Category: News

A little inspiration from the Starbucks

Once in a while a little spark catches and the world feels brighter.

I haven’t been posting. I know, I know… I think I always say that in my posts, but mostly because I’m going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment. More like a briar patch, and it’s raining salt, and it’s 3 a.m. and I’m completely naked! O: If that wasn’t enough to frighten you out of your bones…

After nine years, I think it’s time to move on. It feels like a divorce. This time, I’m peacing grease and moving myself. I’ve been living here in this sweet old house in South Greensburg since senior year of undergrad, with a one-year exception. After a year, Tash and I moved to East Pittsburgh Street. We rented the third floor of a mammoth house. It wasn’t too bad, since we are the shorter type of girls. Ha. The shower’s ceiling was slanted, so that we had to bend over to get our heads under the water.

It was kind of like a nightmare, but that is another tale for another time.

Now for the goods…

Today at work, I got a tweet from a lovely fan of our company. She has her own blog and was inquiring about doing a giveaway with our product. This isn’t something super new or anything, but I had her shoot me an email with the deets—what she was looking to do, the web address of her blog, all that fun stuff. When she responded back with the info, it took me a while to get to her email.

It was near the end of the day when I did. I clicked the link to her blog and as I began to scroll, I came across a photo that intrigued me. It was my handwriting. On a piece of paper. But where? And was I just going nutty? I started to read and as I did—it clicked!

See, a while back, I got the sudden urge to be sweet. I was at my favorite hotspot—Starbucks—and taking a pee. (Don’t the strangest moments of enlightenment happen on or around the toilet? Ha!) As I was washing my hands, I gazed up at myself in the mirror. It’s no secret that I don’t look in the mirror often. My coworkers have commented, frequently, on the state of my hair, the uncoordinated colors and patterns of my clothing, the blotches of paint on my skin… I loathe it, in fact! There are, on the other end of the spectrum, times I’ve come home with a huge smudge of pen ink on my cheek or a bit of lunch between my front teeth. I don’t like looking!

Typically I’m a hot mess. See photo.

So in a maniac mode of sorts, I flew out of the bathroom (after I washed those hands, of course!) and ripped off a scrap of paper from my Moleskine, jotting down the words:

You’re beautiful. I promise. Look again.

And this wonderful local (Frugal Foodie Mama) snapped a picture of it. Read the story here!

Inspired by this, she started a little note-leaving herself. She found a great project going on calling Operation Beautiful, in the process.

Success! I want to digress with a note about how important the small things can be, but we know this. Even a smile can change a life. I beleeeedat. Now it’s time to move some boxes.

Leave some notes, people! (:


Flavor Drop Update.

Some news. First of all, remember those Capella Flavor Drops that I blogged about a few weeks ago? Utter shit. While two of the five flavors I purchased, at least, have some flavor, the others are total duds. Unless you plan on putting like 10x the amount of drops recommended; in which case, maybe you should just poor acid on your tongue, too. The chemical-y taste is a bit too much to bear.

And to top it off, I wrote a pretty nice email to the chaps, just stating what I had found to be true—in a nice way. I didn’t request or demand FREE MERCHZZZ! or my money back. Just wanted to give them my piece. Forkers didn’t even respond. LAME! And before I get off the subject of these horrible little caustic, flavorless drops…

Word of advice: if you get a drop on your finger… DO NOT LICK IT.

Quick replay:

Note: zombie walk, baggy eyes, and the only positive thing about this picture (the coffee!)

And then I realize my order of tasty, sugar-free drops came in the day before! I couldn’t wait! I possibly didn’t sleep at night thinking about them. Kidding.

One of my favorite flavors OF ALL TIME… coconut! (: Perfect summery coffee flavor, no?

Not sure why I thought it was ok to lap up the rogue drop with my tongue, but um… it smelled good, right?

Just don’t do it. It was a combination of rubbing alcohol and tequila… and I’m pretty sure I received chemical burns on my tongue. The end.

A former colleague of mine (oh my god does that sound trite), Jason, runs an online lit mag called decomP. Kudos to him for that, first of all. But yea, he used one of my paintings (“earthbound”) as the monthly cover thang. How cool? Thanks for the pimp action, Jason. (:

Time to get ready for some Independence-style partying. Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!


ps: If you didn’t click the “Forkers” link, you may want to do that.
ps2: For you all, I refrained from CASEY ANTHONY bs. The trial has suddenly taken over my life.

New product, camping trip and obscene dream

Let me start this entry by talking about dreams. I know. I know. It can be one of the most moronic things to blog about… the unicorn ate my corn on the cob and shit out a dog. Yea. Sometimes there’s just no following a dream like that—no matter how amusing it may be to the dreamer.

I’m an avid dreamer. A lucid dreamer. I’ve flown. I’ve been licked by a pack of stray puppies. It’s all happened. But last night, like so many other nights, I dreamt I got fired. Not only did I get fired, but the reasoning? I had been taking meth mixed with aspirin? What!? I don’t even know what that means… the most interesting thing about a dream (that we can all share, I think) is that feeling the whole next day. You know how a dream just really shakes you? I was so disheartened by being fired that it had me reeeally upset. It was more of the trying-to-prove-I-wasn’t-a-drug-addict. Blah.

Anyhow, it was quite a nice weekend camping with my friend Larissa and her family. Good times. I ate enough to feed a small country and so I’m back on the wagon starting tomorrow. I bought about $75 worth of healthy groceries. Even a $10 bag of almonds. God. That’s an investment. I’m just really losing focus. I’m ready now.

I did want to talk about these flavorings I found online: Capella Flavors. Apparently it’s flavoring for many things (including coffee) without calories or sugar. Just flavor. So you drop a few drops into your iced coffee, your recipes, your tea, whatevs. I’m liking this idea. Dunkin Donuts has a similar method with their flavors—you add your own sugar, or for me, Splenda (let’s call it Splendor. It cracks me up.)

So tonight, I ordered 5 bottles of the stuff. It was buy 3 and get 2 free. Pretty good deal. Especially with the $3 shipping. I ordered tonight around 7PM and it has already shipped! (It’s 11PM). I’m ready to let you guys know how this stuff works out. I’m namely buying it for my iced coffee. But they have fruity flavors that can be used for water and so on. Check out the site, at least. There’s a lot of info on there. I purchased: Coconut, Cinnamon Danish Swirl, Vanilla Cupcake, Chocolate Raspberry and Toasted Almond. If these are good, not only will it save me a ton of money on flavored creamers, but I won’t have to put that thick creamer in my iced coffees!

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you, too, got drunk off of boxed wine… er…. something similarly delicious!

“It’s a twistah. It’s a twistah.”

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the house still stands, and I am alive. Who knew? The tornadoes caused some damage and some funny videos have surfaced, but I think everyone is ok.

Since I was a kid I had dreams of tornadoes sucking me up and spitting me out into the sky. Not today, I guess. The sky turned an eerie shade of green and Tasha grabbed Mr. Winston and put him in the basement, while I finished cooking my ham. Ha!

Edit: peep this photo, kids!

<3! xx

My History with Music & Trouble

I’d normally begin this history with a longer summary of my youth… something about arguing with my mom in the car about her Adult Contemporary radio selection. (Though, there’s really something about Phil Collins and Don Henley that really does it for me these days. HA!)  Or, taking it way back, let’s talk about how I accidentally taped over my cassettes, one Disney soundtrack at a time, with this kiddie recorder I had. In the middle of “Hakuna Matata,” there were, at least eleven, abrupt intermissions in the music, followed by a giggle or a squeal or a less original, “HELLLOOOOOO. 1 2 3.” Apparently that’s all the higher I could count at 5.

Proof of the wee chicken with her first exposure to stardom.

Anyhow, let’s bring it up to speed a bit. I have to admit this weekend seemed a little goofy from the beginning. I had no “legit” plans for Friday night. See, this is already trouble. There is something about ending the work-week with a bang. No matter how sleepy or lazy I feel by Friday at 5 PM, I’m ready for action. (Usually making time to nap first.)

After a feast of Southern-Style BBQ with friends (which fiasco I’m purposefully omitting from this tale because of my seemingly unhealthy obsession with food and over-eating), we gathered at my house to decide the next course of action. We had no ideas other than “not drinking,” which already makes me sound lame, I know.

Three guy friends and I stood on the front porch in a nerd-like panic. OMG?! IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT! DO WE HAAAVE TO GO OUT? DO YOU WANNA GO OUT? I MEAN, WHERE WOULD WE GO?… I GUESS I COULD. DO YOU WANT TO, THOUGH? After a long series of go-no-where questioning, spotted with vacant moments of expressive stares, and can-you-just-read-my-mind eyes, we finally caved. Coffee? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

There is nothing wrong with coffee: nothing wrong with the morning cup at work, the “Hey, let’s go get a cup of coffee” between old friends, and of course, the occasional caffeine mania when most every other young adult in this city is already, at the very least, tipsy and eyeing up some unhot bartender. It was 10 PM, and though, the tall/small/tiny/littlest was an option, I opted for the largest. We all did. “Go big or go home,” they say. I’m pretty sure that phrase had nothing to do with coffee, and more likely something a bit harder like Miller Lite.

For the record, I’m a huge fan of iced coffee. Especially since the weather has been giving us a little more sun and a little less snow. [Us Pennsylvanians are all feeling eager to smack ourselves into the next season (today, in fact!), SPRING.]

Yep. Like I said before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good ol’ caffeine rush among friends on your porch, on a Friday night. Until someone gets the bright idea to sing, that is. And still…

Now this is where I’m going to reverse for a moment and remind everyone (and myself) of my first high-school-aged offense. I had gotten into the routine of flailing down the hall in a silly way—specifically, doing my best opera-style “Hallelujah.” It was fun, loud, and best of all… obnoxious as all get out. What else is a freshman to do but live up to the stereotype? I obviously had no choice. My operatics had skidded their way under the radar over and over. In fact, when teachers did start catching on to my screechy proclamations, they laughed. I won.

Until one day, a certain math teacher decided to call me out on my inane (and honestly, awful) singing, when I barged into his classroom, the trail-end of my melody snailing with me. I was told to stop, mostly in a polite way. Still, I didn’t enjoy being told this in front of my peers, nor the made-up rule at all. And like most ridiculous crap teenagers had to endure, I protested. “Why? But I’m just singing? Is it really against the rules to sing in between classes? Do you not want us to be happy, Mr. So&So?” He ignored me. Of course. I was hitting too close to the truth, I thought, and decided I would do it over again the next day and see just exactly what this fool was after.  I hallelujah-ed the following day, ripping through the busy halls in song. And, boy, did I think I was brilliant with this one; I would silence myself at the exact moment I crossed the threshold into his classroom, a blatant sass-ass. Technically, I wasn’t singing in his classroom, so I wasn’t under his jurisdiction, right? I was immediately sent to the principal’s office, where after a good ten minutes of amazement at my “crime,” the principal sent me off with an obligatory detention slip. My second detention EVER was for writing: “My mom is drunk and naked on the street corner,” in Spanish. I was definitely the queen of getting absurd-sounding detentions.

Anyway, back to the much older, modern day criminals: we giggled and gabbed on my front porch on Friday night, until it was someone’s bright idea to sing. I don’t recall how it began. Perhaps someone just started and we all pitched in. Either way, our harmonies moaned and chirped over the dead-nothingness of my suburban neighborhood. The rows of houses were our acoustics, the feral rabbits our audience. We were quite pleased with ourselves, too: inserting the right “boo-ba-boos,” just the right tone or key, even the way we could mimic the sounds and backdrop beats of the original jams. And once we cleared the “Star-Spangled Banner,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Mr. Sandman,” we realized we had no other song knowledge in common. So…

Bearded One and I started with “O’ Holy Night,” and, as a group, we ran the gamut up until “White Christmas,” boosted by the bass of Hat Boy’s low vocals. We were out there for about an hour, I’m sure,  laughing at ourselves, singing, trying to remember the words to obscure second verses. Until the cops came.

Apparently, someone ratted on us. I felt an immediate sense of disbelief. REALLY? Really? really? Just as ridiculous as my 9th-grade offense, only Mr. Cop Man was nicer. He told us someone called to say we were having a “really big party” and he could see this wasn’t true. I felt like a loser. A 25-year-old chick, surrounded by her guy friends, with nothing better to do on a Friday night than overdose on iced coffee in her pajamas and sing Christmas carols, mid-March, on her porch. It’s fine. It is really fine.

Life Lesson #1875: Next time the cops get called on you, actually be engaged in something worthwhile: like intravenous drug usage, or the selling of Black-Market handbags. <3