August 13, 2012

Wrapping Up in the City of Iladelphia

I saw a street cleaner with the "Ph" missing off of "Philadelphia" and I had a major dork moment when I thought that was the funniest thing ever and I wondered why I haven't been calling Philly "Iladelphia" for the last 2 years. *le sigh*

But now you can use it and quote it as my trademark. Merry Christmas.

Where did I see this street sweeper, you ask? Why, while I was finishing up my Philly Iladelphia bucket list, of course!

  • Climb the Rocky steps and take some rocking victory photos.
  • Visit the "Love" statue and take some dork pictures.
  • Go to the Reading Terminal Market one last time.
  • Go to Brauhaus Schmitz one last time.

Well, before I get into that, I have to share my trip to Longwood Gardens. It's this place outside of the city and is absolutely GORGEOUS. When I get around to marrying that bazillionaire, I'm renting out that whole place and getting married there. It has beautiful landscaping and flowers from all over the world and fountains with every little detail of pure beauty just everywhere. I was a kid in a fucking candy store running around that place- I took 512 pictures because I wanted every moment to be commemorated forever. We went for broke (literally) on the experience and ate at the schnazzy fine dining restaurant on the grounds.

Now, as a redneck, I walked into the "fine dining" restaurant expected to a) be turned away or b) not be interested in much of the food served and probably not liking what I ordered c) pay out the ass for everything. Well, we walked in and they immediately suggested we sit outside (clearly the undesirable section) which was nice since the weather wasn't unholy hot as Hell and we could look out at the gardens (dem rich folks were missing out in my opinion). They brought out this yellow tomato with a basil leaf on top in a spoon on a plate. I think it was supposed to be a palate cleanser/awakener of some sort but my. God. I'm pretty sure that was just some candid camera shit where they put stuff in front of customers and then film them eating it, not knowing any better. That was rancid. It was like I walked off the path of the conservatory and just ate a handful of foliage or something. Just. Horrible. For the entrees, I actually saw 2 meals I was interested in which were 19 bucks a pop (yikes!) but the meal I really wanted was the special which was, of course, 38 bucks... so, in a way, I was totally thrifty... right?... Probably not but let me have my moment. We both got one of the 2 dishes and they were both pretty good. I loved my friend's dish more and she couldn't stand it but I was happy I was able to clean my plate even with grits being on it. That's right, ma! Look at me go! We also got an appetizer (after the meal, oops) and a dessert each. I didn't think either of them were hot shit but I cleaned all them up (hey, you don't become 170 pounds by leaving food on your plate, nor do you survive in a redneck household by wasting food- especially expensive food). All the ingredients were super fresh and fanciful and I ate it all. Me. Super notoriously picky eater. Ate. It. All. 

Being with food baby, we started to burn off all those tasty calories by walking around the conservatory and fields. I frolicked frequently and loved the kid's area, taking a bazillion pictures like I was some creepy pedophile (note: children were NOT in the photos, it was just in the kid area, by myself, with a camera, super excited about the fountains and flowers). As night fell, their new exhibit of lights across the park started up and we made multiple laps, ensuring that we saw everything. It was so beautiful. I wish I could do the whole experience again, especially if I had a better camera. Just wonderful. I'm so making a trip up there in the winter to frolic with whatever event they have planned. I loved the place.

One of the better pictures I took at night- so patriotic!

Piggy! At the Reading Terminal Market
On Saturday, my friend and I ventured out for her first trip to the Reading Terminal Market. Every time I go there, I walk by this one place that has all these chocolate truffle flavors that look super tasty and I think, "One day, I'll actually buy some." Well, I finally did. And I've only had one two- eating my second right now- but they're pretty epic.

Then we drove down a couple blocks parking next to the Philadelphia College of Fine Arts and took some cool pictures on the sculptures there until I got yelled at for sitting on it (then why make it look like a chair?!) and walked over to Love Park, taking more photos along the way. No super dorky photos were taken right in front of the statue (since the line to do that was unreal) but I got some cute city living photos.


We trekked along to the Art Museum, where I took all sorts of pictures of buildings, statues, memorials, etc. I have no idea what most of them were for because my friend wasn't into stopping for copious photo opportunities and learning about some of the culture but the photos look really nice- I'm getting so much better at photography, thanks to scrapbooking.

Which leads me to a slight detour from this past weekend (but still on the bucket list track). I'm thinking for the consulting gig, I'm going to go with scrapbooking. Maybe hospital sex therapy consultant will pan out down the road (especially since I met another networking lead this weekend- even though he doesn't know it *evil laugh*). I came to this conclusion after considering my last group supervision (I know-my LAST!). We discussed some self-care stuff and another intern happened to throw out there how she has this creative side which for years went neglected until she forced herself to do it. I thought about how I could conduct scrapbooking parties like my cousin used to do and long story short (too late), I'm going to go with that as my consulting venue for the time being. I'll do more research in the next few weeks but I'm pretty sure that's the best to do in order to meet my goals and develop some self-care stuff.

Speaking of self-care- I'm totally slacking on Finish my first textbook for my doctorate. I keep rationalizing my lack of reading as self-care but the reality is 90% of the information is review for me (sometimes a review for the 6th time) and while it's exciting to learn the new 10% of information, having to bore through the 90% to get to it is slowly. driving. me. mad. The chapter that has officially taken me over a week to complete is about gender, which as an androgynous person, I know the dog crap out of. Plus, the next couple of chapters is sexuality in childhood/adolescence/adulthood which incorporates development (which I hate, loathe, dislike with the fiery passions of Hell) into sexuality to form a hot-mess-of-statistics-which-carries-on-for-several-pages which makes me want to power through this gender chapter even less.

I feel like the "Final Countdown" should play with this picture
Now that I've totally shot my productivity down, back to this weekend-

We got to the Art Museum/Rocky steps which were, of course, ridiculously busy with tourists and people actually training. I don't know why I didn't expect to see people training there. I think it's because I felt embarrassed by my desire to have a touristy moment, I just assumed no one would do the cliched douchiness as a daily life habit. But, uh, there they were.

There's no good cliche pictures of me at the top of the steps, so they're not here. But we did stand in line to take photos with Rocky himself. Because I love Sylvester Stallone like that... *psh* not.

As we walked back to my car, we made it just in time before it started to downpour. We got into my car and began to go to Brauhaus. Side note- after looking at some of the parking expenses I've paid over the last few months and starting a budget for myself, I'm soooooo not going to miss that when I move back to the suburbs. Throughout the day, I kept wondering if there was anything else I wanted to do in Iladelphia and the only thing I could come up with was "I wouldn't mind having one of those ridiculously strong daiquiris from that place that has a shit-ton of flavors served out of slurpee machines." which I had my first night out on the town and out with my guy friend and I distinctly remember being unable to finish a frozen drink for the first time because it was THAT potent. It was Fat Tuesdays, which come to find out later is well known for being super sketch and very popular for it's daiquiris.

In some cosmic manner, my guy friend randomly suggested we go to Fat Tuesdays after Brauhaus. Sold. So after I enjoyed my 3 raspberry beers, German sausages and potato pancake and berry tart,. we headed over to Fat Tuesdays. I finished 2 whole daiquiris without feeling a thing (oh, have times changed!). From there, it was to the gay bar, Bob & Barbara's for some classic music from a small jazz band (including Let's Stay Together). Good night out.

And that's it for my Iladelphia (sick of that yet?) adventures! Next weekend it's moving back half my stuff which I'm currently glaring at in the corner and then finishing up my internship next week! Chances are, I may not get back on until I'm in another Commonwealth, trapped in the basement but that will begin another fun chapter of excitement...
Beer is good, so we should drink some more!

Thanks Unconscious, Not Like I Noticed That Already...

So, we're breaking from bucket list updating (which does need another post) because I had a jacked up dream last night that's just sticking with me today.

For anybody who's known me for an extended period, you know that I'm at a constant Cold War with my sleep... and now all the rest of you know too, I guess...

ANYWAY! I've had chronic insomnia since, like, the womb. You can still get my mom fired up about my shitty sleeping habits when I was a baby- "We would've killed, KILLED for 5 hours of sleep! We heard other parents talk about their baby sleeping for only 8 hours and thought, 'Oh, must be nice...'" Unfortunately, you're missing my mom's facial expressions which I can vividly see in my head but they very closely resemble some combination of the Grinch looking down at Whooville and PETA member in a steakhouse.

I don't have many memories before the age of 6, but most of the ones I do have are of playing with my stuffed animals, cleaning, and/or singing/talking to myself into the night. Hey, don't judge me, I'm an only child- got to find some way to keep yourself entertained and when you're awake 20 hours of the day, you run out of options. I just don't remember sleeping... ever... Although I'm sure I did because I also remember constant nightmares. I didn't have a nightmare-less night until I was 13 or 14. It got to the point where "nightmares" became a fluid term- there are the nightmares that disturb me so badly that I never go back to sleep or there are the nightmares where I wake up scared shitless and/or crying but I can self-soothe and go back to sleep.

On the plus side, I've gained a ridiculous amount of control over my dreams. When I see a dream turning for the worst, I can wake myself up and then go back to sleep or pretty much say, "Fuck this" and start flying around the dream. I've heard all my life how TV kills imagination and I've always thought, "I. wish." because my unconscious will take a concept from a TV show or movie and blow it into extreme proportions rendering sleep useless.

Some 4 or 5 years ago, I no longer had such an issue. Dreams were exaggerations of real life sprinkled with the occasional disturbing dream. Every now and then, a dream will stick with me throughout the day for some reason (usually I can process it and move on), like last night.

Last night I dreamed that I walked into my internship on Wednesday and everything had been changed, there were new therapist which cause me (as an intern on her way out) to be ousted from my assigned office and out every office, forcing me to conduct therapy in the conference room. To add insult to injury, in the mix-up of the new office, my client got scheduled an hour before I entered the office and had been waiting for 40 minutes when I arrived. The rest of the dream was me yelling at people to get out of the conference room because I was trying to conduct therapy. I even surprised myself in my dream by my voice raising several octaves while screaming, "WHAT?!" when the 70th or so person tried to enter the room. I finally escorted the client out since I was clearly in no stance to provide therapy and when I walked to the front, I found that everyone whom I had been screaming at were accusing me of not being LGBTQ sensitive (like that has anything to do with anything) and I explained to the CEO how I was unable to do anything where I was.

Except the CEO didn't look like our agency's CEO, she looked and sounded like the Horse Master from the summer camp I used to go to, whom I haven't thought about for years but I love her so that made the dream very enjoyable for a hot second.

Everything in the dream has actually happened to me at my internship (well, except being accused of not being LGBTQ sensitive- don't know where that shit came from). I also have never had to end therapy because I was in a bad state. But I have been forced to use the conference room and then had 6 people walk in on three of my sessions (which is why there is a bright orange sign saying "Check schedule and knock first before entering" on the conference room door that just HAPPENS to be in my scrawl); I have recently been ousted from the office I was in; I have had a client scheduled before I started work; and I have walked into the office with everything changed multiple times.

But my brain took this, exaggerated it, and threw in an ongoing theme in my dreams- struggling to keep people out of my space. I woke up really annoyed but my real beef is that my unconscious will not let me take a break. I get it, I feel I have no space that's genuinely my own, particularly with my apartment looking like unholy hell and the toilet constantly running (making me constantly fuming). It's something I sit here and think about all day in one way or another so, shit, let it go for these brief 7 hours when I'm trying to sleep. Think about Reno 911! since I just watched a 4 hour marathon. Think about being a criminal profiler for the FBI (hells yes, Criminal Minds). Think about puppies and rainbows for all I care, just let go of the shenanigans I waste my day thinking about for 7 freaking hours... geesh.

And then, of course, I wake up and write a blog post about how infuriating that shit is... if that's not ironic, I don't know what is.

August 7, 2012

She Decided She Was Going to Have a Bad Time and You Know What? She Did.

For those of you coming from Facebook, that is a repeat title but here I can explain it-

Wait, can we have a moment to recognize that I'm back on top of this blogging thing?

Did we get it? Have we truly embraced this moment?

Ok, super.

Anyway, this weekend was the last big blow-out my classmates have been planning for weeks. And soon as plans got nailed into place it was clear we were going to Silk City. Now, our group hasn't found a really good bar since Paradigm got shut down for alcohol violations (R.I.P), but Silk City is up there on the list of clubs I have not been remotely impressed with.

First, it's half a fifties diner; and as I explained to my mom- you cannot sell the best milkshakes in Philadelphia and also be a good night club. Just not possible. Second, we went there three times previously and each time they started the night out with top 40 of the last 5 years. I'm not crazy about this music but, hey, it's a club- I walk in expecting that. Then, somewhere around 11pm (which is when things pick up), they started to play Spice Girls... then N'SYNC... then Blink 182... Ok, blast from the past music is ok for a few songs or even dispersed throughout the night but THREE HOURS LATER, nostalgia time is over- time to replay the shit played earlier. Following 90s pop with douche-bag White frat guy music is also not acceptable. For those who do not know what douche-bag White frat guy music is, it's essentially classics that are played to be seen as "unique" or "different" except it's the same "unique", "different" shit played by every other DJ in the city. This would include "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Build Me Up Buttercup," "Billy Jean," and a Jackson 5 song, usually "ABC"- again, epic songs but after hearing it for the 10th time in a club, especially after hearing N'SYNC (which I didn't even listen to when it was cool), it's not cute. It's not unique. Stop it. To top it all off, everyone in the group would agree that the music sucked and blew and we wouldn't go back again. But they were drunk. So, naturally, when the place would get suggested again I'd get pissed exclaiming how we ALL thought the music sucked! And none of them would remember. Um, hello, you were blackout drunk. I'm telling you, as the only person with a fully intact memory that you did not like that place.

But I digress. I was complaining to my mom how this was the chosen place by the group and I was pissed. And of course, being a mom, my mom reminded me that if I decide I'm going to have a bad time, I'm going to have a bad time. She even texted me this family joke while I was walking out with my friends to start on our day-long adventuring on Saturday afternoon. I had to laugh aloud and my friends asked about it, to which I relayed the following story which created this family joke:
When my grandmother (Suzanne) was in her late teens, her parents paid for her to go on an epic trip to visit family in San Diego during the summer. Being stubborn (I know that doesn't sound anything like someone you know), my grandmother was convinced the trip would suck and she didn't want to go. Afterward, my great-grandmother described the trip to others, "Beautiful trip! Wonderful trip! Anybody would have loved it. But Suzie decided she wasn't going to have a good time. And you know what? She didn't."
I concluded the story saying how I try to make the most out of anything. Because if you decide you're going to have a bad time- you will. Nobody is going to have a good time for your ass so you might as well do the work.

Having said that, I had a wonderful weekend. Silk City played pretty good music (I was very surprised) but was hotter than a gnat's snatch on the equator! Like, my God, we walked outside and it felt like a refreshing Fall day in comparison. It was hotter than Satan's armpits. Shit. was. HOT.

BUT I HAD FUN! And crossed something off my bucket list (see previous post)!
  • Have one last blow-out with the dorks I call colleagues

Done! And this weekend I'm hoping to go out again (yup, pushing back that moving even further) and knock off the Rocky steps, the Love Sign, Brau Haus, and Reading Terminal Market. It'll be sweettt!


I'm working on other stuff on the list too! I'm working through the textbook (even though this weekend's shenanigans set me back a bit), work through the focusing problems (I had an epic conversation with my supervisor about it- for a later post), design a piece of furniture (it's going to be a French credenza/pie safe combo which sounds bad now but it looks awesome... in my head), I've established a last meal schedule for my final weeks (minor detail I did it to buy the exact food I needed and to cook everything so I can move back the cooking supplies), been going to the gym (to work on that weight situation which I'm trying to not let bug me in all the fun beach pictures we took on Sunday), and as far as having a strong relationship with an awesome man...

I LOVE the movie PS I Love You. If Gerard Butler's character were real, I'd be all over that. Besides the obvious sexiness (particularly in the arm area), I love how he's funny, patient, says the sweetest things (we'll ignore that it was scripted), has a good time, is ambitious, has a hobby (singing and guitar), and can calm the neurotic Hilary Swank chick ridiculously quickly... because Lord knows I need that!

Probably shouldn't go for an Irishman though, being as I'm mostly English and Scottish... BUT I have a template. Now if building a man were as easy as building a French credenza/pie safe, we'd be in business.

Yea, reusing this picture since I wasn't sure about posting pictures with other people.

August 1, 2012

Bucket List

Let's have a moment to consider why there's no "living list" term. It's only the bucket list. You need to accomplish this, this, and this before you croak. Since there is a time limit on this shit, it is now becoming a bucket list.

Before I leave Philly:
  • Climb the Rocky steps and take some rocking victory pictures. I've never seen the movie nor do I really have plans to but seriously, you're in Philly, whats the most immature cliche thing you can do and still relatively argue yourself as a badass?
  • Visit the "Love" statue and take some dork pictures. This was the only thing I wanted to visit in Philly besides the Reading Terminal Market (which has been checked several times over). No idea what attracted me to it initially (since I'm pretty over it right now) but I feel like if I lived here for 2 years and didn't do it, I'd be one lazy ass.
  • Speaking of the RTM... Go to the Reading Terminal Market one last time. I feel I don't need to explain this one- that place is the fucking shizz.
  • Go to Brauhaus Schmitz one last time. Also does not need an explanation. My favorite place in Philly because who doesn't like being a German and enjoying some snau-sages?
  • Have one last blow-out with the dorks I call colleagues... at least one.
  • FINISH MY INTERNSHIP. Ok, that probably should have been the first thing on the list but I'm really not trying to jinx myself.
  • Finish my first textbook for my doctorate. I've already started reading it and it's just so depressing that I will have absolutely NO break between my masters and doctorate. Like, not even 2 second break. No stopping from here for the next 4+ years.

By the end of 2012:
  • Have the basement mostly done. And when I mean mostly done, I mean being able to wake up and not think, "Ugh, God, I have to fix that." Honestly, this is the biggest stretch on the list but, hey, go big or go the fuck home.
  • Build a piece of furniture I have designed from scratch. Hopefully, I will have built 4 or so but after the overly ambitious previous item, I wanted to cut back and feel better about myself.
  • Start another blog for my DIY escapades illustrating the previous 2. Because if I cannot even keep up with one blog, I can surely keep up with 2.
  • Lose 5 pounds. I really thought I'd be looking at 155 right now after a year of going to the gym but honestly, I have gotten very little out of the gym- we're talking only 5 pounds lost, no inches lost (arguably inches GAINED and in all the places that weren't bulky when I bought my entire wardrobe *grumblegrumble* fuck my life *grumble*), and I still hate it... a lot. I have gotten more energy which may be contributing to the SEVERE focusing problems I've been having in 2012.
  • Anddd speaking of the focusing problems... Get on top of the focusing problems. This also involves finding another general practitioner since I'm pretty much fed up with my previous one whom wants me to get a CT scan before she's willing to prescribe me anything for my focusing problems which sounds a whole lot like ADHD. But what do I know about psychological disorders? I'm just a lowly psyc major and therapist...
 By the end of 2014:
  • Be moving out of the parentals. Ideally, into my own place but since Northern VA is SO expensive, I'm not trying to set myself up for failure, here.
  • Be working in mental health again. I've already resolved that I have to get a temp agency for the next year or so and if I want to save dough, I have to get a job that actually PAYS as opposed to an internship in the field which probably will not.
  • Established a meal schedule... and actually stick to it for more than 2 weeks!
  • Lose 10 pounds (including the previous 5). I feel that that is reasonable especially since people lose that much in 1 month, shit...
  • Hang out with my relatives more. Including connecting to my mom's former stepmom (if she's willing), reconnecting to my great aunt, reconnecting with all my cousins (my youngest cousin is, like, 6! and I think I've seen him in person once and he was totally only 2- I have no idea what the hell happened to him because it hasn't felt like 4 years), and hanging out with my grandmother at least once a month (but ideally once every other week).
  • Start therapy for myself. Ideally, I want to start this by the end of 2012 but as I'm looking at my list, I may be shooting my wad, here.

By the end of 2016:
  • Have my doctorate. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope so... really
  • Be in a strong relationship with an awesome man. Yea, I feel like I should not list this as a goal to be accomplished in a certain time frame but I like to dream.
  • Study the shit out of BDSM and other topics on my own without being prompted by Widener. I know I've been talking about my disappointment in my programs (a brewing post), but to be honest, I don't want to settle with the education given to me. The moment I stop searching for more answers is the moment I know I'm missing stuff.
  • Take a course not related to my career. I'm aiming for furniture-making course but if drumming or something else works out, I'll go for that.
  • Start a consulting gig. I wouldn't mind being a sexual consultant for hospitals, schools, sex toy party consultant, -hell- even a scrapbooking consultant would be really cool.
  • Be a licensed MFT. This is the one thing on the list that if I don't have, I won't be super bummed about since it's quite possible that that is not in the cards yet.
  • KEEP YOU GUYS INFORMED OF MY PROGRESS!!! And keep up with this blog. I don't always promise funny posts (and I got to stop expecting that from myself since that's what prevents me from writing), but hopefully most of them will be keepers.

So there it is people! Keep asking me about it so I will have to do it to not feel like a complete and total ass who has to respond, "Uh, I haven't done shit"!

Also, Philly people, expect to be hit up for the first part of the list.