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...