Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 5 best things about dating nerds

Not that Rad Boyfriend is a nerd. I'd call him more of a sexy geek than a nerd, but still. He falls into the category that this blog post describes. (And how.)

The 5 Best things about dating nerds

Proposed letter to our neighbor

We're moving out this week, and we'd just like to thank you for being such a great neighbor!

Thank you for running your diesel cars at all hours of the morning and late evening! There's nothing like the sound of an engine turning over repeatedly to lull me to sleep.

Thank you for keeping your property neat and clean by mowing your lawn at 7:45am. We also enjoyed listening to your weed whacker, edger, trimmer, leaf blower and various other loud tools, as well as your yappy dogs. Especially on Sunday mornings.

Thank you for keeping the parking situation in check! We loved having someone leave notes on our cars reminding us not to park over the lines, lines that you took upon yourself to paint on the street without permission from the city. We also appreciate you knocking on our door at 8am on street sweeping days to remind us where not to park. How would we ever have remembered without you?!

Speaking of parking, thank you for parking your three oversize vehicles on the street instead of in your empty 3-car driveway. By taking precious street parking away from those of us without assigned spots, you really taught us the value of off-street parking. Growing up in New York City, it's a lesson I've always needed to learn.

Thank you for taking such an interest in our lawn! Specifically, thanks for trespassing on our property and illegally hooking up a hose to our house without telling us, causing us to freak the f*ck out when we saw water gushing down our alley and assuming a pipe had burst.We also really appreciated comments such as, "Your lawn looks like shit" and "It looks like every dog in the neighborhood has been pissing on your grass."

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. You have been without question, truly, the most douchebag neighbor we have ever encountered. Keep up the good work, Batman. Gotham isn't safe without you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Living together before marriage: yes or no?

RB and I were invited to a get-together this weekend, but we had to decline because we'll both be moving. When the question of whether we're moving in together came up, and we answered no, we got an interesting reaction: "That's strange."


Now I'm not a traditionalist. I have no problem with living together before getting married or engaged. It makes sense for most people, both economically and practically. (I mean, don't you want to know your significant other's bathroom habits and kitchen-cleaning methods before moving in together? I know I do.) So there are no religious or family-related reasons behind our decision. And it's not that we don't think we'd get along in tight quarters. (We've taken several trips together and have spent many a weekend house-sitting together.) It's not that we have vastly different schedules or dislike each other's sleeping habits. (We probably spend 3-4 nights a week together and sleep just fine.) And it's not that we get on each other's nerves after spending a few days together. (See above.) It really comes down to two factors: 1) we're in no rush, and 2) RB has never lived alone before, which is something I strongly encourage. We already know we're in this relationship for the long haul and have the rest of our days to find that "perfect apartment" together. So "why rush it?" is our thought process. 

So there you have it. Two adults who are in a healthy, committed relationship (and have been for 10 months), who love each other like crazy, and who are choosing to postpone living together. It was the right decision for us. Now what about you guys? Do you live with your significant others? How did you make the decision to/to not live together? Why do you think/not think it's a good idea? Share!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My final thoughts on LOST

I've thought about it long and hard. I mulled it over and gave it a few days to sink in. And I've come to the conclusion that I did not like the LOST finale.

The entire 6th season of LOST was disappointing. It raised more questions than it answered. It felt drawn out and protracted, like the writers didn't know what else to give us. So instead of revisiting old storylines or cleverly tying up loose ends, they gave us 15 more episodes of "WTF" and "who is that" and "what does it all mean."(And, if I can get nitpicky here for a second, what the HELL did that Asian zen master and his temple have to do with anything? They spent how many episodes on that plot arc and it went absolutely nowhere. That's a fail, LOST.)

And then came the Finale. The episode where we thought we'd finally get some answers. At least that's what I thought. I really believed they would finally explain how the island can move in space and time, how it/Jacob drew people to it, the science behind it all. Why is Desmond so special? How did the island's power come to be on the island? How did Jack know he was supposed to go back and protect the island? Why was (real) Locke so emotionally attached to it? And those are just the broader, more fundamental questions I have about the show. What about smaller nuances, like the fake plane crash that Widmore orchestrated--how was that ever explained? Or how Jin survived the freighter explosion. Or what happened with Sawyer's daughter and Aaron.

I realize now that all that stuff isn't important. Yes it all happened, the Dharma Initiative and the time travel, it all happened and it was real. But the show was never about the island--it was about people. I see that now. It was about relationships and bonds and life experiences and how flaming darts and a crazy French woman can bring strangers closer together.... so close that they create a special place in their collective subconscious to return to with each other after death. It's moving and I acknowledge the significance. I just can't get over the fact that for 6 years, the writers made it seem like it was about the island. Smoke monsters and donkey wheels and polar bears, oh my! What does it all mean? It doesn't matter what it means. All that matters is that Jack and Kate and Claire love each other and will never forget about each other.

Not what I was expecting, LOST. Not what I was expecting at all. I'm disappointed =(

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"I dont even like jelly. I get hives if I even look at jelly."

I went into Albertson's the other day specifically for peanut butter and jelly. None of that crunchy organic unsalted nonsense they sell at Trader Joe's (my usual grocery store), but some real unhealthy, processed, bad-for-you Jif peanut butter. And cheap no-name raspberry jelly. So I'm walking down the PB&J aisle and a see a couple standing in front of the jelly.

"I really want this one, but the other one is cheaper," she says.
"So get the one you want," her boyfriend/fiance/husband says.
"But it's like a dollar fifty more expensive."

I'm now wondering why this sounds so familiar.

"So then get the cheaper one. They're the same flavor, right?"
"But the other one is seedless. I like seedless."
"So then get the seedless one."
"Hmm. Maybe if I get a different flavor...."

At this point I can see that the guy getting visibly irritated. He's rolling his eyes and leaning heavy on the cart, willing his girlfriend to make a decision.

"Can you just please choose a damn jelly so we can move on?" he says.
"But last time I bought jelly because it was on sale, it just sat in the cabinet."

And then it hits me: holy shit, I'm witnessing a real life jelly fight! 

Highlight of my day by FAR!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They could make an infinate number of these

Maybe it was the sake talking... Wait, nope, he's just that awesome

Scene: Rad Boyfriend and I are having dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant.

RB: You know, I was thinking. Your birthday is coming up.
Me: It is.
RB: And you just lost your phone.
Me: I did.
RB: And you're not exactly in a financial position to be buying a new one.
Me: ...yeah...
RB: And this whole you-not-having-a-phone business is really inconvenient for me.
Me: Haha oh is it?
RB: It is. So I was thinking.... what if I get you a new iPhone as an early birthday present?
Me: No way. Are you serious?

A few minutes of "no way" and "you deserve it" and "are you sure" and "of course I'm sure, baby" ensue before I get up in the middle of restaurant, walk around to his side of the table, and hug him and kiss him and tell him how rad he is.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This is maddening

I hate Apple. I hate their sales tactics and user policies and everything they stand for. Which is why I want to give up my iPhone and get a Blackberry. At least that's what I had planned on doing when my contract with AT&T is up in December. Only now I can't because Apple is making it impossible for me to get anything other than another stupid iPhone.

I left my iPhone in a cab yesterday. Yes, I know, typical Danielle move. I know it, I've come to terms with it, and moved past the "here we go again with NOT PAYING ATTENTION and LOSING SHIT" phase onto the "what is the best, cheapest way to handle this situation" phase.

First of all, I'd like to point out that neither AT&T nor Apple offer insurance on the iPhone. Whether you lose it or get robbed at gunpoint, you're screwed. Unless, of course, in addition to the $100 per month you pay for service, you want to insure it with a third party--an option that I did not know existed until 2 months ago.

After facing the fact that I wasn't getting my phone back, I called AT&T to suspend service and talk about options. It turns out the contract I signed with them (apparently in blood) says that I have to continue paying my monthly service fees even if I lose the phone. That means I'm stuck paying almost $100 per month for both a calling and data plan, despite not having a phone.  My plan was to get the cheapest AT&T flip phone possible, cancel the data plan, and then switch over to Verizon in December (when my contract expires) for a sweet deal on a new Blackberry. But since I still have to pay for the data plan until my contract is up, I might as well get a new smart phone from AT&T, right? AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT AT&T IS BANKING ON. That's why they won't let you out of your data plan--because if you have to pay $30 per month until your contract is up, you might as well buy an expensive new replacement phone to make use of the data plan.

And, as if this tactic wasn't shady shitty enough, as if you didn't already feel obligated to spend money on a smart phone to make use of that data plan you HAVE TO pay for, Apple sweetens the pot. YOU'RE ELIGIBLE FOR AN UPGRADE! BRAND NEW iPHONE FOR ONLY $199!! If you sign another 2-year contract with the same ridiculous terms, ensuring our hold over you for eternity. 

Sooooo let me get this straight. If I dare to choose a mobile device other than the iPhone as my replacement for the lost phone, I have the following options:
(a) pay $175 for the AT&T termination fee, plus XXX for a new Blackberry at Verizon, plus all the initial activation charges; 
(b) pay XXX for a cheap flip phone, plus $30 per month for 6 months for a data plan I won't use, plus all the new money for the new Blackberry at Verizon; or
(c) pay $350 or however much a new Blackberry costs at AT&T (because don't forget that "upgrade" I'm entitled to only applies to an iPhone).

Or I could do exactly what Apple wants me to do and pay $199 for a new iPhone. Instead of simply  letting me cancel my data plan and buy a new phone from a different company in 6 months. As someone pointed out, "This is why Steve Jobs is filthy rich and way more devious than Bill Gates ever was." 

Friday, May 14, 2010


What can you guys tell me about working in human resources? Have any of you, my loyal readers and casual perusers, ever held a position in HR? Do you  or someone close to you work there now? What did it take to get hired? Do you like your job? Are you comfortable with your salary? What do you do, exactly?

Any info would be greatly appreciated. If you don't feel comfortable talking about work in such a public forum, feel free to email me.

Thanks. And stay awesome.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moving on

Here's a first glance at my new digs.

My new roommates and I sign the lease tomorrow and move in on the 25th. I am so excited to pay less rent, I could pee my pants. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You are allowed to complain

Have you ever expressed frustration over something only to have the listening party say something like, "At least you have a job," or "It could be worse"? That really, REALLY bothers me. Yes, I have a job when many do not. Yes, I have a roof over my head while many do not. And I appreciate how lucky I am based on those two things alone. But you know what? I'm still allowed to complain about life. It's called relativity. Not having someone die in a natural disaster or not having my husband in Afghanistan doesn't preclude me from bitching about money, relationships, or other things that might seem petty to those less fortunate than me.

If you've read any of my recent blog posts, you'll know that I have some pretty serious student loans to pay off. Student loans that I took out to pay for a degree that I am not using. Is that anyone else's problem other than my own? Absolutely not. Could it be worse? Heck yeah it could. Relative to the plight of a Nigerian refugee, my problems are nonsense. But relative to my life, to my first-world issues, it sucks big sweaty donkey balls. I hate being broke. It keeps me up at night. It keeps me from concentrating at work. It affects my relationship with my amazing boyfriend, and I fear it's starting to affect my sanity. If I don't do something about it, I will never be able to afford a mortgage, a new car payment, a vacation, not even a shopping trip to anywhere other than Target. Would any of that matter if I were diagnosed with a terrible disease tomorrow? Not in the least. Lucky for me, they're my BIGGEST worry at the moment.

So pardon me for living in a cool house in a great city and not fearing for my life on a daily basis. Excuse me for not worrying about how to feed my family, but instead about how I'm going to afford a ticket home to see my family who are all alive and well. I appreciate how lucky I am in all those regards, but I absolutely refuse to apologize for it.

Back to life

Vacations are fun. They're even more fun when you get to do vacation-y type things with your significant other, instead of with your significant other and your dad. But hey--it's not my dad's fault he wanted to spend every free minute with his daughter who he hasn't seen in over a year.

 Hi, Daddy! You're on the internet!

Nor is it my dad's fault that Rad Boyfriend and I left our party clothes at his house in Boca Raton before we left to attend a wedding three hours away in Orlando, causing us to spend our only free day at a mall.

A mall that's near something called "Holy Land Experience." (??)

But you know what? We still had a blast.

Because we were together. (Commence vomiting in 3, 2, 1....)

Monday, May 3, 2010

How I know I'll (someday, in the future, years from now, and not now) make a good mommy

When I was 13, my cousin Julia was born. And I couldn't have been more ecstatic! Being an only child, I begged my parents for years to have another baby. "I want someone to play with!" I'd say. "You have your cousin Nicolle to play with!" they'd counter. And so it went. For years, we were the youngest two people in our family, the only cousins close enough in age and relation and physical proximity to play together.

Until my aunt, Nicolle's mother, remarried and got pregnant. And oh how happy I was! A baby! To play with and feed and cuddle with and teach naughty words to! (Ed. note: teaching a 1-year old to say "Truck you" is HILARIOUS.) And so a few days before Easter Sunday 14 years ago, very early in the morning, Julia Veronica was born. And she was cute and perfect and cuddly and awesome.

As she got older, I would go over to my aunt's house to help out. I'd let my sleep-deprived aunt sleep in while I got up with Julie and fed her breakfast, I'd change her diapers, play with her, teach her naughty words, everything I said I wanted to do with her.

And one day I was coming down the wood stairs in my socks. Julie was about 10 months old and wearing a fuzzy, white footy pajama thing with a big brown bear on the front--I will forever remember that. I must have just gone up to get her from a nap. I took three steps down the staircase and BOOM. My socked feet flew out in front of me on the slippery varnished parquet and I hit the steps hard on my back. My instant--and I mean INSTANT--reaction was to hold Julie to my chest with my left arm and cup the back of her head with my right hand, instead of bracing my fall or catching my footing. We slid all the way to the bottom of the stairs like that, her pressed against my chest and me stifling my screams so as not to scare her. At the bottom of the steps I propped her on my lap and looked at her, trying to determine if I'd a) killed her in the fall or b) suffocated her from holding her to tightly. She wasn't crying...she was just blinking. She had this half-dazed, half-sleepy look on her face like she was all, "Dude, what just happened?" And then she stuck her fingers in my mouth and looked towards the kitchen and I knew she was fine. I sat there for a good minute, just looking at her, thinking about what could've happened. The fact that I'd just descended 13 steps on my spine didn't even cross my mind.

I carefully got up and stumbled into the kitchen and put her in her high chair. Only after I put some Cherrios in her tray did I stop to examine my wounds: bruised butt, check. Bruised coccyx, double check. Bruised entire-lower-back area, check. Aching spine and head? Yup. Bruised elbows? Oh yeah. I pulled my shirt back down and looked at Julie. She was smiling up at me with whole grain O's all over her face. I took her tiny hand and said, "I'm sorry, kid. I promise I won't ever scare you like that again." And almost like she knew what I was saying, she squeezed my hand and pulled me closer to her face. "I'll take that as a 'you're welcome," I said to her.

The moral of the story? There is none. Just that 14 years later, she's alive and well. And you can tell from the picture below that she just loves that I still call her "kid."