everywhere and nowhere.

Ronni

Well, it’s been a busy 12 days. I’ve had two acting classes since I last wrote, had a cold and gotten over it, and traveled to Los Angeles.

Acting is going well. My scene partner and I were really in the flow and we got some really nice compliments on our last two performances. And then, last Tuesday, the teacher said he’d want to do a One Act of the play and use me and Gabe. That, my friends, is super high praise, and almost brought me to tears. The best part is that I had so much fun working on the scene. I loved my character, I loved the situation, I loved working with Gabe. I am finally learning, slowly but surely, to let go. To take big risks. To go BALLS OUT. It’s paying off and reminding me why I went back into acting.

I’ve been assigned a new scene and a new partner. This one is super challenging and I’m really going to have to dig to figure out what the heck. But you know what? Bring it. Bring it all the way on. I’m learning how to work and research and analyze. This can’t do anything but help me. So… God help me.

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Earlier this week, I did something crazy! I flew all the way to Los Angeles to attend a special screening of the movie Divergent. The screening was through All It Takes, a charity started by Shailene Woodley and her mom that helps train children to become leaders. I wish I’d have had camps like that when I was younger!

I figured if I was going all the way out there, I was going big, so I sprung for the VIP package so I could meet some of the actors from the movie! I was so excited I could barely sleep! I got a new outfit and everything.

I was absolutely heartbroken that the main actor I wanted to see–Theo James–did NOT attend the after party, and I’m still not over it. I really, really, really wanted to meet him. You guys have no idea. Maybe you do. Whatever. But honestly, the number of near misses I have with him is getting out of hand. I’d like to just MEET HIM ALREADY OK Universe???

I did see him introduce the movie which… meh. I wanted to actually talk to him. Maybe someday. *sigh* I mean seriously, Universe. Get on that please and thank you.

Anyway, I did get to meet many other actors from the movie, including Shailene Woodley, who is the star. She is a total sweetheart. She seemed so excited that I’d traveled from Chicago for the event. Gave me tons of hugs. It was so cute when she introduced herself to me, as if I didn’t know who she was.

Me and Shailene Woodley
me and shailene woodley
she’s a sister on that priestess path

I met Christian Madsen, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Amy Newbold, and the author of the series, Veronica Roth. I had the most fun talking to Christian, Amy, and Shai. I also met Shai’s mom, Lori, who is just as huggy and sweet as her daughter is.

(I apologize in advance for the picture quality. The lighting was dim and I was using my phone. Sometimes the iPhone 5 takes lovely photos. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.)

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me and christian madsen, who plays al in the movie
really awesome guy, fun and super easy to talk to

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me and ben lloyd-hughes, who plays will in the movie
we are fuzzy

Me and Amy Newbold
me and amy newbold, who plays molly in the movie
absolute doll
(and jai courtney, who plays eric, in the background!)

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me and veronica roth, author of the divergent series

While I was in Los Angeles, I spent time with some friends and family. I got to see Amy, who I hadn’t seen since 2009. I always have such a good time hanging out with Amy. We’ve known each other for nearly 14 years, a fact which blows my mind.

Me and Amy
me and amy

I also got to see my brother- and sister-in-law, and we ate lunch at a really yummy place called Stacked. Basically, you order everything custom, you do it in an iPad from your table. It’s amazing. I could get exactly what I wanted. I got pulled pork with pickles and fries, and IT WAS DELICIOUS. I didn’t take a picture of my food, but I did get a picture with Eli and Melissa. I look like I’m in pain. It’s just me not being used to all that lovely sunshine.

Melissa, Eli, and Me

Let me tell you something. The second I stepped out of the airport into that mild, sunny weather, I felt like myself again. I felt like and free and happy. I knew the winter was hard on me, but I had no idea how hard. The weather was a lovely 87F and I soaked it all up like a dry plant needing water. The hot sun felt so good on my skin, and the light breeze was perfect. The sky was a deep blue, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was absolutely beautiful. I even spent some time by the pool at my hotel, just letting the sun warm me all over. I loved it.

Ronni

I miss the heat.

Shine

And the views.

Malibu

And the overall beauty out there. Mountains, beaches, the sky. I kept telling Amy how lucky she is to have all those pretty mountains to look at, although driving on them would be scary as hell! All the twists and turns and cliffs? DUDE. I also miss the cool people I met out there. It was a great night of connecting… I hope we all meet again someday.

la agrees with me!!

LA obviously agrees with me. I wish I could afford to live out there. Not even necessarily to pursue acting or anything. Just to be in all that lovely sunshine, to have that beach, the Pacific ocean, the bright blue sky all the time. Not to mention, being so close to Disneyland. La la la, maybe someday.

Ocean Love

I’m ready to go somewhere else now. I don’t think Adam understands the extent of my wanderlust. He’s like “We’re going to Jekyll this summer,” and I’m all like “I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THIS SUMMER TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE I WANT TO TRAVEL NOW!” I’ve been looking at the Living Social Escapes and being so tempted to book one of those packages that includes flights and everything. I really want to travel out of the country.

Someday, I will.

Till next time…..

new york city! center of the universe!

New York City 2013

I visited New York City for the 2nd time in my life in the middle of October this year. I went in with three goals in mind: See the Statue of Liberty, buy macarons at Laduree, and go to Central Park. I didn’t get to see Lady Liberty this time (but got to walk past the Empire State Building which I wasn’t expecting so that totally made up for it), but I did get to go to Central Park. And BOY did I get macarons!

I stayed with my friend Wanda, who I’ve known online for years, and her partner T. I met Wanda when I went to NYC for the first time in NYC, where she took me to a restaurant with flaming cheese or something crazy like that. I was really looking forward to spending more time with her and getting to know T.

New York City 2013
Wanda

She is amazing. And her partner, T, is also amazing. I had so much fun with them. It was like being with family. Truly. I love them. I can’t help but feel like they’re so much more sophisticated than I am because they’re living in New York City and living well. Whereas I wonder every other day what the hell I’m doing in Chicago.

New York City 2013

Wanda is a photographer. She takes beautiful photos. One advantage of having someone with you who loves to take photos and is great at it? Is that I got to be the star of a lot of photos!

New York City
Working It!

My first day out and about in the city, we ate brunch at a yummy diner, then headed to the Upper East Side so I could get my macarons. Guys, I love the UES. The buildings are so pretty and everyone looks so… rich. And the stores. Oh lordy. The stores! My wallet was itching to come out, but I didn’t. I resisted. Except in Laduree. I went a little crazy in there.

New York City 2013

Can you blame me?

New York City 2013
Sweet Lord

We didn’t get much time in mid-town. We had to head to Jersey for BBQ and jazz, and that was a long trip involving a lot of trains. We walked past the Empire State Building, which wasn’t something I expected to see. I was excited about that.

New York City 2013
Empire State Building

I mean, yeah, I felt like a total dork but I rocked that dorkiness. Hell, I still geek out over the Sears/Willis/whatever the hell ever and I freaking LIVE here.

Anyway, we got to the BBQ place and ate delicious food and listened to wonderful jazz that reminded me of The Cosby Show. Then Mr. Hayes, the sax player (and also T’s sax teacher), gave me a copy of his CD and signed it for me. He also told me, in so many words, that I was pretty, making him an instant favorite.

New York City 2013
Mr. Hayes & Me

After a crazy commute home, we relaxed and then crashed.

An earlier start the next morning. I had no idea it was going to be such a long but awesome day! Wanda and I headed up near Columbia to see her church, Riverside. A beautiful building! Then we darted to Columbus Circle to meet my friend Sun, someone else I’d known online for a very long time but had never got the chance to meet! Until that day!

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

Sun is just as awesome in real life as she is online. She’s so confident and self-assured, and she is so comfortable in NYC. I can tell she really loves the city and that she thrives there. I am sooo glad I got to meet her… finally!

We explored Central Park, which is, hands down, my FAVORITE part of New York City. It’s so big and vibrant and there is so much nature and it’s so beautiful. I love, love, love Central Park.

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

New York City 2013

New York City

I could have stayed there even longer but another Laduree run tempted me away. So, we stopped there, then we all headed to Soho for MORE sweets! After that, Sun was done, but Wanda and I headed to Times Square to keep the party going!

We rode the Ferris Wheel in Toys R Us, and naturally I dragged her into the Times Square Disney Store. Because COME ON. You remember whose blog you’re on, right? :)

New York City 2013

After playing a bit in Times Square where I was made to feel super pretty again (Seriously, what is it with NYC guys? My confidence was sailing!), we headed to Bryant Park, then to Grand Central Station. My feet were like “REALLY?” by the end of that day. It was exhausting but awesome.

The next day, I had to leave. I’d been having so much fun in NYC that I tried to switch my flight to a later day so I could extend my vacation, but the prices were outrageous! I was sad to go. There was so much I wanted to see: The High Line, The Cloisters, and more! But you know, the weather was getting colder and wetter anyway so maybe it was for the best.

I picked up a few souvenirs at the airport on the way home, because I needed to be a tourist and get something that said I <3 NY on it.

New York City 2013

New York is such an intense city, especially at rush hour. I’m not sure if I could handle living there. But I love to visit. The energy is great, and there is so much to see and do. I can’t wait to go back soon.

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We’ll be together again soon!

(Wanna see more pictures? Click here!)

chill.

Morton Arboretum 2013

Chicago had a crazy night of wind and rain, and I think that the high in the upper 40s today means that the part of autumn I’m not a fan of is settling in. The part when all the pretty leaves are falling off the trees with a vengeance and it’s just rain and cold and grey… until all that rain turns to snow. I think the Christians were on to something, tossing Christmas where they did. If I didn’t have the holiday season to look forward to, I don’t know what sort of shape I’d be in. I guess mourning for the true loss of summer, jeans shorts, sandals, and tank tops.

But. Moving on from that. I had a really neat October. There was my trip to New York City, which was amazing and awesome and will be blogged about for sure because a little blurb in a potluck post won’t be able to cover everything. But I’m not completely cruel, so here’s a photo of me laughing in Times Square.

New York City 2013

There was an afternoon spent at Morton Arboretum to capture the beautiful fall colors. I visited Graceland Cemetery, where I always get a little bit maudlin. I start freaking out about mortality and letting my mind go to dark places. Maybe I shouldn’t visit cemeteries anymore. But then, how could I get photos like this?

Graceland Cemetary

There was my trip to Columbus, Ohio, where I hadn’t been for three years. Things just fell into place for me to attend the Ohio Valley Filk Fest this year. I’m not even *that* into filk, but a lot of people I adored was going to be there. Someone offered me a ride. And I made hotel arrangements with Belinda and Patrick. And with all that working in my favor, plus a chance to see Aidan? It was a no brainer. Aidan had no idea, so when his dad pulled up to the hotel, Aidan was not impressed. Then he saw me and his little face lit up like the sun. It was so awesome to see! I’d missed that little guy and scheduling this year has made it hard to see him. Last weekend was the first time I’d seen him since he left in August.

Surprise Weekend with Aidan
i was so happy to hug him again!

It was so nice to spend the weekend with him, and with some other friends in the sci-fi/con community.

Belinda, S00j, and Me
belinda, s00j, and me
so blessed to know those two beautiful women
and of course i had to represent my alma mater

I got to eat at my beloved Bob Evans with my friend Angelo, who I’ve known since college and who I adore. Even though I really enjoy the Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, there is no sausage better than the Bob Evans patties.

Now that November is here, all of my shop emails are turning to holiday themes. Which I’m usually OK with but this year, I feel like it’s rushing me a bit. Probably because the place isn’t holiday ready, what with Lena’s litter box habits being very out of whack and the constant cleanup because of that. Also because we need to just do a serious deep cleaning anyway and I have zero motivation to do it any time soon. There’s cat hair everywhere. The kitchen counters need a good scrub down. I need to sanitize the bathroom again. And I will. Truly. A lovely pixie named s00j is coming to spend the night in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure that the place is spic and span for her.

Crookshanks has plopped on to my lap and is purring like a purring thing. He’s also putting his paw on my hands every time I start typing, so I think that means it’s time to sign off for now. Tonight’s plan is to kick off my weekend Singing Myself Awake. Third year in a row I get to study with Suzanne Sterling. I’m a bit nervous about the asana practices. She kicked my butt last year and that was when I had a regular and strong practice. Now my practice is weak and sporadic. I’m going to be hurting by the time this weekend is over. But it’s my fault for letting my practice slip so much. I’m also worried because I have health issues this year that weren’t as severe last year. This year they could be a hindrance, but I know that I can always modify. Maybe this weekend will kick me back into gear.

Anyway, I’m off for now. Need to shower and eat something to prepare for the asana kicking I will surely experience tonight. And Crookshanks really does mean business.

Till next time….

visiting ohio.

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ronni!style
jacket: levi’s | jcpenney
pants: rockstar | old navy
sweater: mickey mouse | kohl’s
scarf & arm warmers: five below
purse: rosetti | kohl’s

Last week, Adam and I drove out to Ohio to visit my mommy for our annual September trip. I was very much looking forward to visiting my mom, getting the heck out of Chicago, and eating at Bob Evans!

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One thing that Twinsburgh, OH has that Chicago doesn’t is trees. Lots and lots of trees. The highways here are clogged with cars, and on the sides are buildings or grassy knolls… but the highways in Northern Ohio are bordered by woods. Actual woods. It’s gorgeous and refreshing to see. I always forget how thirsty I am to see trees until I’m around them and can’t stop looking.

Anyway, we arrived at my mom’s at about noonish Monday morning. We wanted to be there earlier, but the drive took forever! I-80 was just stuffed with construction, and that’s never any fun. And there were cops everywhere there wasn’t construction. But we made it and immediately headed to Bob Evans for lunch. :) We shopped and then went home and hung out for a while.

My cousin Falandos came over and we headed out for Mexican food at this place called El Camino. I’d been there only once and remembered amazing margaritas. The margaritas are just as delicious as before. We may or may not have made our way through two pitchers.

Best margarita ever!!!!

Some more of my family met us at the restaurant, and we had a lot of fun eating delicious food and catching up.

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aunt geneva, me, terri

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me, falandos, janae
i am totally not drunk

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my cute mommy

It was a good night.

The next day, I could not wake up! I was trying to work from home but kept falling asleep at the computer. It was so annoying. But I finally got the work done, and we headed over to the west side for Adam’s book event. While we were there, Belinda and Patrick showed up! :D We ended up going with them to dinner at this wonderful little place called Cafe Stratos.

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patrick, me, belinda,
and stella the greek

We had the cutest server named Stella, and the food was SOOO GOOD. All homemade. Everything was good, the soups, the dessert (I had blueberry pie), and the crusty bread that came to our table before the main course.

Also, it was customer appreciation night, so our entrees were half price with the purchase of a beverage. The menu had a ton of stuff that looked good. I went with the veal which I think was an excellent choice. It reminded me of the veal at Marone’s, a place I loved when I lived in Columbus.

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belinda and patrick
i adore this couple
my mom said she loves their energy

After dinner, we headed to my friend Andy’s to FINALLY meet Odin, his rottweiler who’s now seven months old. Odin is huge but he’s got a sweet heart. It was funny, he’s so protective of Andy. When we first arrived, he seemed all tense and all, you know how dogs do. But then I hugged Andy and I could see the dog visibly relax. It was amazing. After that, Odin and I were totally BFFs.

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The next day, we hung around the house relaxing. We were all tired from a whirlwind two days, so we watched The Food Network and talked. Later that evening, the cousins visited again and that was fun.

Thursday, we were slated to leave, but Adam started craving sandwiches after watching them create such lovely ones on Food Network shows. Now, I am always up for a good sandwich but Adam rarely is. My mom mentioned Corky & Lenny’s and we were on our way.

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corned beef, juicy
smothered in mustard
sweet damn

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mommy biting into her delicious sandwich

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adam got some fancy sandwich
with corned beef and pastrami
and cheese and i think some sort of dressing

We did some more shopping, and I took the chance to spoil my mommy a bit. :) Then it was time for us to head back to Chicago. We made it after an uneventful trip back that didn’t seem nearly as long as the trip to Ohio. Maybe because I had a good book to read in the car. Or maybe because there wasn’t nearly as much construction.

Anyway, it was a much too short trip, but it was a lovely trip nevertheless. I am quite blessed.

life got away from me.

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So much to post about! Tomorrow, I leave for Disney World 2013 part 2. :) It came up so fast because I’ve been so busy with work, work, work. Most days, I seriously work all day, then I go home and work 3-4 hours in the evening, and some weekends too. Long days but decent money. So this trip is going to be awesome!

A lot has been going on, too. Adam and I went with his family to Iowa for a weekend. It was great. Beautiful weather, great shopping, and good girl time for girls with my sister-in-law and her friend. Lola is getting so big and she’s still as adorable as ever. :)

Lola is AWESOME

It was nice to catch up with family and friends and get out of Chicago for a weekend. And the Des Moines farmer’s market? HOLY CRAP. The thing spans multiple blocks and streets… they only had asparagus for produce really, but there was so much other great stuff, like jewelry and clothing and mini donuts and wine. Especially blackberry wine. Mmmmm.

Adam and I went to see Marina and The Diamonds at the Riviera. It was a sold out show. I had to work that day, and the concert was general admission, so I knew we’d be in a long, long line. Except we totally didn’t because Adam ran into an old friend who was part of the local crew, and he got us to the front of the line. That didn’t make the people who’d spent the night there very happy–but they needn’t have worried. Adam and I were so not into being in the mob on the floor–we went straight to the balcony and grabbed seats!

It was a fantastic show. Charli XCX opened for her and I hadn’t realized that I’d already heard and liked a few of her songs.

Charli XCX

But Marina. OH MY GOD Marina. She is a queen. She is a goddess. She puts on a great show, and she looks like she’s having a blast doing it. Love her. So much.

Marina & The Diamonds

My yoga group had its official closing circle May 24. It was really nice. We did our thesis presentations, talked about the program and how we were going to use the new knowledge.

Closing Circle Official

Then we all went out for sushi! First we posed for pictures:

Ariel and Amy
ariel and amy

Genevieve, me, Reshma
genevieve, me, reshma

Graham and Angie
graham and his fiancee angie

Then I ate this!!

Namasake Don
namasake don

And this!

Passion Fruit Torte
passion fruit torte

Yummy yummy yummy!!!! :D

I got a couple of really cool things in the mail. One was this really cool iPad cover. My original cover is red, but I really wanted a pink one. So I got the Snugg iPad 2 Case, which I LOVE. Oh my God. It’s so compact and professional looking, but still fun. It’s got the smart cover thing, so I can close it and know it’s going to switch off… yeah, I’m really happy with it. :)

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I also got a really awesome tee shirt from Dress United, which is a place you can get custom tees made. I went with a design of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, and this is what I ended up with:

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The back looks like this:

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I really like the shirt. I wish I’d gotten a bigger size because the cut does run small (I believe this is a size M.) Clothes shopping is a challenge for me because sizes are NOT consistent across the board. I almost always have to try on, because sizes aren’t even consistent within the same stores sometimes! So, I can wear an XS tee shirt in one place and a L from somewhere else… I tend to go with an M because that’s usually pretty safe, but in this case, I needed to size up. I still like the shirt, though. The design really pops and the colors are vivid and bright! If you’re looking to get a custom-designed tee shirt, You can get one for 30% off and free shipping if you use this link and the coupon code BLOG30OFF4U.

The lilacs have finally bloomed in my neighborhood, but they’re already going away. Why do I wait all spring for them only for them to wither away not even a week later? So sad. I’m lucky I got photos, though!

Lilacs!!!!

I make it a point to take huge sniffs of the lilac bushes in my neighborhood whenever I can because I love them so much. Now, I’d LOVE to think that once the lilacs are out that the weather is finally broken, but nope. It didn’t even get past 55F today. And it was rainy and cold. COME ON. It’s JUNE already.

Thank God I’m going to Orlando tomorrow, where the forecasted high is 86F. SO looking forward to the heat. It’s kinda messed up that it’s June and I still have to go to Florida to warm up…..

Anyway. I’m just about all packed. Which is kind of a miracle considering I usually start packing the night before for these things. Aidan is playing the new Kirby game I got him, and my mom is in the kitchen washing glasses for some reason. She’s all packed and so is Aidan, except for things like electronics, which are currently charging, medications that need to be taken in the morning, and toiletries which will be used in the morning. But tomorrow this time, we’ll all be in Orlando chilling. So excited! :) I don’t know how we’re all managing to act so calm….

Anyway, that’s all for now. Till next time! :)

I received free products from Dress United and Snugg in exchange for my honest and unbiased reviews.

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