Alex in Transit(ion)

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no alarms and no surprises, please.

If there is one quirk about me, it’s that every week I like to buy a bar of chocolate for myself. When I was in NYC last weekend, my friends and I went into a Duane Reed to escape the cold, and my little and I headed straight to the candy section. I saw this:

I was intrigued. I’m no stranger to the combination of chili and chocolate. In Oneonta, I tried Mexican Chili Chocolate gelato at The Latte Lounge. It was delicious. However, I could not justify spending $4.00 on a chocolate bar when I knew that I would be able to get it cheaper upstate. I found it in Price Chopper for $1.99 with my Advantage card. Victory was mine.

I broke the golden supermarket rule of eating something before you buy it but I couldn’t help it- curiosity is a cruel mistress. As I took the first bite, I didn’t notice anything. It felt as if I bit into a regular dark chocolate bar. It wasn’t until I savored the chocolate that I was able to taste the spices. I wondered if this was a mistake because the spices were a little overwhelming. I felt a little heartburn from the chocolate bar. Then, I got used to it and started to enjoy the fact that it was spicy- keep in mind though, I ate it in three separate sittings. There’s no way you can eat this all in one shot. This is a chocolate bar meant for savoring and in fact, the next time around, I would look to pair this with a nice red wine.

Trente pour Trente!

This is Thursday’s outfit. I apologize for not looking more enthused. Photographing yourself with a self timer can only be so entertaining.

  • White Cardigan- Pac Sun
  • Striped Top- H&M
  • Jeans- American Eagle
  • Headband- Claire’s

…and it’s awkward pose Friday! It turned that work ended up giving me a snow day.

  • Grey cardigan- New York and Company
  • Grey striped top- Kohl’s
  • Jeans- American Eagle
  • Belt- Gap
  • Scarf- Maxwell’s

I’m actually very surprised that I haven’t remixed this outfit yet. It seems like I would have definitely worn it earlier in the challenge but it isn’t. Only five more days! Boy has this month flown by!

Finally, before I go and call some more landlords to secure a humble abode, I always like passing a good thing on. If you’re looking for a good moisturizer, I highly recommend Burt’s Bees Radiance Day and Night creams. I purchased this back in Potsdam. Slowly but surely, I’m on a mission to purchase only all natural cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos. This was my first all natural moisturizer and I had heard nothing but great things about it.

After using it for four months, I can absolutely say that wow! These moisturizers make your skin feel baby soft even after applying makeup. Even when it’s 7PM, my skin is still supple and soft to the touch. The craziest thing about these moisturizers is that they’re not heavy to the touch at all. At first, I was really skeptical about them because the formula does feel watery and I was wondering if I wasted $40 on crummy moisturizers. Trust me- a little bit goes a very, very long way. I am so impressed with Radiance. I used to buy this

but I never received such awesome results that I’ve experienced with Burt’ Bees’ Radiance line. It’s definitely more expensive than Clinique ($24 for Clinque, $18 each for the Radiance day and night creams) but it’s worth it.

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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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i wear my sunglasses at night. (nyc, post grad sorority, and wonderful cheesecake and deadly animal surprises)

I’m back from NYC and I’m back in Saratoga! While I was going home to Sullivan County on the train (which always excites me, I love trains) I thought to myself- you know, NYC is not meant to be a city to visit. I feel that to truly appreciate the city, you have to live there. One day, I hope that I will be able to take the city on. There’s so much of it that I haven’t seen yet and so many more good times to be had. If anything, that was the best part of the trip. I went there for the sole reason to see people that I haven’t seen in a long, long time. I was able to see two of my friends that I haven’t seen in two years and I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to roam around Manhattan like we used to. I saw two of my former colleagues which was awesome because I haven’t seen them since November and I’ve missed them since everything wrapped up. I also got to see a couple of my college friends, including my little sister from my sorority.

What is a little? In a sorority or a fraternity, each sister or brother gets to mentor and guide a pledge during the pledging process. I was so happy to finally hang out with my little- we were both extremely active on Oneonta’s campus. In fact- that’s the reason why I wanted her as my little because she’s such a strong woman and we’re alike in the way that we were constantly busy because we wanted to make our campus a better place. Unfortunately, when you get two busy people together, you have to deal with two different and busy schedules. I always felt guilty because I never was able to spend as much time with her as I would have liked to. I had a reputation amongst my friends- that in order to see me, you had to live with me because I was always off doing something.

This weekend we got to do something that we never were able to do within the last two years. We got to hang out. I didn’t have to go and do something. Instead, we got to see things together. I can’t even tell you how nice that was.

It’s really funny, one would think that sorority life ends after college but it’s not true at all. The weird thing is, I feel more attached to my sorority after college than during college. I think it’s because during college- you take it for granted. You’re always with each other, so you don’t realize how much the phrase “loyal sisters all” means until you don’t have them by your side anymore. Still after graduation, they’re the ones I call when I’m having a bad day or when something really awesome is happening. It teaches you that yeah, you really can be close to over one hundred sisters, both past and present, and they’re still going to know everything about you and that you can have a conversation and have it MEAN something. My sorority was one of the biggest reasons why I got through the campaign, and the funny thing was, it wasn’t just the Oneonta chapter. It was also the Potsdam chapter. You’d think that it would be impossible for a girl to become really close friends with other girls that she barely even knows and the only thing that they do have in common is that they’re in the same sorority. It’s not impossible. Even though we’re from different parts of NY, going to different schools- or in my case, my Potsdam sisters were still in school and I was the one with a job- they weren’t just my sisters from another chapter. They are my sisters. And just like my sisters in Oneonta, I will have their backs no matter what. Unless they killed someone. That could be a deal breaker.

Although this trip made me realize something. I never cared about wind advisories before. Now I do. It was almost like NYC traded places with Chicago and wanted to be known as the windy city for a change. I’m not even exaggerating, when my friends and I were walking to the Met, we felt like a mini tornado was hitting us. I wore my sunglasses all day, even at night because I wear contact lenses and after I felt a piece of sand blow into my eye, I decided that enough was enough- even if I looked like a total tool, anything was better than getting a scratched cornea. Thankfully, NYC has streetlights everywhere you go, so it wasn’t as cumbersome as one would think to wear sunglasses at night.

It was my first time visiting the Met. Unfortunately, a wave of tourist fever came over me and I thought that the Met was the same thing as the Museum of Modern Art. I was wrong. Yet we still had an awesome time. My friend L and I discovered something that people would disregard as immature and juvenile: that male nude sculptures in the early ages have really tiny penises. As time goes on, the penises get bigger and bigger. I made a point of this to L, and my natural loud, boisterous made that point to other guests of the Met. I made three teenage girls laugh.

This was my first time in NYC since I left DC almost two years ago. The biggest difference between NYC and DC for me is that I lived in DC and I’ve only visited NYC. I learned something: You can take the girl out of DC but you can’t take the DC out of the girl. Which is weird because I live closer to NYC and I enjoy NYC because people are more laid back there than in DC and there’s so much more to do in NYC than DC. However, I couldn’t swipe the MetroCard to save my life and I was wishing that I was able to put some money on my SmarTrip. What is a SmarTrip? Eh, I’ll let the WMTA explain it:

A SmarTrip® card is a permanent, rechargeable farecard. It’s plastic, like a credit card, and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card.

Using a SmarTrip® card is fast and easy. Instead of inserting a farecard through the Metrorail faregate slot, you simply touch the SmarTrip® card to the circular targets on top of or inside station faregates. Likewise, you can tap the SmarTrip® farebox on Metrobus to pay your fare with SmarTrip®

I fucking loved that thing when I was in DC. It made life SO much easier. Yep. I looked like a total tourist. I also wish that NYC would get on the ball with its subway system. In DC, there are electronic signs that let you know when the next train is coming. In NYC, only a few subway stations have that. DC also has cell phone towers placed throughout the Metro system, so you’re able to use your phone while underground. My little didn’t understand why I kept looking at my phone until I told her that was just my habit to do so because in DC, you can use cell phones on the train. Then again, there is a beauty to not being able to use a cell phone on a train. It frees up more time to get to know perfect strangers. I met this one guy on the Bronx train who went to UAlbany. It was awesome to find out that it’s really a small world after all!

For dinner, we went to Jackson Hole Burgers. I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but Five Guys, eat your heart out. This place was awesome! Instead of bread for patrons to nibble on while they’re waiting for their food to come out, the waiter brings out pickles to start! After that, I knew that Jackson Hole won over my heart. Just like Five Guys, Jackson Hole has an open kitchen where you can see your burger being cooked. The big differences between Jackson Hole and Five Guys is that:

  1. You have control over the way your burger is cooked. I like mine medium. E coli, schmee foli. Five Guys cooks their burgers well done.
  2. Jackson Hole’s burgers are a half a pound. Really. The line cook will take a slab of ground beef that is bigger than your hand and will slam it on the grill.

I was in carnivore heaven.

After a lovely dinner, we went to this fantastic bar on the Lower East Side called Pianos. My friends and I danced the night away- even though I can’t dance. Really, I can’t- my sorority nicknamed me Claps because I can’t clap to the rhythm of our sorority songs and I can’t dance to rhythm. We also came across The Little Cupcake Bakeshop where I had a delicious Nutella cappuccino that not only gave me the caffeine to last the whole night but it also kept my hands warm during the cold, blustery walk.

In the morning, my little wanted to take me to IHOP because I’ve never been there, but unfortunately, it was packed. We then ventured into Manhattan and ate at Big Daddy’s Restaurant. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to taste their famous tater tots because I was strapped for cash and tater tots can only fill you up for so long and if I was going to spend money- I wanted it to be for something that would keep me revved up during the day.  I enjoyed an awesome sandwich called the Chicken Lickin Sandy- grilled chicken breast with bacon, avocado, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, melted jalapeño jack cheese and herb mayo on ciabatta bread, served with sweet potato chips. Yummy doesn’t even begin to describe the experience.

During the trip, my friends kept telling me to get a new wallet because mine was literally falling apart. I refused though. I loved it to death, it looked like a boombox. While we were on Canal Street, my little decided to take matters in her own hands and bought me a wallet because she didn’t want to see me walking around with my old one anymore. It’s really cute! It has monsters all over it! I decided to take advantage of the fact that we were on Canal. My newfound friend B and I went to a Chinese bakery and got bubble tea and red bean buns. Needless to say, I was in food heaven in the city…which is another reason why I like NYC a lot better than DC. There’s so many different cuisines and you can actually get a decent slice of pizza there.

It’s back to Albany now. I had a wonderful night with my friends and it was totally unexpected. I hung out with Marc of Cautious and Carefree, Zac of Albany Sucka , and Guilderland Matt. I saw Marc as I was walking back from work and we all had an epic night full of watching documentaries about the most deadliest animals in Austrailia and capped the night off with eating delicious cheesecake at Cheesecake Machismo on Hamilton Street in downtown Albany. For $5 for a drink and a beverage, you cannot go wrong. I had the Black Stout Cheesecake.

Oh yeah- and I’m still keeping up with 30 for 30!

Saturday

That’s Little and I at Pianos! I know you can’t see the whole outfit but to tell you the truth, I didn’t want to ask my friends to take a picture of my entire outfit. This time was to concentrate on them and not myself. As you can see from my face, I was (terribly) dancing up a storm! Who needs rhythm when you’re having an awesome time?

  • White Top- Kohl’s
  • Vest- New York and Company
  • Scarf- Maxwell’s
  • Belt- Forever 21
  • Leggings- Kohl’s
  • Boots- borrowed from a friend because she didn’t want me walking around NYC with my mocs.

Monday

There isn’t a Sunday pic. I sowwy. I was just ridiculously busy with walking around NYC, having an awesome time with my friends, and by the time I got home, I was too exhausted to take a picture. For those of you who are interested- I stayed true to 30 for 30 and wore an Oneonta sweatshirt and leggings because you always have to represent the best college in the SUNY system ;D

  • Jacket- New York and Company
  • Tee Shirt- American Eagle (which has a graphic print of NYC!)
  • Jeans- American Eagle
  • Mocs- Minnetonka
  • Scarf- A friend gave it to me back in college
  • Daisy- Claire’s

My bangs were doing the Rod Blogojevich today.

That’s unfortunate.

  • Black drape cardigan- Kohl’s
  • Scarf- My friend gave it to me in college
  • White Tee- Kohl’s
  • Pants- New York and Company

The last two outfits are my favorite because since I work at an office- I have to mix my work clothes with my regular clothes during this challenge. The beauty about doing 30 for 30 is working with what you have and creating outfits that normally you don’t wear. I would have never wore this outfit to work without 30 for 30 and honestly- I’m glad that I stumbled upon this combo. Not only is it office appropriate, but it’s comfy and stylish…or at least I hope it’s stylish ;D


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…it feels like I never left.

But in the meantime, I’ve got it hard

Second floor living without a yard.

It may be years until the day

My dreams will match up with my pay.

-Feist

The deep snow lyric also rings true now.

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Here I am. At the Daily Grind. The first day of work went famously. I’m really interested in what’s going to happen with it. I’ve been fortunate to have received so many professional opportunities to see the different sides of the political world and how they operate. As for being back in Albany, it feels like I never left.

It isn’t NYC. It isn’t DC. I mean after a month in DC, even though I was fucking scared as hell in the beginning, I acted enough like a local that the tourists came up to me to ask for directions…Albany just feels like your favorite comfy couch that you come to and collapse in. Yesterday, a few of my buddies and I went to my favorite bar in Albany, DeJohn’s. I love the atmosphere there because it’s a place where you can just chill out. From the outside, it looks pretentious, but as soon as you step inside the bar, you realize it’s not the case. The waitstaff still knows who you are, even after not being there for a while, and they’re more than happy to serve you and treat you like a normal human being. I personally think it’s Albany’s version of Cheers. You also cannot go with $2 drafts for Happy Hour. I took my first extended trip on CDTA today and I learned that just because a sign says “bus stop” doesn’t mean the bus will actually stop at that sign. Yet, finally the bus gods gave me a break and I made a few friends. Found out the girl sitting next to me shares the same birthday with me. I’m going to be meeting up with some friends tonight, however there are still a whole lot of people I have yet to see. I’m leaving for home straight after work tomorrow. I will be back next week though and hey, once the apartment comes into place, things will get easier and more stable!

On Monday, I wrote that I felt self-conscious about taking pictures for 30 for 30. But hey- it was my first day of work today and I was feeling pretty awesome because I was getting paid to do things again. Needless to say, I threw my self-conscious feelings out the window.

Long Sleeve White Tee from Kohl’s

Grey Dress by H&M

Black Sweater Tights by American Eagle

Slouchy Ankle Booties from JCPenney

Belt by Forever 21

Bobby Pin with Small Flowers by H&M

This is my favorite work outfit. I love this dress, I always get compliments on it. It was only $34 when I bought it last March. I’m still trying to figure out how to pose, I had to use self timer because I felt awkward asking my friend about taking an outfit picture. He’s already letting me stay at his pad for the week. He doesn’t need to do anything more for me =D

(Writer’s Note: At this point, I stopped writing because I met up with my pal Marc from the lovely music blog Cautious and Carefree.)

Friday, February 4th, 2011

What a lovely night! The gang was (almost) reunited but it still felt so good! As I mentioned before, I met up with my friend Marc and we visited his roommate, who I refer to as my other dad, who works at Caffe Vero on Lark Street. Go on and give it a try when you find yourself in the Albany area! I will bet you my bottom dollar that my other dad will give you the best service ever! Just look for the ever-changing facial hair and that’s him!

I do my best to patronize both Caffe Vero and The Daily Grind. They’re both great local coffee shops but even though my other dad is employed there, I do find myself going to the Daily Grind more. Caffe Vero is new and opened while I was in Potsdam. The Daily Grind has been in Albany for years. My relationships with the baristas there are similar to the relationship one has with his or her favorite bartender. In November, I visited the Daily Grind with my former boyfriend and Ed, one of my favorite baristas, said “you’re back!” after four months of not being a regular. Today, he asked me if I found a new job yet and I was delighted to say yes and I haven’t seen him for two months. Also- the Sunday crowd is outstanding. I end up bumping into Jim, a local musician, there and he always introduces me to all of his friends who are truly fascinating people. I haven’t had a chance to experience the community at Caffe Vero yet but I hope that will change once I move back to Albany. Besides, I can’t let my dad down =D

It was casual Friday at the office today. I wore jeans for the first time in a month and four days.

Here’s the outfit breakdown:

A white drapey cardigan from PacSun (wore it on Tuesday)

A floral tank top from Kohl’s (also wore that on Tuesday)

A scarf from Maxwell’s, a local variety shop in Oneonta. Seriously they have everything from really cute scarves to CDs to tapestries to an extensive bowl collection to porn.

Jeans from American Eagle

Socks from Walmart*

Moccasins by Minnetonka

A daisy hair clip from Claire’s

Belt from Gap

CDTA almost missed me today. I was standing at the bus stop and I saw the bus start to pass me. The driver ended up stopping at the next block and told me that if I didn’t have my CDTA card in my hand, he would have passed me.

Now- if the driver wasn’t such a nice guy, I would have been really pissed because I would have been late for work. I still can’t understand why a bus driver wouldn’t stop when he sees someone at a bus stop but who knows. All I know is that I’m lucky I even had the CDTA card in my hand because my friend D gave it to me two months ago and I found it in at the bottom of my purse a hour before I was standing at the stop. The ride home was a lot smoother- actually it was really touching. I noticed a really old man get on the bus who looked a lot like my Grandfather who passed away almost five years ago. Not only that, he acted a lot like him too. My grandfather was the kind of guy who was friends with everyone. When I saw the old man greet the CDTA driver by shaking his hand, saying that he hasn’t seen him drive in a while and laughed with him over a joke- I had to keep myself from shedding a few tears. My grandpa would have done the same thing. I saw him do that all the time to others. He didn’t care if you were a janitor or a big shot, he treated everyone like they were his best friend. The old man was even wearing a Members Only jacket, just like my Grandpa did. It was just a stark reminder that yeah, people really do care about other people in this world, even if you think your part is small. We all have an effect on each other. I hope we all can make it a positive one.

I’m back in Sullivan County for the weekend. But I’ll be back “home” on Monday =D