Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

This year, living on the 3rd floor of a building, I don't have trick-or-treaters, which is probably good 'cause it kept me from re-filling the HUGE candy bowl my Mom bought me when she was out here visiting a couple weeks ago.

I dressed up and went to a party on Friday, which was fun.  My costume was a 1920's cigarette girl (borrowed from a volunteering gig I had at speakeasy themed Planned Parenthood fundraiser) only for this party, I bought a bunch of candy cigarettes, and then spent the night telling people how much cooler they looked pretending to smoke.

Saturday, Precisely and I stayed in and sufficiently freaked ourselves out watching the Exorcism of Emily Rose.  Very creepy, very well done, if I ever wake up in the middle of the night and see that it's 3am, I will freak out.  This is why having a roommate is good.  Tonight also premiers a new zombie television show in the time slot that used to be Mad Men, and since we live in Pittsburgh, we pretty much have to watch it, and will probably like it.

Last week, I went on a historic bar-crawl of Lawrenceville, organized by the Young Preservationist Association.  It was a great event, I met some really interesting people, had some tasty drinks, and learned SO MUCH about the neighborhood I lived in that I had no clue about!  The very first building we were in, our tour guide was explaining, was built on what was originally the village graveyard.  Apparently, she went on to say, the builder wasn't exactly very careful about moving graves over to the new graveyard, so this building was basically the house in Poltergeist.

"Is it haunted?" I asked.

"Well," she said.  "I don't believe in ghosts, but you can if you want."

I wasn't quite sure what to make of that answer.  And you don't have to believe in ghosts, to tell ghost stories, ESPECIALLY when you're standing in a building built on a grave sight 3 days before Halloween.

But I suppose that is why she is a historian, and I am someone who enjoys hearing ghost stories.

Happy Halloween!  Go Steelers!

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Which I Introduce My Passion Project

Passion project is a term I came upon somewhat recently in the blogosphere, and I like it a lot.  A passion project is not your job.  You may never make money from it, or, such is the case with my passion project, the money you make is then donated.  A passion project is not a hobby, because it's more than that.

Running is my hobby.  Sewing is a hobby.  Blogging (except for when I blog for work I suppose) is a really fun hobby.  Volunteering even is a hobby for me at this point, but there is one project I'm involved with that has taken on a whole new level of commitment, which is why I think the term "passion project" suits it perfectly.  It is Love of Friends.

I was first involved with Love of Friends (LoF), 3 years ago.  Regina mentioned that she needed volunteers, and I, desperately looking for something to do on Valentine's Day which fell on a Saturday that year, eagerly signed up.

That year was the 3rd year LoF was held, and while it had originated as a potluck in Regina's house, 2009 saw more than 300 people cram into the WYEP studios in the southside to celebrate art, music, friends, and of course, dance!

The party was so much fun.  It was the best Valentines Day I had ever had.  I even met a cute guy there, who I went on a couple of dates with (Volunteering is sexy y'all!) I told Regina that the next year, I wanted to help with more than just the day-of set up.

So for LoF 4, I found myself on the planning committee.  I roped in the Artist, who designed our logo, graphics, and decorations.  The team met regularly over wine and triscuits.  We sewed more than 150 tote bags out of recycled t-shirts.  We got kicked out of our location 3 days before the event, found a new venue (Thanks Union Project!), and threw an awesome party.

This year, as we are preparing for LoF5 (5 years you guys!) I am living Love of Friends.  Besides the meetings, and work that is typical when planning an event, we are doing more crafting/preparing/writing/thinking/scheming than ever before.  The core team has expanded to include another friend who brings both talent and testosterone to our group.  We have a great website with information on the event, and how to stay involved with us throughout the year.

So yea, Love of Friends is a party that happens on Valentine's Day, but more than that it is a celebration. And we have things to celebrate all year long.

Stay tuned, it may be October, but you'll be hearing from the LoF team well before (and after) Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love story

According to the internets, which, you know, is always right, Taylor Swift is dating Jake Gyllenhaal, which is probably the most depressing piece of celebrity news I've heard.  Ever.

Jake Gyllenhaal has been my go to celebrity crush, (gosh, even his last name comes up on my spellcheck.  Swoon.) since I first saw Donnie Darko.  Omg do you guys remember him in that black hoody?!!? I digress...

Anyway, not only is he gorgeous.  But he loves the Steelers, he has an awesome sister who would probably be an amazing sister-in-law, and did I mention how good looking he is?

And Taylor Swift is beautiful.  She's got that long neck thing going on, and her arms look great, which is probably why she plays the guitar in sleeveless dresses all the time.

But seriously Jake, Taylor Swift?  She's so... annoying.

Now, granted I am not a Taylor Swift fan, so I don't know all of her music, but from what I have heard, she sings about getting married.

It's not just songs about falling in love.  They all end with her getting proposed to, "I talked to your Dad, go pick out a white dress," or feature her in music videos going through the stages of dating, marriage, and kids, without ever aging of course.

Now, maybe this is her schtick.  And Elvis Costello once wisely said, "there are only 5 things in the world to write songs about..." but guess what wasn't one of the 5 things?  Yea, weddings.

So here's my question Taylor.  What about the loves that don't end in marriage?  Where are your songs about that boy you thought you were in love with who you lost touch with after you left for college, and when you ran into him a couple years later, you were so glad he was no longer a part of your life?  Or what about the boy you thought you were in love with, who once you finally accepted that he wasn't "the one" and was never going to love you back the way you wanted him to, you hurt so bad you were actually convinced that you were broken forever and would never be happy again?  Or what about the boy you fell so fast and hard for, only to realize that you were just a fling before he moved away?

And what about the boys who weren't right at all?  Who kissed you, and you felt nothing.  Who you said goodnight to and were really saying "goodbye forever, no seriously don't call me again" to?  What about all the bad dates, and the messy break-ups, and the awkward run-ins, and guys who hit on you only to later admit that they had girlfriends?

What about the relationships that were fleeting.  Not even long-term let alone forever, but that taught you so much?

And what about the men you meet that make you think, even after all that, maybe this could be something, or maybe it will be nothing, but I'm willing to try and find out.

What about all of those love stories?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Learn Something New Every Day

I have a penchant for big bags.  Part of this is out of necessity, since I carry my laptop around with me most days, and part of this is liking to have stuff on hand.  Having a big bag is a security blanket of sorts.  The nights I go out with just a clutch?  I feel very exposed indeed.

After having several bags break on me due to the weight I was forcing them to carry on a daily basis, I finally got fed up, and decided to buy luggage.  So for the past couple of years, my go-to bag has been a light blue vintage samsonite carry on.  It slings over my shoulder perfectly.  It fits my laptop nicely.  It holds all my stuff, and looks good with all of my coats.

Precisely tells me it makes me look like a stewardess.  I choose to interpret this as a compliment.

The problem with having a big bag however, is that you get lazy.  The bag becomes a black hole of sorts, where you start throwing things in there, and never bothering to take them out.  Papers, receipts, business cards, gum wrappers, bits of things that have broken and you can no longer tell what they originally were... you get the picture.

Today I learned that if your bottle of Advil somehow opens (even with a childproof lid!) in your bag dumping pills all over the bottom, you should clean them up right away.  Because if you don't, and one day while commuting to work, your water bottle somehow opens and spills over everything, the pills will dissolve, and you will be left with a layer of pink chalky goo, coating the entire bottom of your bag.

My life is so glamorous sometimes, I can hardly stand it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


You know when you have really realistic dreams, and then you spend all this time searching for an email you're convinced you need to respond to, but you don't actually need to respond to because you dreamed it, and it doesn't actually exist?

I hate that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Work Hard, Play Harder

Pittsburgh is a really fun town, because it's easy to get involved here.  There are a lot of non-profits and organizations, which means there are a lot of parties to go to or volunteer at.  There is this culture of super-involved people, who are also really cool, and fun to hang out with.  You start volunteering at a couple of events, and the next thing you know, you're sitting on committees, serving as co-chairs, and writing things in your calendar for like, a year in advance.  You get to a point where you start showing up at these parties, and you already know a ton of people.  You may not get paid as a volunteer, but you get to party for free.  We're like, hybrid-socialites.

Friday was Riverlife's first fundraiser, Party on the Pier.  It was so fun!  Highlights included:
- A Boat Ride on the Gateway Clipper
- Cake on the Gateway clipper!
- Food from Enricos (yum!)
- My new knee high boots
- Whiskey and Cider cocktails
- Dancing! (It had been a while, and felt so good!)
- Impromptu brainstorming sessions for LoF
- Late night fire pit
- Becoming stranded on the North Side resulting in a group slumber party
- Group walk of shame back across the Andy Warhol bridge into Downtown the following morning.  (When there's 5 of you, it's not so much shameful as it is a tired-but-fun-walk-in-the-clothes-you-wore-the-night-before, during which you make stops for coffee at Starbucks, slurpees at 7-11, and pumpkin pancakes in the strip.)

Just for the record, volunteering is awesome.

Saturday my friend/coworker got married.  It was a beautiful wedding!  I don't talk about my job much on this blog, but gosh I love my coworkers.  We had a blast.
- My boss pulling me on the dance floor telling me that this would affect my performance review
- Getting totally lost while driving in Southwestern PA
- More dancing!  And feeling the effect of all that marathon training in my very tired legs
- A photo booth, with props, that we had far too much fun with
- the best wedding cake I've ever had!
- Laughing so hard we cried. (Shout out to table 13.)
- The dollar bridal dance, which almost every single guest participated in
- Deciding to go through a haunted house on our way home from the reception (in our wedding attire, i.e. high-heels)
- Getting to Demon house and finding out the admission was $17.  Deciding that was scary enough, and to just go home instead
- A great cookie table (for my family and friends who are not in pittsburgh, and don't know about the cookie table, this is your warning that regardless of when and where I get married, I am having a cookie table, and I'll expect your participation.)
- Singing Katy Perry songs with the Artist's boyfriend

Sunday was:
- Sweatshirts and leggings
- Replacing marathon training with an Arrested Development marathon
- Bowling (I had to leave the game early and still won.  That's because I rock at delegating.)
- Sushi
- Mad Men

October, you're shaping up to be a great month.