Monday, May 31, 2010

Moving Karma

On Saturday, May 29th, the boyfriend and I helped two very good friends of ours move to a newer, larger apartment.  These friends have helped me move from my old apartment into the boyfriend's apartment, so I definitely felt that I would want to help them move to a new home.

The problem, however, is that they lived on the 3rd floor and they moved to an elevated 3rd floor (so it was like going up 4 floors).

I plugged through though, with multiple breaks.  With 5 of us moving things up and down stairs, it's really helped us move the majority of things to their new home.  

The boyfriend and I were exhausted.  We slept like logs that night.

The next morning, I woke up extremely sore!  I mean, my legs are so sore and stiff.  I'm walking funny, having trouble going up and down stairs, and just generally feeling a lot of pain.

The boyfriend has some bruising, and his extremities were swelling a bit.  But I guess I pushed myself much harder than he did, because I'm the only one who seems to be in pain.

Yet, I'm still doing so much moving around.  I'm still going to belly dance practice sessions, and generally walking around.  I feel like I can't just wait for the soreness to go away, but I do have to be careful about how I'm moving.

I've been stretching and keeping hydrated, but every time I get up from a seated position, I feel like I need a walker!  Perhaps tonight I will invest in some Epsom Salt and soak in the tub.  I can only hope that the soreness will help my weight loss along. 

All I know is, I will definitely be investing in hiring movers the next time I'm moving anywhere new.  I might even be willing to pitch in for movers the next time my friends are moving.

Talking Tunes - "Pinball Number Count" by The Pointer Sisters

In this very special episode of Talking Tunes, I wanted to share something I recently learned.

Okay, class, who here watched/still watches Sesame Street?  Do you remember that awesome sequence of singing and counting?  Lo and behold, it was sung by no other than the Pointer Sisters, who also sang some of your favorites such as "Jump (For My Love)," "I'm So Excited," and "Yes We Can Can."

Now, I know there isn't any actual talking in the song.  But counting is pretty significant.  It's a song about counting, for goodness sakes!  Once in a while, this song gets lodged in my brain, usually when I'm needing to actually count past 12.

If you already knew that the Pointer Sisters were responsible for this earworm, I hope you enjoyed reliving it.  For those who are newly learning this, I hope you've enjoyed this blast from the past with your new-found knowledge about how flippin' awesome the Pointer Sisters actually are.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

8Things - Improved Eating

As the trip to Greece looms closer and closer, and the weather is getting warmer and warmer, I'm reminded that I'm still in the same place that I was in the beginning of the year.  That is, I haven't lost a single pound.

If anything, I might have gained a couple of pounds, though I am staying positive and saying that it's just muscle weight.  I have received a lot of compliments in the past couple of months about whether I'm losing weight, but I think I'm just learning how to dress better for my body type.

That being said, here are my 8Things for improving my eating habits.

1.  More water!  I mean, c'mon.  What kind of mermaid am I if I'm not guzzling water all the time?  I've actually noticed that I'm drinking less water, for some reason.  AND, I know that it makes me snack more.  Maybe I will move back to carrying my BIG water bottle instead of my little portable one.

2.  More veggies!  I've been saying this forever.  Again, in the past several months, I feel like my veggie intake has gone through ups and downs.  I was really good about salad for lunch for 2 weeks, then I had a whole day of eating chili ( was really good chili...and my belly wasn't too angry at me for it!).   I really like Rachelle's idea about eating 2 all-veggie meals a week.  I might try to go for the same, and more if at all possible

3.  More variety!  So, not only do I need to up my veggie intake, I think I need to vary the types of foods I'm eating.  I've gotten interested in exploring quinoa recently, but I've yet to make something with it.  Time to look through all the recipe's I've collected from magazines, websites, and books.

4.  Less eating really late!  I'm a busy girl.  My extremely considerate boyfriend, who does most of the cooking, will sometimes plan it so that we can eat together.  Sometimes, that means that we eat close to 9pm.  That's bad.  I know that's bad.  It means I stay up later, usually, as well as storing a lot more fat.  Bad bad bad.  I know this.  I know that sometimes it can't be helped, let's say if I had a belly dance class at 6-7:30, and I get home at around 8:30.  But we've already started talking about it, and we're both going to try to make an effort at this.

5.  More juicing!  The other day, I woke up and felt like I really wanted to juice some fruits.  I haven't juiced anything in a long time, and my poor juicer looked it.  But it felt really good to have that fruit juice, though I really wanted some greens and ginger in the mix.  I think I would like to start my weekends with juice.  I'm generally pretty good about having breakfast during the week, though it's mainly bagels or cereal.  On the weekend, I wake up later and usually just have brunch (seriously, last Saturday, my 3 meals were of regrets...).  But, if I have juice in the morning, I feel like I might do better about my choices during the day.

6.  Finish "The Omnivore's Dilemma"!  I'm currently in my non-fiction book reading phase.  But I haven't necessarily had time to read for recreational purposes.  Though I felt like I knew quite a bit about healthy and ethical eating just from things I've read and talking to my ethical-eating friends, reading the book is bring a whole new level of consciousness to me.  I don't know if it will make me go completely local, organic, or grass-fed, but I will definitely try.  It could be a good experiment to find substitutes for Filipino meals.

7.  Try really hard to stay local, organic, and grass-fed...but recognize when I have to make exceptions1  Philippine Dried Mango?  Well, shoot.  I'm not going to give that up.  I know that everything can't fit nicely into all of those categories.  But if I can at least stay within one of them, I think I'll feel pretty good about myself.

8.  Just say no!  Or, well, I don't have to say no.  The problem is that I'm a very social creature.  And when I get social, I get snacky.  I need to be better about balancing my social nature with not eating while chatting.  I often grab lunch with another social worker in the school.  We chit chat, talk about nerdy things and our kittehs.  But sometimes, I go out to lunch even though I already have something packed!  Then I just feel like I'm wasting food, even though I'll eat whatever I packed later on in the day.  It's not a good feeling.  So, I need to be okay with saying no, or just bring my packed lunch with me (the little cafe we go to usually doesn't care).

I really like these lists.  It helps me put everything into perspective and keeps me on some sort of track.
Ya..that's a sausage.Wurstküche Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA
February 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

City Sights - Staying Cool

Holy moly, it's hot!

I don't know if it's really worth it yet to put the AC in, since there's a possibility of thunderstorms tonight.  At work, however, the AC is supposedly on.  How is it possible that I can barely feel the air in our office when it's so cold in the winter?

So, in an effort to stay cool, I wanted to post not hot photos from earlier this year.

January 2010
Brighton, MA

That is snow on the ground!
I just loved the way the clouds were hanging in the sky.

April 2010
Allston, MA
I love this picture.
A rainy day in Boston, and I mean pouring!
I was waiting at a bus stop, within a covered area.  

I looked up, and noticed that the water had collected 
on the glass roof of the bus cover area.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Window Watching

Hi, my name is Cecilia, and I'm nosey.

But hey, I think you might also be nosey, seeing that you're reading about random bits of my life.

So, the way I look at it, if it's evening, night time, the sun has set, you have your indoor lights on, AND your blinds/shades/curtains are wide open, you're basically asking for someone to peer into your window.

I don't really want to catch anyone doing something bad or disgusting.  In truth (I swear!!), I just like seeing how people are using their time and how they've decorated.  I especially like to see what other people are watching on t.v.  I've never actually sat there and looked through another person's open window.  Mainly, I've just been walking down the street and catch glimpses.

Because of this, the boyfriend has insisted that I watch Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window."
"Rear Window" features James Stewart and Grace Kelly
Truth be told, I had never seen it.  But May 1st officially became Rear Window day.

The day started like any normal Saturday.  I wake up easy, head to pilates, and go back home to prepare for whatever might be happening including doing absolutely nothing.  On this particular Saturday, we made plans to chill with friends later that night, but the rest of the day was open.

So, the boyfriend suggested that I finally watch "Rear Window."  Within the first 20 minutes, I fall absolutely in love with the movie.  Firstly, Hitchcock's cinematography and direction are amazing.  Secondly, the set was impressive for that time.  Thirdly, look at all the windows to watch!!!

Even when the movie was over, and we were on our way to meet our friends for dinner, I was still praising the film.

After dinner, we went to our friend's apartment and checked out their roof deck.  They have an amazing view of Boston and the river, and I virtually invited myself to their 4th of July Party.

On one side, however, their roof deck faces a bunch of buildings.  As we peered into one of the buildings with many, many windows, they tell me that it's actually one of the local university dorms that we're looking at.  I tell them all about watching "Rear Window," and they said that the most they ever saw was an attempt at getting laid with a girl who was too busy cleaning her room.

So, we're laughing, drinking some beers, watching some college kids in their rooms and lounges.  On the top most floor, two folks were studying.  One floor down, some dude was sitting on his bed, watching t.v.  Another floor down, there was an empty lounge with several people walking through the hallway.  Then we saw the next floor down.

Just to review:
Top Lounge
Boy's Bedroom
Another Lounge
Girl's Bedroom

A girl was practicing a dance, facing her wide open window.  I'm assuming that she was dancing facing the window because there was a reflection.  But why did she feel the need to then take her shirt off in that same location?

My friend and I nearly fell over the railing laughing our butts off!  We called the other people in our group over, but the moment was gone.  The girl disappeared into a separate area that had its blinds down.

Maybe 15 minutes later, after more laughing, we noticed 3 guys in the lounge above the dancing queen's floor.  One of them proceeded to start dancing on top of one of the tables, while another one started booty dancing on a chair, and the third was tapping a beat on a wall.


They also soon disappeared into a different part of the building.

Alas, the top two floors were less exciting.  The most we saw was the guy had friend's visit, then he changed his shirt and left.  Clearly, we pushed out luck with two different floors.

No, actually, as I type this, I'm remembering that the girl eventually reappeared with another girl.  The same girl then proceeded to take her shirt of AGAIN, but facing away from the window this time

But that was really it.

I couldn't believe how the day turned out!  Now, obviously, I didn't take any picture of it and I'm not saying which college it was.  While I'm sure the "right" thing to do would be to turn away, but again, these people's windows are wide open.  They live in a neighborhood with other tall buildings, of which I'm sure they're perfectly aware of during the day time.

But it just blew my mind to think of the variety of things that were occurring in the same building, and we were the voyeurs.  To think that the occupants are doing normal and not so normal things, but they live completely unaware of all the other things occurring just one floor away.

It was a great way to start the month.  And it will definitely make me more conscious of who's looking down at me and what I'm doing when the blinds are up.
This is what my neighbors see.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I feel like it's been FOREVER, dear bloggie.

I apologize ahead of time for possibly regurgitating everything that's happened thus far in a series of posts.

Dog Lover Transitioning - Part Deux

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now writing to you from my very own laptop!  Yay!

How fitting that packages that I've been waiting a long time for are finally arriving and my laptop is all fixed and happy (for now) just as Mercury is no long in retrograde, huh?

But onto the post!


It's May, and I'm pretty proud to say that I'm doing quite well at my 2010 Goals!

Remember this one?
2. Adopt 2 kitties with my boyfriend.

Well, that's another one we can check off the list.

The boyfriend and I officially have 2 kitties!!!
Little baby!
Though we had been planning for 2 kitties, we also felt very settled with Yoni in the house.  It just felt right, and I almost can't imagine what life was like without her.

Then, one Monday not so long ago (the 10th), I was on Craigslist looking for the usual stuff I look for - better apartments than the one we live in, jobs and experiments, and free stuff.  Once in a while, the boyfriend and I would check out the pets section, though we had only tried to pursue one kitten before to no avail.

So, here I was again, searching for kitties in the pet section.  I clicked on the location tab that was closer to where we lived, and suddenly a new listing popped up.

I clicked on it, and there he was.  This little 6 week old black fluffball, the last of his litter to be adopted.  I IMed the link to the boyfriend right away, urging him to call, if only to find out more information.

Within minutes, I receive a call from the boyfriend, saying that we could meet with this woman that day or the next day in a nearby town.  So, we planned to meet with her the next day in the evening.

It felt so surreal.  But it also felt really right.

Tuesday proved to be a long day.  I had a lot on my plate that day, between work, a teleconference call I needed to be on later that evening, and LOST.  But I was so excited and nervous about this new kitty.

We had started reading about how to properly introduce a new kitten into the household.  Though we had faith that our circumstances were working in our favor, we knew that we couldn't be 100% certain until the moment of truth.

As we drove closer to the meeting location, picking up kitty supplies on the way, I could feel myself getting extremely nervous.  I didn't want Yoni to be mad at us.  I wanted her to know that I still love her so much.  I didn't want this new little guy to have a hard time adjusting.  It was almost an intensified fear that I would make a horribly kitty-mama, similar to when we picked up Yoni.

We met this woman and her boyfriend at a Starbucks in Brookline.  The boyfriend had the little kitty in his jacket, and his friend sitting next to him had a little dog in his jacket.  I completely missed the memo on putting an animal in my coat for this meeting, so the boyfriend and I brought our pet carrier.  I realized later that it was the guy alternative to having a purse for a purse rat.

When the woman's boyfriend handed the kitty over to me, I was shocked at how small he was!  But I immediately fell in love.

He meowed, wide-eyed, all the way home.  The boyfriend named him Mencken, after H.L. Mencken.

I felt my anxiety growing even more the closer we got to our apartment.  As we stepped in front of our door, I said to the boyfriend, "This is it.  This is the moment of truth."  And all the advice about introducing a new kitty to an established kitty rushed into my head and flew out the window at the same time.
Initial encounter.
We established that the bedroom would be his safe space, so we set up the pet carrier and his supplies in the bedroom.  Yoni immediately went to sniff him.  She was tentative, unsure of what to make of him.  Thus began a cycle of Yoni sniffing him, batting at him, hissing, and running away.  For the most part, she watched him from the bed or from a distant spot.  But when he would make a strange noise, she would go right up to him and do the sniff-bat-hiss action.
Things settled, relatively speaking, and Mencken fell asleep in the boyfriends pile of clothes.  Perfect timing for LOST.
Knocked out!
He managed to do enough exploring to know the exact location of the litter box, but we all fell asleep soon after he settled on my boyfriend's side of the bed on his fuzzy rug.

At 3:30 in the morning, I suddenly woke up to a lot of movement.  I thought back to all the times when we introduced a new dog into the house, and how one of our dogs would always try to bite around the necks of the younger ones to show dominance.  I feared the worst.

Once my lights were on, I saw that it was Yoni, playing with the new toy we bought for Mencken.  I peeked under the bed, but I couldn't see him.  The boyfriend woke up, and I told him I couldn't see where he was.  We were both immediately anxious that something horrible had happened.

As the boyfriend looked around the bathroom and living room, I tried calling out to him in the bedroom.  Suddenly, a little black fuzzball crawled our from under the boyfriend's night stand.  He's so tiny, he fit under it!

But now that we were all awake, Yoni wouldn't leave him alone.  Mencken would go behind the bedroom door, and Yoni would try to reach under the door to get to him.  The hissing grew more frequent.  At this point, it was almost 5 in the morning.  The boyfriend said that we should just close the door with Yoni on the other side, but I couldn't bear to think of her being confined even if it was the larger part of the house.  So, I slept on the couch to keep Yoni company.
Do you spot Yoni?
Now, it's been a week since Mencken's been part of the family.  Yoni has taught him how to play chase with her, and he's starting to climb up to the window sill just to "tag" her.  He's extremely playful, almost too much so - especially when he's trying to play with your feet while you make coffee.  He's also working on controlling his legs, but it's hilarious to watch him run somewhat diagonally, like a little drunk man.  We call him a "foot terrorist."  The boyfriend and I love them both so much.

Yoni will still hiss and bat at him once in a while, especially if she's had enough play.  But he's still learning, and so are we.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Toesies of the Month - May 2010


Here I am again!  Unfortunately, my computer is still with the dudes who are fixing it, so I'm still on my boyfriend's computer.

Meanwhile, it's been a really busy 2 weeks!

Today was the last day for our social work interns.  I feel absolutely blessed to have had such an amazing team of women who I can now consider colleagues.  They really helped us laugh through all the difficult times that my boss and I were facing this year.

And that brings me to the topic of self care, folks.  And that brings me to my monthly pedicures.

I actually had to get one on May 1st, since I had a belly dance recital on May 2nd.  My belly dance teacher brings up the idea that even if we're not professional dancers, we still need to look the part - and that includes being completely put together, head to toesies.

After pilates, I biked on over to Brookline Natural Nails, where I got my last pedicure 2 weeks prior.  I thought about trying another nail spa across the street, but figured that I would go to this place one more time.
I'm sure I talked about this last month, but I just want to stress how amazing their chairs are!
Spa chair goodness
Firstly, I swear to you that I really thought the cursive written on the chair said, "BJ."  Considering that I've had my mind in the gutter recently ('s always in the gutter....but you know...), it wasn't surprising that I was completely wrong about what it said.  The print is small in the image, but if you click on it you will see that it's actually "BT," which stands for "Body Technology."

But for serious, the chairs are pretty flippin' awesome.  Even the part where it feels like it's just trying to make your boobs shake back and forth - a part I'm not generally a fan of.  I really felt a nap coming on as I was sitting in that chair.

I managed to get the same woman who did my pedicure in April.  I realized that she definitely likes the flowery designs.  Don't get me wrong, it's appropriate and all for Spring and what not.  But, c'mon.  How about some flowy lines or stars or a butterfly even?
Designed by Annie at Brookline Natural Nail, Brookline, MA
Color:  OPI - Merry Midnight
Occasion:  Belly dance recital
May 2010
Still, it came out really nice, even if it looks somewhat like she was trying to do an entire landscape - which would really be quite impressive.  The color, one they had in the shop, had huge flecks of sparkles in it, which was a major decision factor.
They had one other color there that had ginormous flecks of sparkles, so I might consider going back to Brookline Natural Nails to try it out.  However, I am starting to get curious about the nail design skills of the other nail technicians in the spa and in the other spa across the street.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On the Fritz

So, is it only obvious to me that Mercury is SO in Retrograde?

It seems like there's been horrible disasters throughout the country, including (though definitely not the worst of them by far!) the water main break in Boston.  This lead to massive freak outs all over the city, resulting in lack of water bottles and showering during the extremely hot and humid days of the aquapolypse.

I'm currently typing to you from my boyfriends computer because my laptop's power isn't connecting to the charger.  So, I'm waiting for it to be fixed by the same people who fixed my boyfriend's laptop (because of the same problem) a couple of weeks ago.

As I was riding my bike today to my final errand destination, I heard a scraping, then a loud pop.  The back tire, which has consistently given me problems, exploded...again...for the umpteenth million time.  I believe I'll not to fixing it and just saving up for a new bike instead.

Upon entering my hallway, with all my bags in tow, my reusable shopping bag's handle broke.

The other day, my phone's batteries died on me before my long day was even over.

I believe earlier today, Gmail was actually down!

Oh ya...and my unemployment ran out without me knowing it.  Luckily, I knew someone in a similar situation, and she helped me figure out a roundabout way of getting an extension.

Now, I'm starting to get nervous about whether something will work against our trip to Greece.  But I'm trying not to think about that.

So, it seems that we have til the end of May to feel like things are relatively back to normal (according to this website).

In other news, I have a Toesies of the Month post and a Rear Window post in the wings!  I'm going to try to be patient about my computer, but hopefully it won't be too long!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Double Entendre

April has been a month of double entendres.

Let me tell you all about them, yes?

We were practicing for the student showcase.  I was watching one group, and my boss was watching another.  At one point, my boss asked to switch groups.  So, we switched.

Remember the boy who was being a diva about "opening" for someone else?  Ya, well, I swapped to see them practice.

I guess my boss introduced them in a certain way.  One of the boys said, "Okay, so you have to introduce us like this, 'Ladies and gentlemen, from near and far, I present to you V and J!!!"

.....I had to stop for a second to think of what I was about to say.

"Ladies and gentlemen, from near and far, I present to you V and J!!!!"

I made a conscious decision to change it to "J and V."  And in the end, the student MC didn't say it that way anyway.

Later, I had to tell the interns about it.  AND I had to warn my boss about possibly saying that in front of a larger group of people, but she had no idea that "vajayjay" was a nick-name for vagina!


Open Room Concepts
We took some kids out of class to do some bit of their leadership project.  Afterward, we had to return them to class.

The classrooms are set up in a way that the rooms in the center of the hall don't have doors.  It works perfectly fine in elementary school age.  But in the middle school, it's an open invitation to walk out or randomly walk in and visit friends - which, there's a high rate of.

So, as we're walking the 3 kids back, two of them enter through the first door and the other student goes to the second door, which is further down the hall.  One of the students entering the first door says to the student going to the second door, "Hey!  Where are you going?"  But they see that he's walking into the second door.

I utter, somewhat under my breath, "Huh, I guess he likes the back door....I'm gonna shut up now..."

The intern that was with me gave me a look, and I hung my head down low as we walked away from the classroom.

Bulk Strawberries
One of the lunch mothers brought a couple of strawberries for us to share in.  They were ginormous!

We asked her where she got them, and she said she went to BJ's (for those who might not know, it's like Costco or Sam's Club...and I know...that's not the entire story).

As my boss chomped on her strawberry, we commented on how huge it was.  I said I've never had strawberries from BJ's before, though they must be big because of all the pesticides and hormones.

My boss responded, with a big bite of strawberry in her mouth, "I've had BJ's."

One of the interns laughed.  I held my breath for a moment, and thought of changing the subject but couldn't think fast enough.

I stumbled, "Uh..uh..I've never been to BJ's..only Costco's....."

Then my boss left to run errands, and the intern and myself just laughed our asses off.

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