words "Kate looks so pretty I just want to kill her" were uttered, believe us when we say we l-0-v-e that girl.

But who I really love?

I've always preferred Harry to William. When everyone was all, "William William William" I always knew he'd grow up to be the cutest. He's like a mix between Ron Weasley and Matt Czuchry. It doesn't get much more adorable than that. Plus, he's built so much bigger and is always pleasantly ruddy-faced, like he just came from ski patrol in the slopes. Love love love.

So I had no envy watching Kate marry William today, but I was super happy for them. It was especially adorable when Harry whispered to William "she's here now," and William told Kate she looked beautiful. I also thought Pippa looked GORGEOUS, and thought it was hilarious when Lady Eliza (or was it Lady Grace?) scowled and covered her ears when the jets flew over Buckingham Palace. The kiss was l-a-m-e though. I just feel like William is such a cold fish! But I loved how flirty and playful they were.

Monday, April 25, 2011

hilton head style

In three short weeks (!), I will have finished my last class ever at Williams College.

One week after that, I will be jumping in my car (along with the rest of the senior class, though not all in my car. That would be cramped) and heading down to Hilton Head for a week of sun, fun, and RELAXING.

It will be one of the only times in my life when I won't be a student, I won't be employed, and I really won't be doing much of anything. That's really weird to think about. I'll be taking book recommendations, if you have them.

With Hilton Head fast approaching and my pre-HH diet (or, "operation leafy greens" as my suitemate Steve is hilariously calling it) well underway (I've already lost almost ten pounds! Woo hoo!), I thought it was time to start thinking about what I'm going to wear!

I definitely want to have an effortless selection of clothes: beachy things that I can throw on during the day and cute, but simple, sundresses that I can put on at night to go out. Here are some of the things, which I already own or are planning to buy (or just really, really want!) that I'm packing:

1. My trusty Tommy Bahama coral bathing suit, which I scored for 50% off when it really wasn't on sale at all. I love the bright color (works great for blondes and brunettes), and how the top is kinda retro.

2. My adorable new Express ruffled halter dress, which only just recently came back in stock in my size (thank the lord) and which is going to be perfect for either having lunch/shopping during the day, or can be dressed up to go out at night. It's one of the cheaper dresses they have in stock this season, and, imho, one of the cutest/most versatile. [Update: It's out of stock! So sorry if I sent you lusting after it! They do have them in solids though...] They didn't have the belt in stock, which was a bummer, but they did have:

3. Express quilted wristlet, in coral. It's going to be way too hot--and sandy--to carry around a nice bag, so this wristlet will hold my id, credit card, phone, and Burt's Bees, but I don't have to worry about ruining it. Plus, it will match almost everything else I'm bringing.

4. J. Crew Factory sequined strip boatneck top, in rose. I haven't splurged for this yet (considering that, you know, I just took out a loan to buy a new computer, but more on that later), but I really, really, really want to. Mara rocked it a few posts back, and it looked terrific on her. It's so perfect for a beachy vacation because it's nautical but in a bright color, and it's glam enough to wear out at night with white or black shorts.

5. Last season, Gap had these super cute hemmed linen shorts. I can't find any pictures of them now, and am way too pale to try to take some for you, but I'll be bringing those in raspberry, dark gray, gold, and white. They're chic and effortless and perfect for walking around town or for wearing over a bathing suit (they dry really fast if they get wet!)

6. My ubiquitous H&M striped top which almost every blogger I know seems to have also bought last summer. (That was actually a pretty fun post-- I showed how four different girls in four different parts of the world wore that one darn top. Pretty cool stuff!) I am ob-sessed with stripes, as I mentioned above, and I think nautical tops are always good to have around on a beach vacation. I like to wear mine with the gold Gap shorts, or skinny jeans and red flats, and gold jewelery. (And there's L., looking really cute and indulging me in my requisite nightly summer ice cream. Hi L.!)

7. Jack Rogers Navajo sandal, platinum. Want. Want. Want. I have the Target knockoffs now, but they're ill-made and the base is starting to peel. I just can't justify paying over $90 for sandals. Sigh. Someday...(looks longingly into the distance).

Other beach essentials? My Burt's Bees pomegranate lip balm, a bright beach tote (I use a yellow one with green handles--fun!), cocoa butter and aloe for dehydrated post-sun skin, TONS of water, which should be easy since L. was so sweet and bought me a Nalgene from the university he'll be doing research at for the next two years!, and obviously great books! I need lots of book recommendations--I'm planning to have a second post where I ask you all your opinion on what I should bring! It's been ages since I could read something that wasn't for school. (But who am I kidding? I'm the person who, when she has her choice of what to read, ends up with Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina).

Finally-- halp! I'm not a big hat-wearer or sunglasses-wearer. I know that's really bad! I just feel like both always look weird on my head/face. Does anyone have any recommendations for universally flattering (or round-face/heart-face flattering) brands of either?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


113 pages

9 months

70 books

200+ footnotes

1 meltdown

and I am DONE with my thesis!


Now what?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

what if i told you...

...that Ari Gold could potentially be my boss next year?

Okay, so not really Ari Gold, [since, you know, he's not real and all] but I think you can connect the dots and get my general insinuation. I can't really spell it out more than that.

(But if it really were really Ari Gold? How amazing would that be?)

Exciting? Nerve-wracking? Terrifying? Is there enough anti-anxiety medication in the world for this? All of the above?

(I don't actually take anti-anxiety medication, fyi. But as someone who has panic attacks every time she flies, can't sleep in the dark, can't sleep near a mirror, can't sleep with the door open, can't see a spider without crying, and can't be in a room full of people without feeling completely overwhelmed, I wonder if that should be changed.)

(I also can't handle non-verb agreement, misused punctuation, misspelling, and txtspk, but that's another issue. Non-capitalization in informal settings, i.e. AIM messages, used to really get me too, but as you can tell from my post titles I've realized that it can be stylistic even in its severe wrongness.)

Nothing's for sure yet on the job front, but let's just say I'm going to have some tough decisions to make soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

my thesis

is due in six days. SIX days. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was like, "I have ten months to work on this project, it'll be fineee."

Luckily, I'm in a little better shape--just editing and clarifying and tightening the 106-or-so pages I have now--than some of my other fellow English honors students, who just started writing their theses over break.

No way. I am wayyy too Type-A for that.

Until I turn it in, here's what I'll be repeating to myself daily in the mirror.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

cambria estate winery

I promise that my spring break trip wasn't all interviews and meetings! (It sure felt like it sometimes, though!) One rainy Saturday, L., his parents and I took a fun trip up north to Santa Maria to go wine tasting at Cambria Estate Winery.

They're known primarily for their Chardonnays and their Pinot Noirs, and honestly I'm not a huge fan of either! (I like citrusy, fruity white wines that are a little less oakey than Chardonnays, and I'm not a HUGE red wine drinker, though I'm working on it!)

Of course, that was the perfect reason to do a tasting, so I could try all sorts of different wines that I wouldn't normally order for fear of wasting them! L.'s parents are members, and besides for getting bottles of wine shipped to their house monthly (jealous), they also get to come tasting anytime and bring guests for free.

Guess we all know what L. and I will be spending our weekends doing once we move to LA!

My favorite by far was the Riesling I tried, and L.'s parents were nice enough to buy me a bottle, which we promptly opened the next night when L.'s mom and I cooked up a delicious Tuscan white bean pureed soup. Mmm. I definitely never fail to eat well when I stay with L.'s family, that's for sure!

Cambria was also recently featured on the Bachelor! Jealous they weren't shooting when we were there...sigh.

[Image 2, Image 3]

Monday, April 4, 2011

diddy riese

I am in love.

Completely obsessed.

L. and I went to Diddy Riese, in downtown Westwood, last Friday to celebrate his getting the news that he officially has the research job, and my life has since been forever changed.

Mint chocolate chip with white chocolate chip chocolate cookies. Cookie dough with snickerdoodle cookies. Vanilla with peanut butter cookies. The combinations are endless.

Something tells me the fresh home cooking and trips to Whole Foods, and our after-dinner walks in the evenings, aren't going to do too much for L. and me if we are talking those walks to Diddy Riese every night.

Especially since we'll be living basically right next door.

Especially since those beautiful babies are only $1.50 a pop.

At that price, with our budget, I might just be eating these for dinner. Every night.

Summer can't come fast enough.

[Image 1. Image 2. Image 3.]

Monday, March 28, 2011

interviews and more interviews

A short update: some of you have asked if I already graduated and have moved out here to Ca, but I just wanted to clarify and say I definitely haven't yet! Unfortunately there's SO much I have to get through before graduation, such as finishing my thesis, defending my thesis to the English department and my super-smart peers who will no doubt push me (in a good way!), finishing up my other classes, and preparing to move out here in June--all before the big day on June 5.

There's also a lot of really fun things happening before graduation too. After classes end on May 13 and we finish our papers and our exams, we'll be heading down with the rest of our senior class to Hilton Head for a week, a Williams tradition undoubtedly left over from the time when it was an "old boys' club" college. (We actually didn't admit women until the 70s!) After Hilton Head we go back to Williams for Senior Week, filled with fancy dinners, dancing, champagne brunches, and bonfires. Graduation is on June 5, then L. and I will stay with my parents for about a week while I pack up my room, donate/sell my stuff, and then we'll finally head out here!

So quite awhile to go.

The last week has been all about L. and me trying to nail down jobs before we actually move out, so that we're not, you know, driving across the country and renting an apartment with no income! I had four meetings/interviews: last Saturday (the 19) I attended a job fair of sorts for independent high schools to interview for teaching positions, then Monday I had my long-awaited interview at a big, wonderful publishing company about a half hour outside LA, and last Wednesday I met with two literary agents. One guy was a big-whig talent agent and was a total tool; I'll have to give him a post of his own.

My teaching interview with a great private school in North Hollywood and my interview at the publishing company both went really well, and though I haven't been offered either position yet it seems promising for both. I'll have a big decision to make, since the publishing job, while it would be perfect, would be about a half-hour commute each way depending on traffic, perhaps up to an hour. Teaching would be a short commute but it sort of terrifies me.

L. had such good luck out here! I don't know if I mentioned before, but his initial offer from the UCLA biochemistry research department had a contingency; the person who has the job now had to get into med school to free up the position for L. to take. On Friday L. and I went into Westwood so he could meet with some more people at UCLA (and so I could stuff my face with cookie sandwiches from Diddy Riese), and his boss told him that he officially had the position, no more contingency! Color me HAPPY.

Now that we know where at least one of us is going to be living, the apartment hunt is on. We're hoping to live in Westwood since it's a perfect little mini-city, with enough bars, restaurants, shops, and movie theatres to keep us busy, plus it would be great if L. could walk to work. What I don't want, however, is to get into a situation where we're living in an apartment building with a bunch of UCLA undergrads-- I am SO READY to be out of college and do not want to feel like I'm going back to school in the fall!

When we haven't been interviewing in LA, L. and I have been relaxing in Santa Barbara. We had a fun date night on Saturday that I'll write about in another post. Unfortunately it's been rainy almost the entire week we've been here, which is a huge bummer.

So that's my short update! I'm leaving California tomorrow to spend some time at home with my parents in New Hampshire, and then I go back to Williams for the last time EVER on Sunday to hopefully fly through this last month and a half.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

three cities in less than three days

I've been in LA (slash Newport slash Santa Barbara) for less than 48 hours, and in a way I feel as though I haven't actually slept, that the days have all rolled into one, and that I've been here for a week at the same time. Between frozen bananas on Balboa Island (there's always money in the banana stand!), sunsets on the Newport harbor, a seedy motel in North Hollywood, a day-long independent high school job interview convention that went flooringly well, despite the fact that I only got 5 hours of sleep Thursday night and 6 hours Friday night, dinner and a movie on state street, and finally waking up in L.'s parents' comfy, cozy house in Santa Barbara with the rain falling outside, it has been an absolutely crazy 48 hours.

More details soon, but for now I'm going to disappear into my happy place where I do absolutely no traveling for a whole day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

halp! are you a mac guy(gal)?

Recently I learned that Williams offers a loan up to $2,000 to purchase a laptop for currently enrolled students, which doesn't need to be paid back until nine months after graduation, and the payments for which will be suspended if the student continues onto grad school.

Here's the 411 on my current laptop:

1. No battery power. NONE. As in, when the adapter falls out of the power plug, my computer stops EVERYTHING it is doing, looks at me like this:

and then rolls around on the floor violently, making gagging and gasping sounds, kicks its legs up in the air a couple times, shudders a violent death rattle, and dies. Without even thinking that MAYBE, before it left this earth, it might be polite to back up some of my work.


2. The screen. It has somehow become loose, it weebles and wobbles (but it won't fall down!), and basically it lolls about like a newborn baby without the muscles in its neck to support its head.

3. The N key is completely gone. It's just a lone black key. Good thing I played word typing games LIKE IT WAS MY JOB in 6th grade, so my fingers have memorized where it should be.

4. The DVD player is going, which means that my ability to play the Sims and watch Sex and the City in lieu of writing papers or studying for finals is becoming severely threatened. This would impact my life in catastrophic, inexplicable ways.

5. It's four years old, which is about 80 in computer-years.

6. Norton and MacAffe (however you spell it...I honestly have a panic attack every time it pops up and click violently to get rid of it so I can't be expected to have memorized the spelling) straight up COMPETE with one another to do scans on my computer NOT once a month, NOT once a week, but literally, which completely overtakes the system and makes everything else unbearably slow. The whole "we'll just do this in the background so you can keep working while we clean up!" is completely false. And also, they NEVER find anything! So why the persistence?

Clearly, a new computer with this loan program, which has a 5% fixed interest rate, is a wise investment. BUT, in a world overrun by Macs, what is a PC girl to do?

(PS, I know that a lot of people become enraged by the use of "PC" as the contrast to Mac, because Macs are also "Personal Computers," but for the love of god you know what I mean.)

So here are my questions. Do you use a Mac or a PC? If a PC, which kind, and has it treated you nicely or have you been cursing the day you ever got it? I'm thinking of getting the Dell XPS15. Heard good things? Bad things? Lukewarm things?

Do tell!

PS. While we're on the subject of computers, I have a funny story for you. The other day I was in the library, attempting to actually be productive and work on a paper. I had my headphones but my iPod was dead, so I plugged my earbuds into the library desktop computer--surrounded by about 50 others, most of which were taken. It was a quiet, peaceful Friday afternoon. (I know, how lame am I for being in the library on a Friday afternoon?) I'm currently on a movie soundtracks, especially Hans Zimmer, kick, so I pulled up a song from Inception on YouTube and went to town.

But the music sounded really far away. I kept turning the volume up louder and louder but it only got marginally louder in my headphones. I was completely puzzled. Then I looked down.


It gets funnier.

The song was this one:

And I started turning it up right around 1:35, aka the most badass completely embarrassing part. The entire library got to be privy to a very, very loud Hans Zimmer horn on a lazy Friday afternoon whilst they were trying to write papers and study.

The end.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday Night Sushi

L. and I probably go to Sushi Thai Garden, one of about three restaurants within walking distance of campus (that aren't sandwich/lunch shops...yes, it does get very old, especially when you don't like Indian food, like me!), once a week.

Here's a funny local hint: Students call it Sushi Thai, and professors call it Thai Garden, but nobody calls it "Sushi Thai Garden." It would sound foolish.

I've never been a huge fan of sushi--I don' t like seafood! Have I told you guys that before?--but L. loves to order Dynamite Rolls, and I can actually eat two or three before I start to remember that I'm eating seafood, taste the seafood, and feel sick.

That's progress.

Sorry these pictures aren't great. I always feel really strange using a flash in the middle of a nice restaurant! Oh, the amazing meals I have neglected to share with you guys because of the flash problem.

My chicken dish, which is what I eat when I realize I don't like eating seafood.

This weekend, I bought two incredible trench coats from the Gap outlet. I've been dying for a staple, khaki, long trench for years, and had been stalking $100 versions at Victoria's Secret and Gap. This weekend I decided to make the hour-there, hour-back commute to the outlets to see what they had, and sure enough, amazing trenches in khaki AND black awaited me. PLUS, being the queen of discounts that I am, I got them each for...are you ready? $34. $34!!! That was the discounted outlet price on top of my AAA discount. Do you guys ask for that? If you have a AAA card, lots of outlet chains will honor a 10% discount just for flashing it! Definitely try it.

The coats are a dream. They're stylish, lightweight, and perfect for LA weather! And the night I bought them it was about 50 degrees, with a warm(ish) breeze blowing and the snow melting. Spring was springing. I was so excited that I'd get to wear my new coats almost immediately.

Today, it is snowing. Again. New England FAIL. Thank god I'm leaving for LA on Friday morning...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Whirlwind Weekend

Last weekend was almost too much awesomeness packed into three days. Friday night we threw L. a birthday party for his 22nd, Saturday night was Williams' annual senior party, 100 days, marking the 100-day-and-counting mark until graduation (hurry up!), and Sunday was both Oscars day and L.'s actual birthday, for which we went out for Mexican and ate wayy too much cake.

Phew. I'm tired just thinking about it all again...and thinking about all the cake and punch I drank, I am very, VERY sorry to my body, which only wants for spring break the week after next to NOT have to swelter in jeans and sweaters in warm So. Cal. weather. Sorry body.

But I got to wear pretty dresses two nights in a row and actually put on more makeup than just a quick swipe of mascara--hell, I actually wore REAL clothes at all instead of hanging out on the couch in yoga pants and a sweatshirt--so the weekend has to be a win in my book. Here's me and my girl Sara at L.'s party Friday!

L. didn't get dressed up for his party (universal law of boys v. girls--if it's a boy's birthday he DOESN'T HAVE TO get dressed up, whereas if it's a girl's birthday she can no matter what, even if no one else does...except her boyfriend probably has to, too), but he had to get dressed up with me Saturday night for 100 Days! Muahaha.

I didn't get a picture of the Red Velvet cupcakes with which I surprised L. at his party, but I DID manage to snap one of the cake I surprised him with Sunday at our big birthday dinner! BUT it came out badly. So you'll have to take my word for it that it was very pretty.

Poor guy. It's got to get confusing when your girlfriend is yelling at you to go to the gym with her every day, but essentially throwing confectionery goods at you left and right.

But the cake was good.

I also got him the best presents he got from anyone, and I was SO HUMBLE about it too. Not. I'm REALLY into giving presents.

A Danny Woodhead jersey. I think the face says it all.

And an old train stops-inspired print that I made on Photoshop with lots of iconic/places that have meaning to us in LA, which let's face it, is also a gift for me because it's going to look SO pretty in a white frame hung up in our apartment! Here's the .jpeg:

It was super easy to make, and it cost less than $2.00 to print! I'll have to buy a frame, but if I pick up a cheap one from Ikea we will have our first piece of art for our new apartment for around $10 clams. Not too bad!

Needless to say, this past weekend was not NEARLY as eventful. We had a lot of work to catch up on, and I was still trying to purge my system of all the baked goods and punch (vodka, Crystal Light raspberry lemonade, ice, and Sprite...make it! It's SO good) to which I had subjected it, so I enjoyed curling up on the couch in leggings and a hoodie and watching some good movies (we saw The Kids Are All Right for the second time and I liked it even better than the first!)

Oh, and on Saturday L.'s a cappella group, the Octet, had their mid-semester concert.

Here they are singing "Absolutely (Story of a Girl) by Nine Days."

And here's a little treat for you--their Taylor Swift medley.

It was awesome.