Our New Adventures in an Old City

I know I haven't posted in awhile, but as most of you know by now, the hubs and I just moved to Philadelphia. We also just finished writing our theses, graduated with our Masters, worked and worked and worked, as well as spent many hours with our family. So we've been a bit busy. HOWEVER. Today, our second full day in the apartment, we had a noteworthy adventure.

The story starts with me trying to be thrifty. Once upon a time (well, yesterday, actually), I found this gorgeous dresser on Craigslist for ONLY $30! 

(It looks like the top is greenish, but it's black.)

It was a huge bargain and I emailed the girl immediately. She told me the measurements (which were perfect for what I wanted to use it for) and I asked the hubs if he thought it would fit in his car, and he said, "Yeah, it should." Then he said, "we should probably measure the car."  But we didn't. (This, my friends, is a bit of foreshadowing. Take note.) 

The sky was cloudy and the weather was somewhat cool, so it was the perfect day to load and unload a dresser. We drove to the girl's apartment to get it. We use a dolly provided by the girl's apartment complex to get it onto the street, then the girl left and we started to load it into the car. And that's where everything. went. wrong. Contrary to what the hubs expected, the dresser, in fact, did NOT fit in his car. We pushed and shoved. We pulled and tugged. Nothing worked! We tried to put it in the backseat, we tried the trunk. NOTHING would make this dresser fit! I got angry and called the hubs' car a girly car (it's not, I was just throwing a tantrum). The hubs got angry and wanted to leave my beautiful dresser on the side of the road! People were gathered under a canopy staring. Why were they gathered under a canopy? you might well ask. And I would say, "BECAUSE IT WAS POURING." That's right. In the 10 minutes that we went to the girl's apartment to get the chest, God opened the heavens on Philadelphia. After a heated 30 minutes of debate (because OMG WHAT DO WE DO? IT WON'T FIT IN A TAXI VAN! IF WE PAY FOR A DOLLY WE WILL HAVE TO GO GET IT AND OUR DRESSER WILL GET STOLEN AND WE WON'T SAVE ANY MONEY ANYWAY! BUT HUBS, WE CAN'T LEAVE IT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD BECAUSE I LOVE IT!) we decided to carry the stupid thing. 6 blocks. In the rain.

So today, which started as an ordinary day, culminated with the hubs and I carrying a 50-lb dresser 1/2 a mile in the pouring rain. People were so nice, smiling and commenting and being super polite. The brotherly love was evident, probably because I was smiling like a goob the entire time because I got to keep my dresser!

You want a good strength workout? Here ya go. Bring on the Warrior Dash or the Tough Mudder. My arms can barely type this post. But my dresser is beautiful.


Growing Pains

Signs you are starting to move from the "Young Woman" stage of your life to full-blown "Woman":

1) You no longer enjoy going clubbing (if you ever did to begin with)
A few summers ago, my weeks were not complete without Thursday nights. My friends and I dressed up, went downtown, and danced like the world was ending. Or in my case, danced like you would expect an awkward, clumsy white girl to dance. We often stayed out until the wee hours of the morning, and talked about our various adventures for months. It was so much fun!!..until it wasn't. It's like that one day when I was 9 and I tried to play with my Barbies. As I started pulling them out of the storage tub, I suddenly realized they weren't fun anymore, and never would be again. Even at that age, I felt a mild pang of sadness about losing that part of myself, and knowing that it would never come back.

Now, I can get dressed and go through the motions of going out, but I don't enjoy it. If I go out, I don't want to be bumped by the drunk girl who is sloshing her Cosmo everywhere, or have to juke through the crowd to avoid that creepy guy who is brushing girl's bums as they walk by. I don't want to wear a dress and heels if it's 45ยบ outside.  Or be surrounded by packs of girls screaming greetings at other screaming girls because they haven't seen each other in, like, four hours. Although I will admit that I'm pretty sure I've done this a few times once. 

I want to go somewhere where music is background noise, and not so bone-shakingly loud that I feel like I should take cover under a desk a la elementary school earthquake drill. I want to eat and chat with my friends, and then go home at a decent hour, put on sweatpants, and watch "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" with The Hubs. Like with Barbie, I've reached the age and point of my life where going to clubs is just not fun anymore. This time, I'm okay with that. 

Correction: Me. I say that.

2) Babies.
Every few days, Facebook announces that someone else I know is pregnant. Family members, friends, and coworkers have started asking when I plan on having kids. My doctor gave me the prenatal spiel at my last appointment. Despite the overwhelming interest in my reproductive habits, the idea of having a child terrifies me. On the one hand, I'm quite vain. My hips are already a black hole that sucks in every bit of junk food I eat. I worry that If I incubate a tiny human, they will go supernova. (I don't know if this is an accurate metaphor, but I have never claimed to be an astronomy expert. I actually got a B in Astronomy, so there you go). Secondly, if I have a child, I will have to be careful not to screw it up and end up with a bully, a serial killer or this:

Oh, the horror!

Yet sometimes, I find that I am actually excited about the process of baking a bun, usually after I see things such as these:



This feeling usually passes when I remember how we are broke ALL. THE. TIME. If that isn't effective, I search Youtube for "Temper Tantrum." Works every time.

3) What can you eat? Oh, nothing.
I'm not sure how I weighed 90 lbs in high school, considering my normal lunch was Ho-hos and Mountain Dew. I'm sadly not joking. Michelle Obama wasn't around to lead the charge against childhood obesity, and it wasn't that high on the Bush agenda, what with the Axis of Evil flapping about causing trouble. But I digress. If I ate that for lunch every day now, I would weigh approximately 234725 lbs and have a complexion reminiscent of a pizza. Or perhaps the moon.

4) Who wears short shorts? Not this girl.
This year, I put on my tiny denim shorts, looked in the mirror, said, "It is time!" and promptly threw them in the trash (well, not the trash. That was for dramatic effect. I am actually going to sell them at one of those clothing resale shops, because, as I mentioned above, I'm poor).  They haven't gotten any smaller, and I haven't gotten any bigger, but I no longer feel comfortable wearing them. Even The Hubs said, "they make you look young," and considering I am about to start a PhD program, "young" is not exactly the image I'm going for. I remember being a teenager and thinking about how sad I would be when I was too old to wear trendy clothes. Now I remember this and laugh because this is what teenage girls are currently wearing:

What? That's not a teenage girl? Oh my goodness, that's Justin Beiber. Wow. Well, it was an honest mistake.


A haiku about my current grad school experience, and the reason I've not been posting

Inspired by my friend Louise and NaPoWriMo, I am stepping out of my hole for five minutes to present you with this haiku:

The life of a grad 
student is at times like The
Shining, with less blood. 


Craft 2/9

Sorry for the unintentional hiatus. My life has been engulfed in a flurry of activity the past few weeks. Between interviews, my comprehensive exam, homework, thesis writing, data analysis, and working, blogging has been the last thing on my mind. This means that I have a lot to talk about over the next few days, though, so hopefully I can get more than a couple of posts written. 

Today, since it is already a week late, I wanted to show my craft project from February. To introduce this, you should first know that my bathroom is not yet fully decorated. It has been a work in progress since we moved in. "How long have you lived in this apartment?" you may wonder. "Four weeks? Four months?" No, try four years. FOUR. YEARS. Unfortunately, I have neither the money nor the attention span to finish decorating. Every room is a mish-mash of wedding gifts, flea market finds, and my sad attempts at crafting, with very little cohesion in the decor department. I thought my bathroom was small enough that I could focus my decorating attempts and actually complete a room. Unfortunately this was not true, but I have narrowed down a theme:

Yes, that is exactly how I feel. I love birds. I loved them before they were hipster (which, I guess, makes me somewhat hipster, but that is neither here nor there). Anyways, I decided to decorate my bathroom in birds. Unfortunately, I chose the worst possible colors. I scoured flea markets, home stores, and Etsy. NOTHING comes in these colors, certainly not bird decor. However, I have finally made something that I can put in my sad little mish-mash bathroom, if I will ever print it out and find a frame for it.

To make this word collage, I googled "bird silhouette," pasted an image into Word, and, used text boxes and different fonts (and my wonky color palette), create this image. After I was finished, I deleted the silhouette, and voila! A beautiful picture with a bird on it! That is made of birds! A BIRD MADE OF BIRDS. I'm sure hipsters everywhere are rejoicing. So there you have it. Two crafts in two months. My productivity levels are through the roof!


For Those of You Who Like to Run, I Salute You

I have never liked to run. The crowning achievement in my running career was my freshman year of high school, when I finished the required 10-minute mile for cheerleading tryouts in 6:29, after faithfully running with my dad every evening for a month. It has only gone downhill from there. Last year, I could barely run .3 miles without stopping to walk. I got shin splints. I couldn't breath. My side hurt. Every running excuse there was, I had it. I hated running, and I did not understand how some people could run multiple miles at a time. It was unthinkable! 

So naturally, I wanted to sign up for a 5K. I know this makes no sense, but I have this innate urge to challenge myself. If there is something I find difficult, I must do it. It involves pain? Bring it (except pregnancy...when I'm pregnant, I'll probably get an epidural around month 8 or so, just in case). Anyways, for awhile I was all talk and no action. I had only been running to warm up before my actual work out, and I had not even looked at the 5K listings. Then, a miracle happened. 

I was doing my pre-workout warm-up run last week, and I just kept going. I felt something strange, and it wasn't shin splints or back sweat. Was I actually ENJOYING this? Holy cannoli, Batman, I was! I ended up running a little over a mile. It was a fitness miracle. I was so inspired that I went home and signed up for the Color Run, which brings me a step closer to completing #13 on my list. Today, I ran another mile and enjoyed it again! I still can't really believe it. So this post is for all of you who, like me, think running is stupid, but still have 5K dreams. This is what I think has brought me closer to enjoying the dreaded treadmill (or outside trail, whatever floats your boat):

1) I made a playlist 
If there is anything I hate more than running, it is running without any sort of sensory distraction. This is not including something to read, because I firmly believe if you can read while working out, you are not working out to your full potential. That's just me, though. If I have the right music, I get an extra burst of energy that pulls me through the terrible task of running. Here are some suggestions from my playlist:
2) I worked my muscles
I didn't run more than 5 minutes at a time for almost an entire month, but I lifted a lot of weights and did a lot of squats. Although it's only been a month, I can already tell a difference. I have much more energy than usual, and my muscles are more defined. I can get through a 10-minute run/sprint on the treadmill instead of a 5 minute walk/jog like I used to. 

3) I gave myself a goal
There is nothing that motivates me more than a deadline. I know that I am going to have to run a 5K in a couple months, and I don't want to finish last. Or not finish at all, because 3 miles is a lot. 

4) I'm not going to give up
I know that there will be days that I will NOT enjoy running. There will be days when running will be the last thing I want to do. But I will power through it and be thankful for this body that can accomplish amazing feats (like running over a mile)! At least until I've made it through the 5K...we'll see how long this running thing lasts after that. :) 


The Liebster Blog Award

I know that this is a post upon a post, which is a huge venture in productivity for me, but holy cow, I've been nominated for a blog award! The Liebster Blog award is "intended to recognize worth, lesser known blogs and to help expose their work." 

Thank you so much, Alyssa at Castles in Europe, for liking what I post enough to recognize it!

To accept the Liebster Blog award, you have to do a few things:

1) Thank the give and link back to their blog.
Check! Again, thank you Alyssa! If you had not already received this award, I would no doubt be nominating you, as I LOVE to read your blog. 

2) Share five things about yourself

  • I really love classical music. NPR is my favorite radio station.
  • I make lists like a mad woman...I guess you guys probably already knew this about me (see here and here), but I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have to-do or to-buy lists all over the house. There is one on my coffee table right now.
  • I am about to graduate with my master's and am applying for doctoral programs in my chosen field, but my secret dream career is to be an actress. 
  • I am crafty, but according to the hubs, I'm only successful when the project can be completed in an afternoon. He's right. I had two windows in the trunk of my car for about two years. Sadly, this is also not an exaggeration. They would probably still be there if we had not broke them last year while changing my tire.
  • Whenever I get cold, I say "boosh." Up until the last year, I thought it was normal to say that when you're cold (like saying brrr), but I have since been informed multiple times that it is not. 

3) Answer the five questions presented with your nomination

How did you get started with your blog? 
I like to write, and reading some of my favorite blogs gave me the urge to start my own. Originally, this blog was to document my move to Los Angeles, California a few years ago, hence the name "Why I'd Want to Live Here." Death Cab for Cutie has a song about how awful LA is, and at one point it says, "I don't know why you'd want to live here." This blog was going to be my answer.
The big LA move was the first thing in my life that I felt was noteworthy enough to write about. However, after that fell through, the blog stuck around. Every once in awhile, I still felt the urge to write, and when I came up with the idea to do yearly lists, I had something to post about. Publicizing my goals holds me accountable. Although I feel that this blog is mostly a random mish-mash, I need a topic to give me ideas when I'm all out, and that usually does the trick. 

What is the most challenging part of having a blog?
There are two things that I have difficultly with. The first refers to the creativity aspect. Sometimes I have a tough time coming up with a post that I think others would want to read. This explains my spotty posting history. If I try to write something and I'm not really into it, I don't post it. 
I also worry about sharing too much. I know that I don't have a massive following, and the people that do read this blog probably know me personally. Sometimes I will write something that I have strong feelings about or that reveals something more personal about me, but I won't post it because I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the vulnerability that comes with that. I have a post that I absolutely love, but I have been sitting on it for months because it's a tough subject. I might post it eventually. We'll see. 

Ten years from now, what do you see your life looking like?
I wish I had an exciting answer for this question instead of the standard 2 kids, white picket fence. Hopefully I'll be doing research on the brain, teaching neuropsychology at a university somewhere. Wait, scratch the hopefully. I think if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen if you put forth the effort, so I WILL be doing brain research and teaching at neuropsychology. The hubs and I will have been back to Europe and we will have 2.5 kids and a dog. Of course, if I pursue my other dream, maybe I will be a world famous actress. Who knows where life will take me?

If money were no issue, what is the one thing you'd like to do most?
Travel. If money were no issue, I would spend my life seeing different parts of the world and learning about different cultures. Maybe the hubs and I would even live in a sail boat (That's actually HIS dream. I'm not kidding).

What is one of your favorite quotes?
"Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself"
Harvey Fierstein 

4) Ask five new questions to your nominated bloggers

  • How did you get started with your blog?
  • Who (or what) influences and/or inspires your writing?
  • Where would you most like to travel?
  • What are some things on your bucket list?
  • What is the kindest act you have ever witnessed (or partaken in?)

5) Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

My top five picks are.....

  1. Louise of Louise in Person
  2. Lorissa of Beautiful Somehow
  3. Brittany of The Fancy Poor People
  4. Amy of In These Shoes
  5. Natalie of Natalie the Nerd

It's possible that The Fancy Poor People may have over 200 readers, but I know all of these blogs are on the smaller side and aren't giant, corporate, compensated blogs. Besides, I love them all and think that others should enjoy them as much as I do! 

6) Copy and paste the award on your blog.
Check! I found a fancy little gif. See?

7) Hope that the people you've sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers and keep it going! 


Dear Sweaty, Overly Serious Gym Men,

Yes, I know that this is the free weights room and I am a girl, but please stop looking at me like I am a nun in a bar. It makes me feel like this: 

True, it is often so saturated with testosterone in here that I swear my chest shrinks a little the moment I enter the room, but, as all of you are over the age of 3, I would assume that you have had some contact with members of the opposite sex aside from family (although maybe I am giving you too much credit). The point is that a girl shouldn't be an oddity. 

Yes, I know that I am lifting about 12 pounds less than your elderly great-grandfather could lift, but I am getting there. Besides, before you judge me, you might want to consider that many of you have worked your chest so much that you are beginning to resemble a goomba. Not from the Mario video games, but the movie. Here is a reference shot:

There is an ideal head to body ratio, and you are dangerously close to blowing it out of the water. It's okay to tone it down a bit. 

I know that some of the weights you lift are unimaginably heavy and you have to heave and grunt like a dying elephant each time you struggle mightily to pull them off the ground. Secretly, though? I feel like you might be showing out a little. I'm not sure why you would think those noises are enticing, though. Too much Discovery Channel and not enough experience with actual women, perhaps? 

Also, it's working out. It should be somewhat enjoyable. Try not to take yourself too seriously. I don't. I threw my arms in the air when I finished my run the other day, and I caught myself dancing to "I'm Sexy and I Know It"....

Actually, maybe that's why you're all staring at me. Please disregard this last post (except the goomba thing, I definitely mean that). 

PS: I can see you looking at my bum when I do squats. I know you're trying to be subtle, but there are mirrors everywhere, so good luck with that.