Month: October 2013

30 week blog challenge – week 8: cravings

Mickey Cookies

I tend to get strong cravings. People who follow my Twitter feed may see some of my random cravings pop up from time to time often.

I have to start by saying I have weird food rules regarding myself. That’s something I won’t go into detail here, but it’s part of the reason I deny myself the cravings I get so often. I crave random things at any time, but my most frequent cravings are sushi, bacon or sausage and Cream of Wheat, Crispy Crowns (a version of Tater Tots) Cocoa Puffs Treats, any kind of sweet drink that’s non-alcoholic, and when I get in the mood, spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti.

Recently, it’s been sub sandwiches or sushi, or those sausage, egg, and cheese croissant sandwiches that Jimmy Dean makes. And I know I’m a sugar addict. I love sweets so much. Chocolate, macarons, cupcakes, cookies, candy, jelly donuts, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. I love sweet drinks. Juices. Kool-Aid (or its various knockoffs), fruit punch, lemonade. Yes, I definitely have a sweet tooth. So I crave a lot of sweet things and quite often. But don’t think I ignore the savory. Cream of chicken rice soup is a song for my soul and I love to indulge when I made it to the diner. One of my favorite meals is spinach over chicken rice. Mmmm.

So there you have it. Cravings. Amen.

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30 week blog challenge – week 7: the meaning behind your blog name

Hello! So sorry for the silence. I was off in the Big Apple causing trouble visiting some friends and seeing the sights. Here’s my entry for week 7 in the 30 week blog challenge!

My blog’s name is Anywhere Is. It’s my favorite song ever. I became an Enya fan when I was in college, and I was in a record store when I realized they had a new CD of hers out: The Memory of Trees. I liked what I was hearing in the store, so I bought the CD. I didn’t hear Anywhere Is until I was home and listening to it in my Aiwa CD player.

I heard the song. And was instantly in love. I’d put on my headphones and put the song on repeat, and literally listen to it for hours.

My former roommates said they think of me whenever they hear the song. :)

When I decided to get a domain back in 2000 (This was a big decision–only the most elite blogs/sites were supposed to use domains, and mine wasn’t that. I didn’t care.), anywhere-is.net was the only name that would work for me. And it was available. I worried slightly the Enya’s team would come after me, but they never did. And here I am, nearly 13 years later, with the same domain name, still blogging.

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loving these days.

October Rainbow

“…positivity is not about being soft, it’s about being smart. you suckers.”–donnie wahlberg

This quote:

If not me, who?
If not now, when?

Seriously, though. Why do I procrastinate so much? I need to keep this quote in the forefront of my mind. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Make it count. And all that stuff. I also need to actually FOLLOW it. You should see the things that go through my mind at night. Then the daylight comes and I’m like ZzzZzzZZZzzZZ.

But this week will be the week to change things. They’re doing construction in the neighborhood again, which means pounding and banging for eight hours, starting at 8 or 9am. Which I think should be against the law. Hammers should NEVER be allowed out before 10am. But that’ll keep me from sleeping all day and being up all night… MAYBE. :)

These sweaters from Old Navy:

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 10.39.55 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 11.52.54 PM

They’re so cute and soft and fun to wear! I love them both with skinny jeans, boots, and a denim jacket.

This perfume from Gap:

gapstay It smells really light and fresh, like I stepped right out of the shower. I also like their perfume called “Close.” I’m very sensitive to scent, and some perfumes are just too much. Like, I know it’s supposed to be the rich person’s scent and all, but I cannot do perfumes like Chanel No. 5 or anything that smells close to that. And most of the celebrity-endorsed scents just do not work well with my nose. I’m also not a huge fan of the staple scents like CKOne or things like that. Give me light, floral or musky, and clean and fresh.

My tan “Queen” boots from wantedshoes.com.

tan

They sometimes have three colors: black, dark brown, and the aforementioned tan. (Right now, they only have the black ones in stock.) I happen to own all three colors because I love this style of boot so much. But when I got the tan ones, I really wondered when the hell I’d wear them because I wasn’t used to such light colored boots. But they’ve been a godsend this autumn, going with everything and looking great! I’ll wear the black ones and the dark brown ones later in the season and in the winter, but the tan ones are awesome for the fall.

The other colors:

black brown

My Bongo messenger bag:

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 12.24.24 AM

I got it 50% off, and yes, it’s faux leather but I don’t care it’s sooo cute and autumny and roomy. I can fit my wallet, camera, phone, a notebook, my iPad, and a bottle of water in the thing. I love that.

Other things I love…..

The massive amount of books I’ve been buying lately. I bought a bunch of books when we were in Ohio and had stopped in a Barnes & Noble. Most of them were for my mom, but I got some for myself as well. (I also broke down and bought the dang membership because I spend enough there anyway, and with all the discounts I got that day, the membership ended up costing me $5.)Last week, we went to Half-Price Books where I went crazy in the clearance section for both books and CDs. I left with two bags bursting with stuff for under $30, including some Gossip Girl novels, which are SUCH a guilty pleasure. I don’t know about you all, but I feel so much for the Blair in the books. I think she is my favorite. Monday, Adam and I went to Anderson’s Bookshop (best bookstore EVER) and I got two new books. So I have a load of books to read and they’re all stacked by my bed waiting for me to happily devour them.

How cute Adam looks in the fall. :) Now that the weather is cooling down, he’s stopped being quite as cranky. He loves the fall and all the pumpkin stuff, and the fall colors look really good on him.

What are YOU loving these days?

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30 week blog challenge – week 6: favorite songs

Ha. After doing the epic music confession post the other day, I find out that this week’s blog challenge is to talk about our favorite songs. OF COURSE it is!

Random Wednesday Night

I’ll start with my absolute favorite song forever and ever amen, this blog’s namesake. Anywhere Is by Enya. The funny thing is that I love it so much, but I don’t allow myself to listen to it all the time. So it’s an extra special rare treat to hear it.

I have a list of songs that are my all time favorites. Songs that are ALWAYS welcome to pop into my ears if I’m playing the playlist on shuffle. Songs that never fail to make me smile or bring up some good memory or make me want to dance.

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 11.27.43 PM

This is some of my Eleventified™ playlist. Some of the songs are from long, long ago, and some of them are from as recently as a few months ago. Funnily enough, as with Anywhere Is, I don’t play this playlist often. I think I’m scared of getting tired of these songs that I love so much, and I want to keep it a treat to hear them. Is that weird? Yeah, it’s probably weird.

What are your favorite songs?

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love/hate.

Chicago Skyline from Lake Michigan
It’s no secret to everyone who knows me that I have a love/hate relationship with Chicago. And that even with this tumultuous relationship, I have no desire to move back to Columbus, Ohio. Even though there are parts of my life there that I miss, it’s not worth it for me to move back and feel so depressed again.

I moved to Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day in 2008, and let me tell you, it was hard going for a while there. I’d just left Aidan in OH with his dad, my cat Lucy passed away, I couldn’t find a decent job, it was cold and grey, and I had some major sticker shock in regards to the cost of groceries. Things didn’t start to look up until that summer. Adam found me a great doctor who I still use to this day, I got medicated again, I got to temp in an office that was a far cry from the nightmare I worked for in my first job here, I (re)discovered chocolate covered ice cream bars, and Aidan was with me. We also got Helena, and oh right, Adam and I got married.

Things got better for me after that first few months, and I’m pretty adjusted now. I still have mixed feelings about living here, though.

THE BAD
There are some pretty damn awful things about living in Chicago. Things like:

– how people start shooting everyone once the summer temperatures hit. really? why do you need to go around shooting and killing folks? and dude, it’s been winter for like, eight months. why are you mad that it’s finally warm?
– people (myself included) are SCARY when they drive here. every time i get behind the wheel (and let’s be honest, i try to avoid that as much as possible), i freak out a little bit. people are super aggressive and quick to honk and throw middle fingers. so am i, i’m ashamed to say. (it’s why i don’t have things on my car that say namaste or something, cause i don’t feel it when i’m behind the wheel!)
– there is never a defined rush hour. bad traffic is almost always a constant. and it’s terrible. when it takes 90 minutes to go 30 miles, you know something’s not right.
– on that same note–the traffic lights. they’re just wrong. there are so many of them, and none of them are timed in a way that makes sense. for example, you will be sitting at a red light and you’ll see the green one on the next block. your light finally turns green… just in time for the light on the next block to turn red just as you get to it. imagine dealing with that for miles and miles. yeah, i understand why the dudebros in the big black suvs get aggressive.
– i hate driving here because it turns me into a raving bitch.
– because people do things here that i don’t see anywhere else. the sheer amount of double parking on the streets still blows my mind. people don’t think twice about blocking traffic to get a sandwich. “my flashers are on, so it’s ok!” they must think. the sense of entitlement some drivers have here is amazing.
– the sales tax. why the hell is it nearly 10%?
– also, why are groceries taxed?
– gas prices in the city are nearly $1 more than in any other part of the state/country.
– the cold lasts so long here. while everyone else in the country is posting pictures of their kids in their spring clothes and things in april and early may, i’m still in gloves and a heavy coat. it doesn’t warm up here until mid-to-late june. we get about eight weeks of really warm temps on average and only two of them are unbearable (for me anyway).
– it’s an intense city. people are in a hurry to go ACCOMPLISH THINGS. or i feel like i can’t walk down the street without someone wanting something from me. it gets to be wearing. i spend a lot of time hiding in my room because just a few days out in that craziness makes me feel violated.
– the library and education system here is not good and they’re getting budget cuts all the time.
– it’s just plain inconvenient to own a car, and that’s done purposefully, with high registration costs, random extra costs like city stickers, expensive and challenging parking, and the awful aforementioned traffic systems.
– people don’t clean up after their dogs in the winter. it’s so gross once the snow finally melts in june and there’s dog poo all over the sidewalks.
– people are loud. and there are a lot of them. i need space.

THE GOOD
But there are some wonderful things about living in Chicago.

– morton arboretum. lots and lots of trees!
– LOTS of amazing authors come here for book events. (remember when i met judy blume?)
– so many opportunities for creative industry folks like me. i get to primarily work from home doing what i love. that’s quite a blessing.
– anderson’s bookshop.
– molly’s cupcakes.
– the cta (but i say that being a person who doesn’t rely on it every single day like some commuters)
– lots to do–it’s your own fault if you’re bored.
– shopping. i can hop on a bus and be at a tiffany & co. in 20 minutes. lots of really great stores that are not common to find.
– cloud gate.
– the skyline really is impressive.
– christmas in chicago is a wonderful thing. everything’s so beautifully decorated. there is the german christmas market downtown, the macy’s store windows, and the big tree in daley plaza.
– they film a lot of movies and tv shows here.
– i can sometimes get background acting roles for movies.
– i can wear my hair natural and not feel like i’m being “subversive” or “making a statement.” because god forbid i wear my hair the way it grows out of my head.
– the community at moksha yoga (which is the one thing i’d really miss if i moved).
– i have an amazing doctor. she really, truly cares about her patients, and she feels like a friend.
– good sushi is right around the corner.
– i mean, i can walk to a delicious sushi place in about three minutes.
– even though they poop everywhere, the dogs are typically pretty friendly and they cheer me up a lot by coming up to me for pets and rubs.
– people as a whole are dicks, but individually, they’re really cool. a lot of folks who live here are super friendly. except when they’re driving. then they’re assholes. so am i.
– it’s cool to say “i live in Chicago” when people ask where i’m visiting from.
– i’ve gotten to do some really cool things, things that would have never happened if i haven’t lived here: becoming friends with sarah dessen, meeting weird al, being an extra in divergent and seeing kate winslet in person, meeting ll cool j, getting to go backstage at certain shows, hanging out with ricky luna, all the master yoga teachers i’ve studied with, getting certified to be a yoga teacher, the huge fireworks in my neighborhood every july 4….

Now, Adam is absolutely in LOVE with Chicago, so I don’t see us leaving here any time soon. But sometimes I do fleetingly think of moving somewhere new. Sometimes, I just feel like I’m ready for a new adventure. Except I’m not sure where I want that adventure to be! I do know this: I want somewhere warmer (or at least somewhere with a normal winter), less expensive, less crowded, less intense, and more green. It’s so weird, one never knows where they will end up, right? Ten years ago, I would have NEVER pictured this life…even though I had started planting the seeds to grow this life. So who knows what new awesome things are in store for me? :)

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