Alex in Transit(ion)

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Wolf Suschitzky

Charing Cross Road

London, 1937

I need to get a print of this. This reminds me of so many wonderful nights.

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Dawn, Hwacheon

Photograph by Sungjin Kim

Calm and serene view of a misty fishing place around dawn, located at Hwacheon, Korea

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Ohhhh your lunch is on fire!

I made an executive decision that blogging by candlelight is better than using electricity. My mom bought me these votive candles right before I moved to Potsdam last year but I never had the time to burn them because I was working so much. They have been sitting on my bookcase for the last few months and I thought that tonight would be a wonderful night to burn them. Yet! I didn’t have a votive candle holder! I looked around my room and found my aluminum lunch box that my former boss gave me as a going away present. It has never been utilized before and I thought it would be a lovely wax catcher. I’m pleased to say that it is and I love the aesthetic appeal of this new “candle holder.”

P.S. I love playing with hot wax.

P.P.S. Get your minds out of the gutter =p

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One of these days, I hope to have an apartment with a loft in it so I can do this. My grandparents had a loft in their house and my brother, cousin, and I would go up there all the time and read their old Archie comic books. That was a good time.


(by Pam Diaz)

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Although its been a week and two days, I’m still moving into my apartment! One of the challenges that I’ve run into is that it’s hard to move from a studio to a three bedroom apartment for the fact that a studio is all one room with a separate bed area and living area and now I have a single bedroom to myself. It’s still very overwhelming but I hope that by Wednesday, I will have an awesome, organized room. 

Speaking of awesome, organized room, I had a huge case of buyer’s remorse, even though it was for something I needed. I really needed storage, but I wanted something that is functional, attractive, CHEAP, and goes along with my Hotel Yorba theme. 

(I always wanted to decorate a room with a red, black, and white color scheme and I was inspired to do this by The White Stripes. I named the theme “Hotel Yorba,” after my favorite White Stripes song.)

I ended up getting this from Target: 

And of course…

I only bought two of these bad boys for now. I’m going to wait and see if I will be needing more. After I put the whole thing in the cart, I looked at Brian and I said “you know, we should go to WalMart, Home Depot, and Loews just to double check to make sure that I got this for a good price.” 

Brian then smacked me with the sword of truth, just like any best friend since the first grade would. “Alex, we could do that. And you would end up wasting money because we could find this at a better price and you’d be wasting the rest on gas.” He was right. Have you all ever had buyer’s remorse after buying something you needed? 

(Side note: It’s funny. I grew up in the middle of NOWHERE. Seriously. As of 2000, my hometown had 296 people living in it. There was only one Wal Mart in the whole county vs. Albany that seems to have a Wal Mart every 5 miles. We had to drive a hour or more to get to a mall in either Middletown, Binghamton, or Scranton whereas now I have two really nice malls within a 10 minute drive. It’s so funny how I’m getting used to big box conveniences.)

We then went to Jo-Ann Fabrics where I got some canvas and red and black ribbon so I could make myself a message board! Pictures will be coming soon but I’m really proud at the way it turned out! However, I found out some really sad news, in terms of my future DIY endeavors. I accidentally left my craft box in my storage unit and what lil’ ol’ me found out is that when you leave craft glues and paints in an Upstate NY storage unit for 8 months, they will go bad. 

I also ended up claiming my birthday gifts from Sephora and The Body Shop…even though it’s not my birthday yet. =X It was funny though! I was dressed up in sweats because I just finished dogsitting Boy-I-Fancy’s dog for the weekend and I didn’t look festive at all but the salespeople enthusiastically said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I felt really awkward afterwards because I gave a sorta-excited-but-holding-back-a-little-because-it’s-not-May-20th-yet “thanks!” I think they thought I wasn’t having a good birthday haha. I don’t know how the actual day will go down, but I’m going to be a great smelling individual with my free gifts:

Sephora is giving out a Philosophy Shower Gel/Shampoo/Bubble Bath Gel called “Happy Birthday, Beautiful” and it smells like Vanilla Birthday Cake! 

I got some shampoo at The Body Shop. If you’re part of their rewards program, you get $10 off a purchase for your birthday. It smells awesome. And I got 14 oz of shampoo for $3, so you can’t beat that! 

Well, it’s time to build this cubicle! 

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livin’ like a hobo…until tomorrow!

I find it so funny that on the day of the glamorous Royal Wedding, where the media was fixated on who designed Kate Middleton’s dress, what kind of hat the Queen was wearing, and predicting how long Prince William and Kate’s kiss will be….

I was in my boyfriend’s bathroom, putting on his Old Spice deodorant, wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday to work (thank god I had a day off yesterday- my colleagues had no idea until I finally told them!), and styling my greasy hair because I thought 45 minutes of extra sleep was better than taking a shower.

The way I looked at it, I couldn’t have shown up the bride on her big day. That’s just rude. Besides, I always wished that I grew up in the early 90’s so I could be part of the grunge rock scene. Looks like I got my wish. 

During the campaign, I found out the merits of traveling around with an extra pair of clothes in your car- you never know when you’re going to need them. I failed to do that yesterday. 

But it doesn’t matter anymore. Why?

I’m moving into my apartment. I don’t have to freeload at Starbucks anymore for internet. I will no longer be known as the female, post-grad, Sean McKee (you know I love you Sean =D). I’m breaking free like Freddie Mercury and moving on up like George and Weezy Jefferson. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS! I try to come up with the words, trying to describe about how excited I am to live my life the way I used to with a place I can call my own, living with people who I absolutely adore, in a neighborhood where, just like Cheers, everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came…but I can’t find them. I end up smiling.

I’m going to sleep on my own bed guys. I haven’t done that since August. It’s going to be a good day tomorrow. 

Yesterday rocked too. I volunteered for a political campaign and it felt so good to phone bank again and call voters. It’s a really close race and if they go about it the right way, I think the candidate we’re pushing for could actually win it. It’s really exciting and I know that I’m going to do whatever I can to get the word out to go out and vote. I don’t really know how to describe the rush I get from doing work like this but I think my former colleague said it best when we met up in March:

“We had the best job ever. We got to get up every morning to talk with people and make connections. What is better than that?”

This will all lead to a room full of balloons. You’ll see. 

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This week, I have spent $120 on gas. And I’m not even done yet. Gah.

Trust me- I cannot wait until April 1st. Not only will Omega and I have our own humble abode (yay!) but I will never have to worry about commuting ever again. Why? Because I will be able to WALK TO WORK. GLORY!

I think that’s when you know you’ve made it in life. When you are able to walk to work. It’s what I miss the most about living in DC. I always took the Metro going to work but unless it was raining, I walked home to George Washington University from the FCC. I don’t really know how to explain it but it was just a fantastic feeling- going outside, walking by the National Mall and the White House, being able to have my own space, dancing along the sidewalk as I listened to the White Stripes- it was a lot better than being a sardine on the Metro.

Those were the days.

Anyway- things are moving forward and that’s all I can ask for. Maybe luck will shine upon us and we will be able to find a place with a STOOP! Ah, it’s all a girl can dream about!

For those who followed me during 30 for 30- scout’s honor, I completed it! I realize that I didn’t take pictures during the last three days of the challenge but I have to say- there’s only so many days that I could be in front of a self timer and take a picture of myself and only myself. And I found out the magic number is 27. However- through those 27 pictures, I received a lot of awesome feedback. My friends told me that 30 for 30 was the reason why they were excited to read the blog and I actually inspired one of my friends to take the 30 for 30 plunge!

I honestly would recommend everyone- boys and girls- to do the challenge. It has completely opened my eyes when it comes to shopping for clothes. While my lovely roomie, Omega, and I were thrifting on Thursday- as I was going through the clothes I noticed that I wasn’t picking out stuff on a whim. I tend to do that a lot whenever I shop. I actually took the time to ask myself- would I be able to remix this? How many outfits could I make out of this dress?

I discovered the beauty of remixing. To tell you the truth- I never got bored. Everyday was exciting because I put myself to the challenge of creating the 30 different outfits. I noticed what’s missing in my closet- I desperately need more scarves, belts, and tights. They can instantly make any outfit a brand new one. As for my shoes, the weather has given me no choice but to wear my mocs everyday because they’re waterproof, they have traction, and they’re warm. Early on in the challenge, I found out the hard way that flats simply were not going to work with this ridiculous winter that we’re still going through in Upstate NY. Only hours after I wore my flats, I felt a cold coming on. After that lovely experience, I vowed not to wear my flats until spring finally comes around. Also- I got to see how versatile my work clothes are. I can’t wait to shock my office by ::GASP:: wearing different dresses and pantsuits!

I would have really liked to have done this challenge when I was in college. I would have had some more fun with it because I wouldn’t have had to include my work clothes. Too bad it didn’t exist before April 2010. I could definitely see me and my friends doing this together. The pictures would have been a lot more fun too because knowing me and my awesome roommates that I was so fortunate to live with (seriously- I am the luckiest girl in the world because I got to live in Higgins 400 and 306)- the photo shoots would have been pretty epic. Drogen’s. Taco Bell. The Beijing House. Steve’s new neighbor’s lawn. River Street. The possibilities would have been endless.

It’s off to pack for the work week! I’ll leave you with one confession:

Whenever I see this sign, a smile instantly appears on my face, and I know I’m home.

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the bomb shelter.

My future roommate and I finally scored an appointment to view an apartment. I had high hopes on this one- it was reasonably priced, heat and hot water were included, it was in an awesome location, and the landlord was really nice.

Until we walked in and realized that it looked like a bomb shelter. There were exposed pipes and wires everywhere, including a huge water pipe that took up a whole corner in a bedroom. I wanted to like it but just like you can’t turn a ho into a housewife, you can’t make something feel like home when you can’t envision yourself doing really awesome things in there. After viewing the apartment, my future roomie gave me a lift downtown and she said:

“One day, we’re going to find a place and the first thing we’re going to do is watch Annie Hall. And then Manhattan but Annie Hall is so much better than Manhattan.”

We’re going to find that place. If George and Weezy can move on up, well so will we!


I ate lunch at Lil’ Buddha Tea but I guess that doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I had this AWESOME VEGAN burger. Usually, “awesome”, “vegan”, and “burger” don’t fit well in my vocabulary but this time- oh they do. It was a grilled jalapeño and corn patty (they had me at jalapeño), karma sauce (I believe it is melted vegan cheese), lettuce, tomato, pickles and served on a toasted bun. I could have ate 10 of them, they were that delicious.

After that, I went on a walking tour of Albany so that future roomie and I could have more options available to us other than the bomb shelter. I can actually say that I’ve been up and down every street of Center Square within a hour and a half. Honestly, I thought I looked like a total sketchball. I mean- it’s totally normal to go up and down the streets and write down the phone numbers of random landlords. I didn’t mind it though- not even the cold. It reminded me of canvassing aka going door to door to voters’ homes and asking them to consider voting for your candidate. Some people hate canvassing, I lived for the chance to go out and canvass. Although I found out that my legs got used to being attached to a body that was unemployed for three months- they hurt so much after trekking across Center Square.

I must have worn something sensible, right? You can be the judge of that. I love wearing dresses and tights. I honestly think my sweater tights are warmer than any pair of jeans I own. Here’s my 30 for 30 outfit today. I took it right after I came home from the Center Square trek. In my humble opinion, it’s what a warrior would wear. I wore this exact outfit on Election Day. I like to think it brings me some good luck.

Nah- I couldn’t wimp out on you guys like that! Although it was comfy.

  • Dress- Forever 21
  • Grey Cardigan- New York and Company
  • Sweater Tights- American Eagle
  • Scarf- The Pear Tree, a boutique in Canton, NY (speaking of Canton, I could definitely go down for some food at the Blackbird Cafe and a Lime Rickey at the Hoot Owl. Seriously- you owe it to yourself to check out Canton. It won over my heart.)
  • Mocs- Minnetonka
  • Flower- Claire’s

Tomorrow 30 for 30ers, I’m just warning you: I’m going to repeat an outfit for a little bit. I have an interview for another part time job and it’s going to require a suit. But once I get home, I’m going to be more than happy to remix an outfit to lounge around in.

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the dream apartment. part two of many. (windows)

The downside about renting an apartment or living in a college dorm is, more often than not, you can’t paint your room. Unless you decorate, you are stuck looking at the same white walls all day long. Personally, I can’t do that. I love color and whimsical decorations. As I mentioned before, I really couldn’t do a lot with my Albany apartment because I didn’t have the income to decorate, but next time around I really want to focus on that. My college dorm rooms always had decorations from wall to wall and I always thought that the RAs were going to call me out because in hindsight, it really was one big fire hazard. Then again, I think the kids who couldn’t properly cook popcorn were more of a danger to my residence hall than my tapestry could ever be. 

Although the economy isn’t doing anyone any favors, you can still shop around and draw some inspiration in order to find decorations that you’ll be happy with! 

This curtain is from Urban Outfitters and costs $32-38 (depending on your window size). If you want a pair, you’ll have to throw down $64-76. I absolutely adore these curtains but I also have to be realistic- I probably won’t be able to afford them just yet until I land myself a jay-oh-bee that will let me indulge a little bit. Sooooo…let’s continue on this journey.

These curtains are from Ikea and are $14.99 for the PAIR. The print is still whimsical and although they’re white…if I wanted them to be green, I could just buy some Rit Dye and upcycle them! 

(by the way, the Rit Dye website has an AWESOME color matching tool so you can achieve your perfect color). 

See! Although I love those curtains from Urban Outfitters, you just have to look around and even if it’s going to take a little elbow grease- you can still get what you want! If I got the pair of Urban Outfitters curtains, the bill would be an easy $64 bucks for the pair without tax. But! If I got the Ikea curtains, it’s $14.99 for the pair, $4 for the dye…and it comes to $18.99 without tax. You save $45.01!

You can now use that money on other things! 

Such as these adorable curtain tie backs from Urban Outfitters! They are 2 for $24 which is an AWESOME deal and looks so much better than anything you could have purchased from Ikea, Pottery Barn, or Crate and Barrel. 

So let’s see how we did here…the curtains from Urban Outfitters that I really wanted would have come to a total of $64-76 without tax. I already determined that the my curtain project would cost $18.99 without tax, which would save me $45.01. Now with these curtain tie backs, I still save $21.01! 

To top the whole window off, you can hang a mobile in the center of the curtain rod. Some say it’s a fire hazard, I say it’s charming. You can purchase this darling mobile from Etsy or make your own. I will probably be making my own- it’s just more fun that way =D

This is how we can still have nice things ;D

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the dream apartment. part one of many.

As I mentioned earlier today, nothing makes me happier than looking at interior design web sites when I’m bored and frustrated by the job hunt because it gives me something to look forward to. 

Besides, it’s a lot less stressful than me thinking about pursuing a Ph.D in political science (but be rest assured- I WANT a few years of professional experience after I get my MPA under my belt before I ever pursue a doctorate, especially in political science but that’s another story).

Here are some design ideas that I think are quite nifty.

Is it a headboard? Or is it framed wallpaper? By George, it’s a framed wallpaper headboard! I think this is an awesome idea because I love, love, love the look of headboards on a bed. Also- it looks expensive yet it looks easy and cheap to build! 

There’s something so romantic about a paper lantern. When I was at Hartwick, they allowed lanterns to be hung up in the dorm rooms and it gave such a romantic feeling to the room. This time around, I’m definitely investing in paper lanterns. They’re so cheap too! You can easily find them for under $10.

I love birds. In my old studio, I used to have bird wall decals. There’s something about this piece though that really inspires me. I believe that it really is worth the 40 bucks. 

That’s it for now.