Thursday, July 31, 2008

Privacy Please

And in today's installment of "Dreams Really Do Come True", Nat discovers she will no longer have to share one bathroom with three other females. For the first time in her life (adult or otherwise), a full bathroom will be at her full disposal. Complete privacy restored.

Rental app approved today. Moving the end of next month. Visitors encouraged.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The cheese stands alone

I should be more embarrassed to post this than I am. Just another case of so bad it's good.

My favorite part is a toss-up between the angel in white singing during the basketball game (I'm sorry, what?!), and any time Zac Efron tries to look angry while he's singing. (He's the prettiest seventh-grade-girl in Ohio!)

But seriously, midnight showing anyone?

Monday, July 28, 2008

"the sun is shining, this road keeps on winding..."

Greetings friends and foes.

Life in these parts has been pretty slow. Slow and steady. It wins the race I hear. Nothing much new to report--the floor of my room is still a disaster, I'm still wearing skirts, and I'm still committed to being upbeat in this blog.

To be honest however, I had a good cry* about a week ago. Sometimes life isn't easy, you know? I try to remember it's why we're here; we wouldn't have had to come to Earth if it weren't going to be hard. I had day where I let the "hard" get the best of me -- Mom, in all her infinite wisdom reminded me that every one wants to be me. Where that may not be 100 percent truth, it was a sweet thing to say.

Slow and steady isn't so bad. Now I shall prove it to you. I'm hoping your slow and steady can look this good! I haven't posted photos in a LONG time and I think I'm due. Try not to want to be me too much. HA! (But really don't -- I want to be you on any other given day.) As much as I loathe uploading photos to Blogger, I'll fill yall in on what I've been up to this summer via lens capture.

n578782052_1091455_7123n521234858_1048219_2021n521234858_1048293_3216n578782052_1118253_9864n578782052_1118252_8784 n578782052_1123137_6321n578782052_1132511_1331
zoooooooobiesheaven!the righteous are translated
IMG_4262sometimes we bbqsome things never changewhite trash bbq on the capeawkward stances are the besta caped birthday to all of usmade a going-away scrapbook for the Ju

*note to self - you've lounged at the beach five of the last six Saturdays. Get a grip.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Skirting the issue

I’m trying something new in my life. It revolves around wearing skirts. Last week I decided it’d be fun(?) to wear a skirt every day to work. Ten consecutive days later, I’m still rockin’ the free-flow. In a stupid competition with myself, I’ve decided to skirt the pant issue every day until I have to repeat wear. This will prompt me to actually wear everything I own—and in doing so, force me to put some new outfits together.

Day 10, and I’ve probably got at least 15 more to go. Maybe more. Oh wait. I have some dresses too…

A prize to whomever can accurately guess the day I break.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tell me how I'm supposed to breathe with no air

You have to see it to believe it.

I'm nursing a Dark Knight hangover this morning. That's what happens when you see a midnight movie and aren't as spry as you once were.

There's a reason "Dark" is in the title. Be forewarned.

The AC in our theater went off about 10 minutes in. The movie would have been suffocating enough on its own without the sweltering, hard-to-breathe conditions we endured. I'm still trying to decide if that enhanced or detracted from the film.

I won't talk in much detail about the movie; but go. See it. Worth the range of $8-$12; I promise.

With or without air.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

red, white and blue.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have my blonde hair back.

But I'm not going to lie. Today I'm kind of missing my red. This was the day I channeled my inner Mary Jane for the very first time. It was a pretty color.

That red and I had a good year.

Monday, July 14, 2008

by the time i grab my books, and i give myself the look

Tonight, I can cross another thing of my life's "To Do" list.

That's right. I have neer seen "Zach and Kelly's Las Vegas Wedding." I love Saved by the Bell. Of course I would; I'm a female in her 20's. Howeer, somehow, I escaped the 1990's without the capstone to my SBtB watching. And for the last 15 years, I've wanted to see the closing to an epic tale.

I decided to comment upon the movie as I sunk my teeth into this meaty 30-minute installment. Warning: there are some spoilers.
  1. Zach, Slater, and Screech pull up to a curb and exit a Ford Explorer. This is the first time I have ever, and I repeat ever seen any of the SBtB kids outside. Think about it.
  2. This is also the first time I have seen Slater in jean shorts. Double pleated acid-washed black jeans? Plenty of times. Run of the mill jean shorts? How early 90's.
  3. Zach is sporting the Tim Riggins hair, but it's not nearly as sexy.
  4. The soundtrack for this made-for-tv movie feels like a bad cruise playlist. Minus the steel drums.
  5. Zach has a mom! And a new dad. Newer since high school anyway. (Dad is very, very tan.) If this movie were made in 2008, Zach might have had two dads. It is California, right?
  6. Six minutes in and no sign of Mr. Belding. How good do you think my odds are that he'll stay hidden?
  7. Zach's mom just gave him vouchers for a free room at the Stardust casino for their wedding night. She won them at her church's poker night. Raise your hand if you think Zach might have had a little smoother life with some church in his up-bringing?
  8. Also missing? Jessie. I hear she's also in Vegas but was too busy working to attend the wedding.
  9. Kelly and Lisa. Outside. Driving. Discussing the merits of curtains in the kitchen and lace tablecloths.
  10. Zach and Slater, driving, outside, are arguing the merits of Steven Segal and Jean Claude Van Damm. (Who would today's debate be? Christian vs. Jason?)
  11. CAR PHONE. CAR PHONE ALERT. And the classic Zach Morris cell phone!
  12. Slater is now wearing a sleeveless, collared, button-up shirt. Zach borrowed his shirt from Corey in Boy Meets World, I'm sure of it. Short-sleeved, plaid, unbuttoned all the way.
  13. Seventeen minutes in. I kind of miss the studio audience of the high school/college years outrageously laughing, groaning, and swooning at anything that happens on screen. And the pink fuzzy borders that indicate a dream sequence.
  14. BLOSSOM REFERENCES. That girl Blossom and her stupid hats. BLOSSOM. That's the problem of putting pop culture references in recorded media. Will we watch 30 Rock, The Office, and Gilmore Girls with the same disdain?
  15. Once upon a time, Krista and I made a list of people we'd vote off the universe. Ironically, we voted both Screech Samuel Powers and Blossom (and her stupid hats) off the universe.

Oh snap. The first quarter of the Zach and Kelly Vegas Wedding Spectacular is over. The boys are in jail, Lisa and Kelly picked up a bronzed and muscled hitchhiker, and some smart part of me died inside.

Here's the problem I've decided. The Saved by the Bell high school set is familiar. The Max is familiar. Zach's, Jessie's, Kelly's rooms. Mr. Belding's office, the gym, and that classroom right off the locker hall. They're all familiar. You know the show is cheesy, but you still love it anyway--it's nostalgic. In the blaring light of day, outside! driving!, and removed from the typical sets and scenarios we're used to seeing, the antics of our old crew feel grossly exaggerated and embarrassing.

Three questions. You can choose to answer one of them, multiples of them, or one of your own choosing:

  1. Did I miss any other staple set locations in the classic SBtB series? I'll add the park bench outside the gym (see: Zach & Kelly's senior prom/break up)
  2. Which do you think is more referenced/discussed/alluded to: SBtB or Full House?
  3. Should I keep watching the made-for-TV wedding craptacular?

She works hard for the money

I don't typically talk about work on this here piece of cyber real estate.

However, quite a few of you have asked what I do for a living. I shall now explain.

Real World Example
See that image to the right? If you click on it, you shall be directed (in a separate window) to a brand new, just posted web page for the Rock Band 2 video game release. My company made that site.

What's my role? I'm not a designer nor a coder; I didn't create the art or fiddle with the code under the hood. I. am. a. project. manager. In short, it's my job the keep all the plates spinning.

A Visual Reference
Imagine a wheel; I'm the hub that connects the spokes. A project manager (me) keeps tabs on the designers, the coders, the strategists, the client, the account managers, the budget, the timeline, the launch date, the hours, the materials, and a host of other things. It's my job to make sure everyone is happy. And work gets done. On time. On budget. Sometimes I tell people I'm a professional hassler.

The Process
Project managers are involved at every stage in site development. The Rock Band 2 page was relatively small; I was involved from the initial kick-off meeting through launch (and ultimately the postmortem). The process goes something like this: internal meetings, client meetings, emails, emails, internal meetings, comp review, emails, emails, phone call, emails, client meetings, emails, internal meetings, emails, emails, phone call, emails, push back, emails, emails, review, emails, meetings... x25. It's a good thing I can multi-task. (Please note I'm working on 5 projects for 5 different clients. This is why some days I think my head is maybe going to explode.)

All in all, I really like my job. When it's moving, it's moving. Some parts are more difficult than others (the 11PM-3AM emails to make sure we launch on time, pushing back on client needs) -- but this IM conversation at 2:30am on Sunday pretty much sums it up:

Will: we don't have time to do x, y, and z before our code drop.
Nat: already writing an email to the client.
Will: pm ftw!
Nat: that's why they give me a business card.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fetchin' Reasons it's Good to Be Me

I sat in my usual corner booth, browsing this week's EW magazine and noshing on my favorite pizza in the city. I worked late this evening, past 9PM (and on a Friday!), and had no other plans for the evening besides unwinding. The dawn of a new weekend is a glorious thing.

Turning pages between articles, I clued in to the chatter happening between four nineteen-year-olds a few tables over. It's like I was caught in Mean Girls, but instead of laughing at the catty banter, the jabs were aimed in my direction. Seriously? Seriously?

Not sure if you've noticed, but I try to keep this blog positive and upbeat. I shall continue with that trend now.

Reasons why it's good to be me, alone in a pizza joint on a Friday night:
  1. I have a real job with real responsibility (and a real paycheck!). Yes, it kept me working late this evening, but at least I won't spend my Saturday folding shirts at Wet Seal.
  2. I don't have a payment plan for my car, my University of Phoenix school loans, or my Sidekick.
  3. I know how to cover my lady parts (on both ends).
  4. My next stop will be Target; a store in which I could walk into and buy any thing I wanted. Any thing. Tonight, it's a book (low maintenance this go round as I already own the rest of the store). That's right. I also know how to read.
  5. I've been west of Worcester.
  6. Mine are real.
  7. I can afford to have my dental work done.
  8. --censored for positivity--
  9. This is a real tan; from a long weekend spent at a rental house on the Cape with my girlfriends and Saturdays (not folding shirts at Wet Seal) at the beach.
  10. I'm perfectly happy being alone; I had opportunities to go out this evening but I chose to save my strength for my wicked fun, non-white trash Saturday activities. Woot.
So there you have it. The night I was picked on in a pizza joint. That's okay, tomorrow night I'll exchange the "picked on" for "picked up." What what.

Dear Mean Girls, get a life. One of these days you'll wake up and realize you want to grow up and be me.

Today has been a great day... Part II

... because the NASDAQ is referring people to my blog.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today has been a great day because...

... this is my second straight day working from home meaning I'm still in last night's pajamas.
... I just finished eating a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
... a brown sugar pop tart pretty much rocked my world.
... the pop-tart wasn't the most white trash thing I ate; that goes to the meat-flavored rolls that had been marinating with my left over Texas Roadhouse steak.
... stupid Kherington was in the bottom three.
... it's been cold Coke Zero all day long.
... I didn't use terribly expensive gas output any carbon monox/dioxide by driving to work.
... the lilies I bought at Costco the other night are in perfect eyeline from my bed and are gorgezzzz.

Like I said, a great day.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

like she's walking on a wire in a circus

I had a really great discussion last night with a dear friend of mine whose life is about to change significantly. We discussed all the talking points in her grand plan for awhile and in a quiet moment she looked and me and asked, "What's next for you Nat?"

"Keep on keepin' on" was the knee-jerk reaction that hit my lips--that's the goal first and foremost for all of us, right? But the question was an honest one, and prompted an honest response. Lucky for the both of us, it's been on my mind a lot lately.

The short answer is that I don't know. Actually, let me correct. I don't know the details. I know that I'm staying in Boston at my current job and attending church--but other then that, I don't have a lot of plans. The crystal in my future ball is murky--I don't know what I'll be doing in eight weeks or eight months; I don't know. I just don't know.

With the knowledge that two of my very favorite people in history are set to leave Boston shortly, the idea of change has been on my mind quite a bit. But this isn't a foray into my philosophies on change; this is an explanation of what's next for me.

Again, I don't know. But you know what I do know?

I've been blessed with hope. For what? I don't know. But I can say, openly, honestly, and quite candidly, that it's a blessing I haven't felt in quite awhile. Not that I've been down or pessimistic about life or the future; but I haven't felt this genuine "it's going to be okay, something's coming" feeling in a really long time. And you know what? I really feel it. I don't know what it is, but it's like that famous someone once said in that famous movie once upon a time, "there's a storm a brewin." And I'm excited for that storm.

What's next for me is unknown and unplanned and unexplainable. But I can't wait to meet it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Liberty and Blogging for All

I find it hard to believe that anyone could have had a better Fourth of July weekend than I did. Boston is arguably the best place in the country for Independence Day festivities--considering it's the birthplace of the Revolution, that claim shouldn't come as too great a shock!

Last year, I had out-of-towners in for the holiday and blogged daily. This year, I tagged along with friends of mine who had out-of-towners in for the holiday, and I'm combining all of our festivities into one blog. Who's to say which is better? I'm here to say if I don't post them all now with minimal content they'll never got posted.

So here you have it. Random order, limited commercial breaks. The fun started the night of the 2nd and continued through the 5th. We bowled, we ate, we listened to the Declaration read from the Statehouse (where it's been read every year since 1776). We visited the Holocaust memorial, fed the squirrels and ducks (I kept my distance) in the Common, hugged a Blackberry, visited Concord to see the Old North Bridge, played Rock Band, waited for the Dress Rehearsal of the Pops concert (but left before we got hurricaned out), group effort to beat the Metro crossword puzzle!, exhausted my "patriotic" clothing selection, played Connect Four, bbq-ed, waited for the fireworks on the Mass Ave bridge, sang and danced along during the patriotic songs medley, perfected the art of self-photography, ate homemade peppermint ice cream and more rice-krispy treats that can possibly be healthy, had our own patriotic sing-along at home (nothing like screaming "I'm Proud to Be An American" with a group who's average age is 26.6...twice.), gaped at the sketchbook of this kid, ate at Giacommo's in the North End... and on and on and on. It. Was. Awesome.

first photo of the fireworks--i should have known i wouldn't get a betterdimmed lights in bowling alleys make everyone more attractiveafter the game-winning strike in the 10th frame, i celebrate. the first open-mouth smile caught on film that wasn't pre-meditated. accidents happen people.
i took a break from planning and let this kid take the reins. he did a bang up jobfeeling the glow post-patriotic sing along. we were definitely the most into it.i warned julie that feeding the ducks would place me about 50 paces away. this is when i'm pretty sure she started throwing food. she hates me.
early adopterfor some reason, i can't get over how much i love this photo. it's so ridiculously funny.again, every time i go to quincy market, i take a photo in this same spot. it's a fun tradition.
i almost didn't make it to this early AM reading; i was so tired! super happy to have gone though as it provided some of the 4th's best highlights.the numbers inscribed at the Holocaust museam superimposed with a piece of the Boston skylinestill waiting for the 'works
PIPthis was the family reunion julie and I tagged along with all weekendthe stepsisters
i decided to give in and give rock band a go. hate the sin, not the sinner, right?at the concert pre-rain. you can't imagine how quickly the weather turnedthe stalwart Criddles, and ringleaders of the Metro crossword

On Sunday afternoon, I put myself down for a nap about 4:30 and set an alarm for 5:30. Not wanting to get up, I turned it off. At 8:30, upon awaking, I decided my chances of falling back asleep that night were slim to none and decided to call it a night (or continue my "night.") I slept pretty solidly until 8AM this morning. That's right folks. 15+ hours of sleep. That's how much activity my body had to recover from. Would you have done it?

You were all free to have had as much fun as I did this last weekend, but did you? Discuss.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

An Enchanted Cartoon

Look everyone! Marie made me a fairy! Or an angel! Or a... fangel. Er... an airy...

That's it. An Airy Fangel.

I think I look better as a cartoon. Kind of like Enchanted. (No offense to Amy Adams, but I just loved the cartoon version.)

Actually, I imagine most cartoon women brought to life wouldn't be an accurate representation of their cartoon selves. Maybe that's just my dreams crushed by the Belle at Disneyland.

But think about it. Cartoons brought to life? I'm pretty sure the only Disney lass worth her while would be Esmerelda. I kind of think she'd be a fox.

Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

**Check out Marie's other illustrations. She's ammmmmmmmmazing. You wouldn't believe her sketchbook.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

An Elite Group

Dear Readers,

I'm privileged to have one of the most devoted blog readerships on the Web. Thanks friends; you've been good to me.

You've proven yourselves a pretty vocal group--I appreciate that! A blogger who tells you they don't need validation in their writing is stretching the truth. It's awesome to get feedback on the hud you choose to spend your time relaying to the world.

Yesterday, I finally managed to stump you smart, sassy people. I managed to write a blog no one had any response to. (The more realistic explanation would be that I wrote a blog no one actually cares anything about, but I prefer to look on the sunnier side of life.) None of you care that the Jonas Brothers are pilfering beats that Maroon 5 originally stole from Jamaraquoi? Sigh. I guess I don't really either.

The last time you were similarly stumped was ten days shy of a year ago. A year! Guess I might be the only person on the internet addicted to blogging.

Before that? February of 2007 in a rant about the weather. Yall must have agreed with me; that or been sitting in warmer climates and wanting to save me from coveting behavior. Yes, I'm sure that was it.

And just for posterity's sake; and to see what haven't been my most popular of blogs, I present a tutorial of "What Not to Write":

Okay, wow. There are quite a few no-comment posts down in the infancy stage of my blog. We can ignore those for now as I was still trying to suck you into my web of cyber-nothingness. But 10 zero comment blogs in the first year and a half? Yall are insane.

For the record, 51 no-comment blogs out of 542 -- that's a 90.5% response rate! Move over direct mail, there's a new kid in town.

But seriously yall; I appreciate your reading and occasional responding. Thanks to all you lurkers who identify yourself from time to time--it's fun to find out who you are and how you got here.

As for the Jonas Brothers and Maroon 5? They should feel privileged to have joined such an impressively short list.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mistaken Identity

I heard a new song on the radio this morning and wondered if it was Maroon Five. It was actually the Jonas Brothers.

Somewhere, Adam Levine is not a happy camper.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!