Alex in Transit(ion)

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sidewalks.

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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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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things are going great. and they’re only getting better.

Yet first things first, I have an adorable baby cousin and she goes to sleep when I sing Radiohead and Van Morrison to her. If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.

My life isn’t exactly ideal but I am so happy right now. It only took a year and a half but finally I have a job where I’m doing what I love (hellz yeah researching legislation!) in a city that I absolutely adore. I haven’t had that happen to me since DC. It was simply impossible to wipe the smile off my face today, even though I had to commute two hours to get to work.

Yeah, you read that right. It took me two hours to get to Albany from home this morning. I don’t know how I was able to shave that extra half hour, but I’ll take it! Although it wasn’t without a fail in the beginning. As I was driving into Youngsville, I smiled because I was wearing my favorite suit. Then it hit me:

  • Travel bag? Check.
  • Shower Stuff? Check.
  • Laptop? Check.
  • My suits and dresses that should be hanging from my back seat handlebars but they’re not? Uh-oh.

I wish suits could be wrinkle free so I could put them in my travel bag. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if I got to Albany without my suits since tunics and leggings aren’t exactly what one wears while working in a law firm. That would have been a nightmare. Speaking of suits…I smell a 30 for 30 feature coming up!

(seriously, 30 for 30 features smell….like Tide because this challenge requires you to keep washing your clothes)

How could I not take a 30 for 30 picture in my brother’s room? It oozes class. Especially with the solo cup on the floor.

Besides the Minnetonka Moccasins, my whole suit is from New York and Company. I love this suit to death. Let’s just put it out there because it’s obvious- I have big boobs. I’m a fan of them but they make life soooo hard when it comes to buying suits. It’s very rare that I will find a button up that won’t give me the dreaded boob gap. Believe it or not, the button up I’m wearing will give me a boob gap unless…I put a vest on. The vest perfectly contains the boob gap and I won’t have to worry about giving anyone a peak at the girls.

I was also lucky to find a parking space near work. The area near the law firm is notorious for being congested when it comes to parking and surprisingly as I was driving into Albany, BOOM! A parking spot appeared. However, I had to put my Metal Gear Solid skills to the test (and let me tell you, those skills are really subpar. I always watched my brothers play while I sat back and enjoyed the storyline). <—-nerd. I had to leave my laptop, travel bag, and my suits in my car and I was so worried that someone was going to break in if I left the bags in plain sight. I wasn’t going to go into work looking like a sherpa because something tells me that it would be frowned upon. So I took out my concert blankets and made my backseat look like something right out of Hoarders so that no one would be tempted to steal my stuff. It worked!

I will leave you with this. Go to Caffe Vero on Lark Street and order a Zulla. It’s mocha coffee and half and half. It sounds simple, but golly, it’s delicious…and they throw in a free heart coffee cloud fo’ free! You can’t beat that in this economy! I almost thought it was too adorable to drink. Then my caffeine addiction grabbed hold and proved me otherwise.

to put more smiles in the world, that’s what we’re here for

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what a wonderful, wonderful world we live in.

man- writing that sentence feels so good. It makes me feel like things are getting back how they’re supposed to be.

Yesterday, I talked to a friend. The funny thing is- I would have never have met him unless I went up North. I’m glad I did- he was my comrade up there and now he’s shipping off to a whole new adventure to serve our country. The last time I saw him was right before Election Day. I have no idea when I will see him again but I’m thankful that we met. It made me think- I wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people if I didn’t go to the North Country. I credit living in DC with giving me the chance to expand my world, show me that I adore living in a city, and making me discover a beautiful, beautiful part of myself that I would have never found without the help of a dear friend. I credit the North Country for teaching me so much about New York State that I would have never have known before if I had not worked there. The truth is, I probably would have never been to the North Country without the job. That would have been a shame. I would have never discovered that I really am a strong person and that if you work really hard…

what seems impossible will be possible.

It’s funny to think that the whole experience would have never happened if I wasn’t laid off in June. I was so bored that I said to myself, “if I can’t find work in my field, I’ll volunteer in my field.” It all snowballed from there.

The moral of the story is that there are doors all around us that can change our lives- you just have to take a leap of faith and find out what’s behind them.