Musings

of that crazy ginger girl around the block…

I probably should name this…

Right, so that whole posting to a blog thing – you actually have to sit down and do it, don’t you??

I told you guys, I’m terrible at this.  But there are some exciting things to share with everyone.

So, number 1 – I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL!  Honestly, it wasn’t a huge stress factor as I made it out to be.  I’m sure I had glowing recommendations from the people I requested and I had a fairly good GPA from Seton Hill when I graduated.  However, about an hour after I got the letter, there was a sinking feeling in my stomach about how the hell I was going to pay for this – donations anyone??  Haha, kidding (only kind of) but I’ll figure it out.  As Amy told me, I have to think of it as an investment in myself. 

Second exciting thing is I got cast in a show with Stage Right out of Boyd Community Center.  It’s called The Musical of Musicals (the Musical).  It’s mainly exciting because, really, I’ve done musicals before, but this is the first one where I’ll be playing a large role.  It’s also a tiny cast (4 actors and the pianist), but still…it’s exciting for me.  Like the first validation of my singing talent.

Also, I’ve decided I want to start a weekly book review – hopefully it will encourage me to read more (and post more) and actually hone in on my reviewing skills.  My book review skills are actually kind of pathetic for as well as I did in English and how often I read.  But practice makes perfect, right?  So, once I figure out when I want to do them, I’ll start posting them regularly.  And maybe posting them on Facebook – eek!

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Welcome to the New Year!

So, I’ve been lax about posting here.  To be honest, I thought this would happen.  I’m not one to really write about my feelings or write much (about me at least) at all – I prefer to talk it till 12 in the morning with Candice and get insta-feedback (true story – that happened Tuesday night [Wednesday night?  Some night this week].  She got home about 9:30, which is about when I’m turning in [true story, I’m actually a 45 year disguised as a 25 year old], we started talking and next thing we knew it was midnight!  Whoops!)  But so, what has been happening in my life, you may ask.  Well let me tell you…

1) I turned 25!  Yes, a whole quarter of century old.  Candice and I were at the local restaurant/bar we usually go to to watch Pens games and I had this brief, minute panic moment where I realized I was going to be a quarter of a century old – what!  But, I got over it and it hasn’t happened since.  I got a very sweet voice mail from Sam at about 12:15A since he was working a PM to AM shift and then that evening, my aunt and uncle had a wonderfully delicious dinner for me and Candice.  Birthday menus and all – my aunt is seriously, by far, the best cook I know.  She made Indian and she’s vegetarian, but, oh, so delicious!

2) It became 2014!  Well, that happened for everyone, but Candice and I have taken to hosting a small New Years Eve gathering at our place – in fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve (or at least I have) hosted a New Years ever since we were living together at the 426 (our nickname for the house we lived in college because it was at, ironically, 426 Concord – clever, I know) our senior year of college.  4 New Years in a row.  It was a wonderful little party with friends and Cards Against Humanity (like Apples to Apples, but so much easier to offend) and Freddie/Marcus.  Who is Freddie/Marcus, you ask?  Well, Freddie/Marcus is #3.

3) We caught a mouse! Ew.  Not got, like we decided to get one as pet.  No, we had a nasty little fellow scampering around who decided to crash our New Years Eve Party.  At least it was towards to the end and everyone was starting to contemplate leaving anyways.  I won’t tell you how, only that we have yet to see another one and so, we think the Great Mouse Experience of 2013-2014 is over!  Thank goodness!

4) I got to party with new Pittsburgh Mayor, Bill Peduto!  Candice and Colleen sing in choir that happened to land a gig at Mayor Peduto’s inauguration party and they were allowed one guest.  And, of course, I have the BEST roommate in the world who knows that I love local politics and kindly invited me to be her plus one.  It was at the Heinz History Center and we had so much fun roaming around and exploring it.  Plus, we got a picture with the mayor!  It hasn’t been published on the photographers website, but you know the minute I get it, I’ll post it as my Facebook profile picture!  It was great to see, though, that as much as Mayor Peduto talked about supporting the arts in Pittsburgh, he really did.  There were some great small arts organizations, like Belle Voci, the group Candice and Colleen sing in, plus some really awesome dance troupes that did some great things!

5) Downton Abbey started Season 4!  And, boy, what a way to start.  Episode 1/2 here in the states, we (Candice, Colleen, and myself) all agreed was a little meh.  But Episode 3.  Oh Episode 3.  We were not prepared for that one. Well, Colleen and I were, but we thought we had another week at least to prepare ourselves!  Anyone have any thoughts on that one??

6) I submitted my grad school application!  Everything is in and now I play the waiting game.  I’ve applied to just one program, but I’m really excited about it.  It’s at Carlow University, their MBA with a concentration in Program Management.  I kind of fell into program management naturally through stage management, but I can see it going much further, especially with all the interesting things happening at work now.

Those are the really big things that have happened so far in 2014 – but there’s been some wonderful little things here and there too.  Dinners with Sam, dinners with Candice, dinners with other friends and just plan being fun and spunky like always.  I hope everyone else had a fun and safe New Years and that things continue to go great for everyone!

One small step…

Today is a very exciting day for me y’all (yes, I use the word y’all, even when I type).

Today, I am making the first of many final payments on a loan!ImageYes, I’m nerdy enough to take a picture of it.  But, guys, this is a big deal!  And it’s really only possible because of a VERY generous Christmas gift from my aunt and uncle (THANK YOU AGAIN AUNT SKIPPER AND UNCLE D!! – and yes, they already got a phone call AND a thank you note, besides a shout out here – that they’ll probably never see).

So, as to what I’ll do with the butt-loads of money I’ll have now?  Yea, right…the loan payment was actually only $30 a month, but, guys, that’s $30 a month I can now spend however I want.  Though, to be honest, I know exactly where that monthly payment will go – savings and my kajillion other loans.

Okay, maybe not kajillion, but still, I did graduate with a fair number – not as bad as some, but significantly more than if I had gone to Indiana U. of PA like my mom kind of wanted.

But if I had gone there, I know I wouldn’t be where I am now and that’s such a great place that sometimes I kind of just have to stop and go “God, I am so lucky.  Thank you.”

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!  I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted and that you had a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends, and surrounded by lots of love.  I know I got to and I’m excited that I got to spend my first Christmas with Sam – here’s looking forward to many, many more with both of our families!

Merry Christmas!!

Suzy Homemaker

So, folks, sometimes I get uber domestic and do something really crafty like this:

IMG_0882Now, don’t get all impressed and think I did this all in one day – hell no!  This took about 3 months.  But I’m uber proud of it and will show it off to the world.

And then I also did this:

IMG_0885

Those, my dear friends, are pumpkin gingersnap cookies, already for “Thanksgiving” dinner at the farm on Saturday.  Yum!  Now, least you think I am a baking goddess and many praises should be laid at my feet, the recipe for these little delightful balls of bliss actually came from Two Peas and their Pod (the link takes you directly to the recipe).  BTW, the four missing from the far cooling rack probably ended up in my stomach when it was just poor cookie dough – but cookie dough doesn’t have calories, so I’m in the clear, right???

There is something actually kind of enjoyable about sitting there kind of comatose and knitting a bunch of rows or throwing things in a bowl and seeing it become something that you can share and bring enjoyment to other people lives.

I’ve come to realize though, I’m a bit of a stress baker – not that these cookies were the result of a stress baking.  Back in April, one of my college roommate lost a battle with drug addiction and when Candice (who had been her best friend growing up) got home that night, there was food galore in that house – including a recipe for buttermilk pie that wasn’t terrible.  However, I can see stress baking becoming a huge factor in the next couple of months because…

…I’m applying for grad school (you all thought I was going to say Sam and I got engaged, didn’t you?  Natch, not yet kiddos!)  I’m only applying to two programs and I don’t know that they’re particularly difficult to get into.  My biggest concern (at the moment) is the math section of the GRE I’ll have to take to get apply to the program at Pitt.  Send up a prayer for me?

Thanksgiving joy and love

ImageA totally new and different Thanksgiving for me this year.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  This year, I spent it with Sam and his family, though not the original plan.

I was going to go to my mom’s, since she’ll be out of town over Christmas (typically I give Thanksgiving to Padre and the farm).  However, with Gobble-geddon slowly approaching and making a trip over the Laurel Highlands possibly quite treacherous, we opted out of that.  So, to the Griswalds (his mom’s family – their nickname, not mine!) and the Fire-house (his dad – both he and his dad are members of the VFD) I went!

Now, this is new for me – 1. spending it with people other than my family.   Sam is the first guy I’ve seriously dated especially over the holidays, so to even have to have a “where are we spending the holidays” conversation was weird, which brings me to 2. spending the holidays with a significant other’s family. 

But, it was totally awesome and perfect.  His mom has a fair number of siblings and they all do the holidays together – all of his aunts and uncles except for one who doesn’t live in the area were there.  But the best part was that I was totally a part of it.  My dad’s step-mother didn’t really welcome us to the family and since the majority of the people present were her kids and their families, it was difficult.  This was something completely different – hugs all around and just lots of noise and love.  I’ve been to other family functions there, and this was just the icing on top (one of those functions, funnily enough, they wanted me to stop by, even though Sam was at work and couldn’t make it). 

Thanksgiving at the Firehouse was much smaller – just the two of us, his sister, her boyfriend, and one of their friends, but filled with just as much love.  After Dez and Tom had left, Sam and I ended up sitting around for a few hours talking with the ‘rents.  It was nice to just relax.

To me, the funniest part of the whole day was that he lives within walking distance of each of these houses, so it was all on foot.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and has a wonderful Christmas season to look forward too!

Classic versus trends

So, I just have to say that what started this post is sitting on a bus and noticing that men’s fashion really hasn’t changed since the early 2000s and how I’m a little jealous of that fact. Men could probably get away with purchasing an item in 2003 and wearing it today.

Women, on the other hand, seem to always have to make the decision on whether to buy into a classic style or a trendy style. Do I purchase the $100 jeans that come pre-ripped and will only be in style another 3 years max or do I purchase these boring $200 jeans that will (hopefully) last me another 10-15 years. (I do not buy into the theory that anyone should buy $200 jeans, btw, but this is the figurative world where people make decisions like that. Or I’ve been watching too much Gossip Girl recently. You decide.)

I came into my style late I feel. My confidence level in high school, as for any girl really I’m sure, was fairly low and because I’m also a bigger girl, clothes in the time I was in high school were not good for me. However, now that I’m older, they work much better and my style has geared towards more classic, though I’m also starting to see more trendy items land on my wardrobe. It could also be that the items that started as trendy have turned more classic and so they make sense to be in my closet, like riding boots.

I still find that I have issues somedays finding the appropriate clothes, but it’s getting easier. Especially since retailers have realized that not all girls are a size 2. But I wonder did my confidence level grow because I was able to dress better or am I dressing better because I have more confidence? It’s basically that old adage of the clothes making the man or the man making the clothes.

Now if only my tights could fit today.

Perspective is a beautiful thing…

You know those weeks where the world just comes crashing down on you? Your bank account is low, work is uber stressful, something your boyfriend said rubbed you the wrong way…any number of things.

That was essentially me last week. Lots of closed doors and whispers at work. Payday wasn’t soon enough. Sam found out he has to work the weekend of Thanksgiving so that means him coming with me was out. I’ve been stage managing a show and it was tech week.

I had hit my limit.

Big, heaving sobs. Could barely talk to my mother about all the things bothering me without bursting into tears again. Crying face to the extreme: puffy, red eyes, bright blue eyes, red all over – I’m such an ugly crier.

And I wanted to do something about it but realized that all these things that were upsetting me, I couldn’t really do a damn thing about. What will be will be.

At work, all I could was put my best foot forward and hope that was enough (it was).

Sam couldn’t change his work schedule, so on to Plan B (to my Mom’s for Thanksgiving and I’ll see him when I get home).

Tech week is only that, a week (we’re now in performance and I have my weeks back).

Long story not so short, just going through the list and realizing what was wrong and how much I could actually affect it helped calm me down and put everything in perspective.

Now of only I could get a bus driver who doesn’t use the brake quite so frequently.

What are your ways of putting things into perspective?

“How much good inside a day? Depends on how good you live ’em.”

Do you have one person who makes you want to be a better person?

It’s hit me slowly, but I’m realizing I do – Sam (Med-Boy – I decided I don’t like that nickname, so I’m dropping it). 

Sometimes, out of the blue, we’ll be in the middle of a conversation and he just says something and I look at him and think “God, I am so lucky to have found someone who thinks like I do.”  Or I’ll just kind of look at him and I know I have this goopy look on my face because what he’s just said makes me so happy to be with him.

I think it hit me most prominently on Sunday.  We were at Giant Eagle and the food bank was there, handing out lists of what they needed.  So, I grabbed a double pack of peanut butter for them.  And, as I always do, I used my reusable  bags (which, I have an impressive collection, if I do say so myself).  Sam made a comment on the way out, which was said in a total joking matter, about how much good I had just done in that one trip, donating to the food bank and saving the environment by using my cloth bags.  And I laughed.

But then I realized I wanted to be a better person for him.

But then it hit me again this afternoon.  I was coming down East Street on the North Side and there was a homeless man walking down the side of the road.  And I had extra water bottles from an event I had just come from.  So I gave him one.  It’s not much to me – I didn’t pay for it, they were sitting in my car.  But who knows what it meant to him. 

And it hit me that I want to be a better person for me.

I want to know that I’m being the best that I can be because I can.  Not because I’m trying to prove something to someone.  I’m certainly encouraged by Sam, but if he disappeared tomorrow (please God that he doesn’t), but if he did – I think I would still want to be a better person.

But he certainly sparked something.  Because he’s right – no one should be without a roof over their heads or without something to eat.  And I have been blessed with an abundance of both of those things.  Everything else is really just a blessing.

So, today, I ask you to pass the blessing on.  It doesn’t have to be big – it can be as simple as purchasing a $3 double pack of peanut butter.  But do you how many sandwiches can be come from one of those jars?

To quote Shel Silverstein: “How much good inside a day?  Depends on how good you live ’em.”

Wha…where…how???

Do you ever just find yourself wondering how you got to a certain point some days?  It’s been hitting me a lot recently, but I think the most recent was yesterday evening.

I was leaving work to attend a production meeting for the show I’m currently stage managing and my brain just kind of went “How did you end up here right now?”  There are so many different paths my life could have taken if I had said “yes” to one thing or “no” to another.  And they could be little things, not just the big ones, like college or internships.

And random side note: “Just Say Yes” by Snow Patrol was just playing on Pandora as I was typing that.

And it’s so true – saying “yes” or “no” can completely change your life.  I know everyone says “learn to say no,” “don’t stress yourself out over the word no” and all sorts of things like that, but I sometimes wonder if we don’t give enough emphasis to just letting ourselves say “yes.”  To letting ourselves experience something new and jumping in with both feet, guns a-blazing.

Yes, I will go on a date with you.

Yes, I will take that job.

Yes, I will work my butt off to get into this college.

Yes, I will live my life.

Yes, I will drive the ducky boat.

In case you’re wondering, that last one is a yes that 1) I took and 2) people would think of as really tiny and why do it?  But ya know what?  I had a great time driving the ducky boat.  It’s a fun story I get to tell.

I think it’s something I need to do more in my life – putting myself out there and just doing and being.

Yes, I will finally buckle down and study for the GMAT.

Yes, I will start finding a mentor.

Yes, I will finally start working on grad school, finances be damned.

Well not really damned – I’m still a pragmatic fool.

And as for the word “yes” I leave you all with this gem: The Yes Dance.  Warning: kind of graphic and may be inappropriate for younger eyes.  And possibly older eyes.

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