Friday, September 28, 2007
So, in honor of my 200th post, I've decided to do something I've seen others do, and that is give you a "100 things about me" post...times two. However, because I don't want to hog all your "blog-hopping" time today...I'm going to break this up into pieces. I'll give it to ya 50 at a time.
So I give you - 200 things about me: - The first 50
1. I was born in Africa
2. Specifically, I was born in Luanda, capital city of Angola a country on the western coast of Africa.
3. Angola was a Portuguese colony at the time, and my parents both moved there as youngsters, met and were married there, and had me.
4. That last one wasn't really about me, but it was about my history so it counts.
5. I left Africa when I was 8 months old, for Portugal
6. I lived in Portugal until I was almost, but not quite, 10 years old.
7. While I lived in Portugal, we moved 9 times.
8. I have wonderful memories of my childhood in Portugal, and even though money was tight, I only remember ever being happy and thinking we had it all.
9. My brother was born when I was 9 years old and became the love of my young life.
10. To this day my brother and I have a bond like few siblings I know. I don't think we've ever had a "real" fight, and I love that even now, at 23 he still comes to me for advice and support.
11. I'm really proud of the man my brother is finally growing up to be.
12. I left Portugal for the U.S. the day before my 10th birthday.
13. I became a U.S. citizen at the age of 17 (I think) because my parents took the citizenship test while my brother and I were still minors so we'd become citizens automatically.
14. I have now lived in this country almost three times as long as I lived in Portugal.
15. I consider myself to be an American in every way that matters.
16. I think this country is flawed in many ways, and wish we'd do a better job of being Americans.
17. That said, I'm proud to be an American, love the freedoms and opportunities that this country has afforded me, and don't plan on ever living anywhere else.
18. However, I do have fantasies of retiring to some tropical beach somewhere in Mexico or Jamaica, and won't completely rule out that possibility.
19. Since moving to the U.S. I've moved 5 times, the first four within the same city, the last time to the next town over, about 5 minutes from my parents' house.
20. I live about 45 miles north of Boston.
21. I went to college in Boston, at Suffolk University.
22. Suffolk was a commuter school at the time, so I never had a "campus" college experience.
23. I don't have a problem with that.
24. My time at college was what "they" say high school should be. "The best four years of your life"...or something like that.
25. College was really an eye opening experience for me, I learned a lot about myself, about life, about others.
26. While in college, I went to school full time, worked full time, and still managed to have time for a pretty darn active social life.
27. I also managed to keep a GPA above a 3.5 the entire time I did the above.
28. My major in college was Communication and Journalism because I wanted to be a reporter or just any kind of writer when I "grew up".
29. I had a minor panic attack my junior year in college when I realized I'd never get a paying job doing the above, and I had way too much debt to risk it, so I added a paralegal minor when most other students were taking the "rocks for jocks" sorts of classes.
30. Suffolk is NOT a sports school, our most celebrated sport at the time was soccer, but the only one we all partipated in attending was intramural basketball. Which was HUGE and I loved going to see.
31. Therefore, I never experienced the "college" sports phenom that seems so widespread in this country.
32. So, most of our extracurricular activities involved more cerebral or artistic pursuits.
33. On that note, I joined the Forensics team my junior year in college. (Yep, along with adding a minor and working full time).
34. No, Forensics doesn't actually have anything to do with dead bodies and CSI investigations. It's just a fancy word for the Speech and Debate Teams
35. I was actually pretty good at this Speech stuff, and won several awards in my short time on the team.
36. With the Forensics team I was able to travel to several schools in the New England and New York area for competitions, and also to a national competition in Flagstaff, Arizona.
37. That trip to Arizona is pretty much when the travel bug bit me long and hard, and hasn't let go yet.
38. One of the speeches I delivered was an informative speech on Pez (yes, the candy). Go ahead, ask me anything about it's history, I can tell you.
39. From the time I was young my dad would tell me that I should become either a lawyer or a politician because of how much I loved to debate.
40. At one point I had aspirations of going to law school and becoming a hot shot Boston lawyer, litigating major cases like you see them do on Law and Order type shows.
41. I knew, however, that it's not exactly like that in the real world, so decided to work in a law firm as a paralegal for a while after college, to decide if that was in fact the world for me.
42. It is now 10 years later, I'm at my fourth law firm, and still working as a paralegal. Obviously, I decided against law school.
43. I'm extremely confident in that if I had chosen to go to law school, I would have done well and would be, in fact, working at some Boston firm, making good money.
44. But I'm even more confident that I made the right choice when I decided that I just didn't want the school debt to enter a career that would practically require me to give up any personal life I have in order to be successful.
45. I think it is extremely tough for a female to be taken seriously in several different professions, and law is one of those professions, and therefore, women have to work twice as hard as men, in order to be seen as the "bitches" they need to be to be taken seriously. I didn't want to deal with that crap.
46. Most lawyers I know, male or female, hate their jobs.
47. I won't tell you that being a paralegal was or is my dream job, but I actually enjoy what I do, and aside from my gripes here at The Firm, I like my job.
48. I especially like the fact that when I leave at the end of the day, I leave my job behind me. I don't take work home, I don't have to think about it until the next morning, and I can focus on the rest of my life.
49. While at one point I thought I would be a "career driven" person, I've realized that my motivation to work has changed as I have gotten older. I'm now driven by the desire to have a good, happy, comfortable life. I work to live, I don't live to work.
50. I don't have a problem with that.
Check back tomorrow for part 2, or The Next 50.
Also, check back later for Follow-up Friday.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Just in case anyone was wondering, since I wasn't at work last Wednesday and was thus unable to report, YES, Whisper Wednesday is definitely still in full effect!
It is 10:30 AM and they have already been at it for at least 20 minutes. Since M.I.A. only arrived about 40 minutes ago, that should tell you the productive sort of day she's bound to have.
Me? I'm going to put on my music, close my office door, and get to working...because that's how we do.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The rules: list the 5 best nights that you can recall and then tag four other people and see if the meme can continue.
Sounds simple enough right? Yeah, sure, until I had to start thinking about what my 5 best nights so far were. Really? I have to really dig deep for these. I'm pretty sure that I'll miss a night in here that I'll go back and think "oh yeah, that was even better than he ones I listed" but I had to go with something, so here's my five:
1. March 9, 1985 - It was my first night spent in the United States of America. It was also the evening before my 10th birthday. My parents and I, and my baby brother had arrived and my grandmother had birthday cake for me. It was a full house of strangers so happy to meet us all. It was the beginning of a new life for all of us. It was so long ago, and I was so young, but I still have very vivid memories of that night.
2. Any of the number of nights spent with my cousins up at the white mountains when we were supposed to be sleeping, but were instead listening to music and talking into the wee hours. I can't pick just one specific night, but I have great memories of those nights.
3. I don't know the exact date, but the night I went to my first concert. It was a New Kids on the Block concert, and I was about 13 or 14 years old. My cousins and I were the biggest New Kids fans. We had our walls wallpapered with their photos, we were in their fan club, we even had our own "Pen Pal club" that we started. Spend our days writing letters to other "BlockHeads" throughout the world, exchanging pictures of our favorite New Kid. And we scored tickets to one of their concerts. We were in a kind of delirious heaven only teenage girls can understand. Our seats were horrible, but we had the time of our lives. It also began my love affair with live music. From that point forward I would attend over 40 different concerts. But that particular night, and all the silly memories that come with it, will always stand out in my mind.
4. This one is a bit of a stretch, because it started off as a "day" which turned into a "night", but I'm throwing it in anyway. My first date with my ex "The Soulmate". He picked me up at 11 am, and wound up dropping me off at 11pm. It was the best date I've ever been on, and I don't even remember most of what we did that day. I do remember that I fell in love with him that day, and didn't want the date to end (thus why it lasted 12 hours). It was a great night.
5. My first night in my condo. I bought my condo about one month before I turned 28 years old. Prior to that, I'd been living with my parents. I'd never moved out. I hadn't gone away to college. I'd never been "on my own". Buying the condo, all alone, was a great source of pride for me. Moving out into the world, by myself, was something I'd wanted to do for a long time. My first night, completely alone, in my new home, was bittersweet. There was a great sense of separation from my parents, and this left me with both a sense of accomplishment and pride, and a deep sadness, that here I was, all grown up and on my own. I shed a few tears, and then I took a deep breath and looked around. WOW, this was all mine. I had done it. There have been few moments in my life when I've felt so proud of myself.
So there you have it, the 5 best nights so far...sort of...
I think I'm supposed to tag some people here...so, let me see...
Annie - because she's a fairly new blogger, who I really enjoy reading, and I think she'll enjoy filling this one out.
Qualcosa di Bello - because I love reading her blog and have a feeling her response will be full of moments that'll make me teary eyed, in a good way.
Frances - because she absolutely fascinates me, so I can't wait to hear what she'll choose as her nights.
Frigga - who will probably kill me for tagging her yet again, but I love the stuff this girl writes, and just know her answers will be a fun read.
So, hop to it ladies, let's see if you can do it in less time than it took me, which was about 3 weeks or so. You can do it. ;-)
Monday, September 24, 2007
Looks good right? I make apologies now if some of this post doesn't make sense, but after making that martini I was FORCED to drink it, so...um...yeah. (And I'm writing this on Sunday night, so no, I did not drink before work on Monday). Anyway, for the recipe, which I created myself tonight...it is two parts vodka, two parts Starbucks coffee liquor and two parts milk (skim milk for me), coat the glass with Hershey's chocolate syrup, and you are good to go.
As I was making the martini, I was also making myself dinner. Yet another creation borne of my imagination. I present to you my "chicken and cheese dumplings".
Again, I just made this up as I went along, discovering what was in my fridge and cabinets. It is ground chicken, green chillis, salt, pepper, garlic, a bit of ginger paste, some habanero hot sauce, and some shredded cheese insterted into the middle of the dumplings before they are rolled. Fry them up, and I sprayed some "truffle" oil on them to finish with. The maccaroni is wheat with a Ginger Peanut Sesame Pesto sauce, made with a store bought pesto and coconut milk. It was delicious.
I do, however, have one recipe that I've made several times this summer, and as it is the only recipe I can recall following in its entirety, here it is:
Hopefully you can click on that picture to enlarge for the actual recipe. It is delicious and refreshing for a summer salad option.
Well, this was a fun and delicious assignment. Thanks Lisa! Go to her site (link above) for more entries. I have a little extra martini mix left to polish off...finish this vacation off right!
Friday, September 21, 2007
But I promissed a Friday post, so a Friday post you shall have. So, without further ado, let's dig into my new "segment" of Follow-Up Friday, and see what you all had to say in the comments this past week. Again, as a disclaimer, if I don't reply to your comment specifically and/or individually, please don't take it personally, I read and appreciated each and every comment. Each Friday I'll be following up on just some of the comments left here, so look at it as part of the fun...will your comment be one of the ones in this post? But I do visit everyone who comments on here, and I do thank you for stopping by.
We'll start with a quick reply to the comments in last week's Follow-Up Friday. I'm glad you all enjoyed this feature, I definitely did too, so yes, it will become a regular feature. I also love that I get to share some link-love while I do these recaps, because everyone loves some blog-love.
Now moving on to this week:
It all started with Fun Monday, where we were asked to showcase some art pieces throughout our house. I went mostly with some unconventional pieces and everyone seemed to agree with me that my coffee table was quite the work of art. For those who missed it, here's a photo:
And while yes, I broke the rules by listing things that in no way could I carry out in case of a fire, rules were made to be broken, right? The response I received to the table was immense. Therefore, I figured I should elaborate on the story of how this table came to be the centerpiece of my living room. This table is most definitely my most prized piece of furniture. When I bought my condo, most of my furniture came to me courtesy of Wal-Mart. Having just spent most of my savings on closing costs, and now having a mortgage where I didn't even have rent, I needed to furnish an entire apartment on some meager funds. Therefore, build-it-yourself fake wood furniture was pretty much all I could afford. However, in my search for unique pieces I came across an Asian Furniture store that was having a going out of business sale. In the midst of several pieces, that even on clearance, were well outside of my budget, I found this table. It is solid mahogany, and in decent shape, but it has quite a few "marks" that kept it from being a "new" piece. Most of the little stools that fit underneath the table are cracked in places. It also no longer had a glass top. I also found the wine cabinet (which can be see in the Fun Monday post) in the same store. That piece is in pretty decent shape, but a bit wobbly in the legs. Due to these and other barely noticeable imperfections, both pieces were significantly marked down. Due to some additional haggling on my part, I managed to purchase both pieces for $300 TOTAL. For the record, I've seen this very table (in perfect shape) at furniture stores for over $1500. Quite the deal, wouldn't you say? Anyway, the table sat in my living room without a glass top for at least a year, and then, about $50 later, it was complete, glass top and all. So there you have it, the tale of a table.
Now, for some of the indvidual comments: In reference to my comment that there was noone else living with me to question about art, therefore the choices would be made by me, myself and I, Allisonwonderland said: "the three of you did a very fine job of choosing art! it's a good thing you'll have six hands to carry all those neat things out of the house!" This one made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that laugh!!
Qualcosa di bello commented on the caricature. Namely, she wanted to know who the "dude oggling" me was in that picture. That "dude" in the picture was a cause for many jokes amongst my friends and I that evening. I'm not reall sure who he was supposed to be, but we all figured it meant the caricature artist was representing himself in that piece. haha...See, it's a true testament to what a head turner I used to be in my prime. HA! Okay, I'm kidding.
Everyone else, thank you for your kind words about my art, especially those who said I did a good job on my pottery pieces...I'm pretty proud of those! As for the martini glass, I just bought a floating candle in the shape of an olive this weekend to put in that glass...how cool is that?
Also on Monday I posted an update to the Interiew with a Blogger, with a link to Ms. Frou Frou's response to my interview questions. I told you all that interviews would be forthcoming from both Joy T and Annie. I was excited to see that a few more of you asked to be interviewed. So to Lisa, Frances and JennieBoo, I'll be working on your questions this weekend, and will send them to you sometime next week.
Look for more posts in the future as these interviews go live on their own websites. OH, and this just in...ANNIE'S is up! Please go check it out.
And finally, in response to "Where in the World is Candid Karina", everyone had well wishes for my mini-vacation. I'm glad to report that I had a wonderful and relaxing time, which did in fact involve plenty of girl-talk and martini expirements. I'll have pictures and more later on (including some new martini recipes...stay tuned).
Jannis wanted to talk martinis. She asked "What is your favorite? what is the worst you have ever tried? Gin or Vodka?" Well Janis, I've rarely met a martini I didn't like. To be honest though, I'm much more a fan of the flavored martini vs. the regular plain martini. My all time favorite is a Godivatini, which is a specialty of a local billiards place I used to frequent. There is also a raspberry chocolate martini that a local restaurant serves up that is TO DIE FOR. The worst I've ever had, was, ironically enough, a chocolate martini, ordered several years ago at Fire & Ice in Harvard Square in Cambridge. I'm not sure if it was made with cheap versions of liquor, or what exactly the issue was, but it just wasn't pallatable and I was unable to finish it. Oh, and I'd say vodka over gin, all the way.
Oh, and Annie, I'm glad you enjoyed Ms. Frou Frou's interview, she's a load of fun, you'll be hooked now, I tell ya! And I am sorry I left you to yourselves for two whole days, I can only imagine the trouble you've all been up to! Actually, I'll be sure to do some bloghopping this weekend and check it out for myself. For now, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my afternoon off work.
Thank you all for your comments, I'm really enjoying getting to know you all through them.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
A while back I was interviewed by my fellow blogger Frigga. You can read that interview HERE. It is a fun new meme going around the blogosphere, and a great way to get to know other blogggers just a little bit better.
Per the meme, a few bloggers asked to be interviewed by yours truly, so I set to asking the really tough questions.
Please visit Ms. Frou Frou for the first of my interviews.
Hopefully coming soon will also be interviews with Joy T and Annie. Stay tuned.
Also, if you'd like to be interviewed, I'm still taking volunteers...let me know.
Be sure to visit Sayre for other Fun Mondayers...
Friday, September 14, 2007
On Monday I also had a bit to say about MTV's Video Music Awards. And apparently, so did you.
Karmyn R said: "Thinking of Britney - I wonder how much of her career is actually her decision - or her Manager and Record Contract Screaming, "WE NEED YOU NOW".Obviously, that girl is not getting good advice from her "people" - You are probably quite right in this Karmyn. She's obviously making some pretty bad choices, and you would think "her people" would tell her "girl, you are just not ready for this" . However, as has been evidenced by her writing off her family, she's not exactly one to listen to good advice anyway, so how much can you blame them?
The Ex has this to say: "Timbaland is smokin'" - Amen sister. He trully is. who knew?
Susannah S commented on how a channel that barely plays music videos can have an award show. So true! And yes, I also feel that Sarah Silverman crosses a line and goes from not funny (because she just is NOT funny) to rude way too often for my tastes.
JennieBoo said: "I know I'm probably the only one, but Britney's horrible performance almost makes me sad, you know?" - You are not the only one Jennie, I was sad for her too. As much as a trainwreck can be fascinating to watch, it is a sad sad thing.
On Tuesday the blogosphere was filled with Tributes to the 9/11 victims and survivors, and I shared a poem written only weeks after the attacks. Thank you to all of you for your heartfelt comments, both about the tribute and about the poem itself.
On Wordless Wednesday I introduced everyone to Rocky, my brother's new pitbull pup. Glad to see that most could see his sunny disposition, as pitbulls really have gotten a bad rep.
But now we come to the fun part, because in yesterday's Thursday Thirteen I offered up some eye candy. I appreciate that we all have different tastes, as was obvious by some of the comments, but I also asked for your input on who you think should be on that list. I knew I'd get requests for some country guys, and you all did not disappoint. There were also some others you thought I missed. And because I aim to please...
Frigga, Rob Thomas doesn't really do it for me (although I do think he's a good looking guy), BUT, just for you:
Also, you mentioned Josh Turner and Blake Shelton. I believe you said they had sexy voices, but they are good looking guys in their own right. Personally, I'm not much for long hair on guys:
And Julia, how could I have forgotten Jim Morrison?
And your strange attraction to 50 cent? I actually get that. I'm not really sure what it is about him, but, yeah, I see it...
And someone else I missed on my list, and only realized it because he was on the "Early Show" this morning...Chris Daughtry...yummy.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I think I mentioned once before that I'm finding Adam here to be incredibly sexy of late. I'm not really sure what it is, because I never thought so before, but with this new album he's got something I hadn't seen before. hmm...
And there you have it. I'm sure I missed a major one in here somewhere, but I couldn't think of anyone else when I was putting this list together last night. Who do you think I missed? Who are your faves? I know I'm going to get grief for not having any country guys on here, but none top my list, I'm sorry...maybe you can change my mind.