East vs West: The DMV Edition

I knew I had to get a new license here but I was kinda forced into it after the whole wallet stealing debacle. Well I FINALLY got my certified driving record from CA! It only took so long and you would think I won the damn lottery! What a pain in the ass but honestly worth the wait so I wouldn’t have to go through all the testing all over again. Driving around in another state with no license and with CA plates was nerve wrecking… the last thing I want to do is get pulled over and those plates might as well be a damn bulls eye around here. It’s bad enough people swerve around us and give us the “damn transplants” look. Now I know how the Zonies (people from AZ) feel in San Diego.

So this morning I took Reza to school and hit the MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission – unlike the DMV in CA). Apparently there was one really close by, hidden in a strip mall… everything here is in a damn strip mall btw. I roll in there and this is what I see…

WHAT. THE. HELL. No massive line wrapped around the damn building? No number taking clusterfuck of people? No herds of weirdos with their screaming progeny? No stench of B.O., dirty diaper and cigarette? The place was a damn ghost town! I was one of 5 customers in there. So I roll in, get my photo taken, transfer into the system and BAM! They actually print the thing out on the spot and give it to you! No waiting for a month for it to show up.

I did this with reluctance, yes I needed a license but it was just one more step toward acknowledgement that Dorothy is no longer in her Kansas, ya know? I am not from here, I am not and NEVER will be a “Jersey Girl”.

I happened to have an old expired one that looked almost like the one that got stolen, so yeah… Made it official yo, registered to vote, signed up on the organ donor list and all.

These pictures always manage to make me look like a damn Oompa Loompa. It cannot be any worse than the one on my passport though, I have to replace that one eventually cause damn it is embarrassing and no, I am not sharing it. I gotta have a little dignity. The whole thing was more expensive though ($35 + the cost of the record getting) but that is a-ok… and NJ, thank you for not printing the weight on the license… that shit is just shameful.

I still can’t get over how quick and painless it was to do this today. Jesus.

matte+gloss nails tutorial

You have seen it all over Pinterest and tumblr and said, “that looks awesome!” but how many actually go through with doing it? I saw it, loved it and finally did it! After a couple of jacked up nails, I figured out the easiest “how to do this” and now you can too!

So here is the skinny….

This is what you will need.

1. Black polish. I used the one by Butter cause it rules. $14 at Nordstrom
2. Matte About You matte-ifying polish by Essie – $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond (Target probably has it)
3. Nail polish remover, cotton and a brush for clean up/possible mistakes.

Step 1: Paint the entire nail with the black, 2 coats. Let it dry.

Step 2: Apply ONE coat of the Matte polish. Make sure you do even strokes from the bottom to the top. If you do this any other way it looks all wonky and wrong. Do it as quick as possible, making sure you get everything if not you will have random glossy corners peaking out. Let it dry.

Step 3: And this is where it gets tricky… If you have a very steady hand, paint just the tips with the black gloss polish and let it dry. You’re done! If you don’t have a steady hand I would recommend you get the french manicure tape thingies. I don’t know if they will work though cause I never use them. One hand ended up looking better for me than the other… I am steady but not ambidextrous. 😉

Step 4: Once you are fully dry, use the brush with some remover to clean up around the cuticle areas.

You’re done. A sexy and classic take on the french manicure! You know, without all that white and pink stuff *gag*

Now, not sure how long it lasts since you cannot put a clear coat over it since all it will do is undo all your hard work. Can you do this with other colors? Absolutely.

The Adventure Continues

The other day Josh posed a question: “if you had the opportunity to go back to CA/San Diego, right now, would you do it?”. Good question husband. Funny thing is it didn’t really take much for me to drum up a response. “No”.

What?!! You would rather live in NJ than sunny, perfect San Diego? Yeah, I was shocked too. Look, I have a lot of reasons, let’s lay them out shall we?

1. Our quality of life has improved in many aspects.

2. Josh LOVES his job! He is somewhere where he is challenged, respected and compensated appropriately. He is excited about the projects he is doing and after seeing him disregarded and undervalued by his previous employer, this speaks volumes.

3. We drive less and walk more. Really. Josh cut his commute time down to 2 days since he takes the train to work, He gets to chill and read on the way/to and from work. We walk and train it a lot… I barely get on the freeway! I think I have been on a freeway no more than 10 times since moving here, not counting when Josh drives to Atlantic City. You know what it’s like to not be in gridlock all the damn time? You know what it feels like to slow down the pace a little? The stress factor drops a lot!

4. We are eating better. There is a lack of temptation to eat poorly cause there aren’t so many evils within arms reach. Don’t get me wrong though, I miss my Bertos and real Mexican food like it’s going out of style!

5. Having Philadelphia in our back yard is amazing. It has everything we could possibly ask for. Sure, I can’t ever replace people like my hair boys, therapists and Drs. I loved but life goes on and we make due with what is available to us. It’s there! If I built a great network in San Diego, I can do it here too. I am a networking queen and so far I have found more gold than turds.

6. I cannot discount a place I have not had the opportunity to really know. We have been here 2 months… 2 months isn’t shit! I can’t sit here and say I am afraid of the sea when I have only stepped on its shore. It would be unreasonable of me.

7. The accessibility to so many awesome things/places to see and do is undeniable. We only have so much weekend time here but already we have plans looking to go to DC, NYC and since tickets are cheaper from here, a trip to Europe is imminent.

8. Sure, there is a lot of backwoods bullshit here… no u-turns, BYOB crap at places and people stare at us like we are weirdos but is that really enough to discount a place? No. CA has its stupid nuances too, we just learned to deal with them and will do the same here.

9. This move, the decision making process, the being on the same page…. all of this has only made our marriage even more solid. God, things like this are so much easier when you are with someone you can really process it with.

So as a whole there are way more pros than cons here. In fact, the only REAL con about being here is my people. I miss my people back home with so much fervor. So much that it hurts. This whole adventure has been amazing but not having friends to truly share it with is hard on us… look, status updates and blog posts just don’t cut it. I long for human interaction, I miss my girlfriends, my boy-friends… other warm faces: Mike, Tania, Spencer, Jason, Eryc, the Q’s, the Kneelands… you name them… too many to list. Not having them in the same place is hard! But, I am going to look at the silver lining. I needed this space and time to grow, evolve and focus. I needed this test and I strongly believe I will come out on the other side a better person, woman, wife, mother and friend. I KNOW this with everything in me and those who truly love and know me will see it. I am thankful, however, for those who have been so diligent and thoughtful to call and write us as much as you have. YOU, yes YOU… you rule my world <3 And those who haven't reached out at all? They're the split ends that needed to get cut off anyway. I have crossed a line here, somewhere.... not sure when it happened but it did and I am embracing this distance and challenge with grace. So would I go back? No. Not anytime soon.... The adventure continues.

fill in the blank friday

1. The best thing I did all week was go to Pilates. I am starting to go about twice a week give or take. The girl I am training with is beating my ass into submission. I like it.

2. Watching the critters and birds outside our kitchen windows make me super happy. I just put a bird feeder out there and I have seen all kinds of wild birds. There are times it’s a free for all… the other day there were 5 cardinals! doves, chipmunks, squirrels and a bunch of other types of birds I need to identify.

3. Pets are awesome companions and friends but I really hate when people compare having an animal as the same as being a parent. Kids and animals are not the same thing, sorry.

4. The friendship and bond I have with Josh is the best thing about my life.

5. With the cooler weather I am looking forward to actually getting to enjoy my hoodies, coats, hats and gloves more than a week. I know I will be regretting this statement come winter when my ass is blue with cold.

6. Something that’s on my “wish list” right now is a Clairisonic face scrubber thingy. Good skin trumps so much these days.

7. This weekend I am going to traipse about Philly with my family in the rain, take Reza to her first dance class, meet with a potential babysitter, take some art to get custom framed and get epically laid. The last bit will happen, Josh is always willing to serve. 🙂

*****
In case you want to play along

adventures in philly…

I decided that today was another “go into the city” day. I love the 10th & Locust station cause the corridors change colors. It’s like a rainbow nightclub, in the subway. And when it’s empty, it’s even cooler.

First stop was much needed lunch at MAOZ. I hanker for the food there, by far one of my favorite finds thus far (THANKS AVERY!!). Tasty felafel come to me. 1/2 a pita is so filling, even more when I stuffed it with roasted cauliflower. YUM. Reza loves their Belgian fries. I get that fries are not lunch but dude, you should see how hard it is get this child to eat certain things.

Toward the end of the outing we hit up Capogiro Gelato. GOOD LORD. They make a SALT FLAVOR. Just plain salt and I paired it with a bourbon butterscotch flavor and holy hell. Evil as hell. Don’t let this photo fool you, the size was small and it was so sinful I couldn’t eat it all. But what I did have? WHOA. I will be going back… when I am PMSing.

I also finally got to set foot in the local Blick Art Materials store and holy jizz. The San Diego store was nice, this one is NICE. I wasn’t there long cause Blick is church to me and I cannot go in there with Reza. I foresee some damage incurred in that store.

Reza doesn’t have school on Tuesday and Thursday. They just opened this awesome new place called Nest and decided a trip was due.

Nest is DOPE. First off, they have classes there from dance, soccer, art for the super littles up to 5-6 year olds. The girl really needs some extra-curricular activities so I put her in a hip-hop dance class, one day a week. Her class is on Saturday… today we just went down there to hit up the indoor play area…

This place is going to come in handy during the winter! Most of the kids that were there were little, too little for Reza to play with but she made friends with a little boy… she is so damn social. Hopefully I will meet some nice people there… there were a couple stuck up bitches though, with Coach and LV diaper bags respectively. Heh.

It was a successful outing. Tasty eats, eye candy central, got TONS of walking on, I still have my wallet. I approve.

Not Of This World…

I am not one of those people who dresses weird, looks weird or does shit for shock value, especially now that I am in my 30’s. I look the way I look cause it feels good and I make no apologies. I choose to live my life without the fear of what others think. I don’t consider myself to be a “weirdo” but fuck man, the people here in Jersey look at us like we just got off a space ship, like we are the goddamn Addams Family. Not that I don’t mind being compared to the Addams Family but you see my point…

At any point in time Josh and I have flat out busted people, the eyeballs wandering to our tattoos like we are circus freaks. I get it, people might not be used to it/us but there is observing and then there is straight out gakwing.

So earlier tonight, we went out to dinner to what has become a regular haunt, a lovely and very tasty Indian food establishment on the edges of Cooper River Park. We were one of 3 tables of people…

Reza: Mom, that lady is staring at you… what is staring?
Josh: It’s when someone looks at you for a long time.
Me: And it’s usually RUDE when they do it….

Apparently some uptight lady at a table next to us was turning around and staring at us, Reza picked up on it and called her out. ROFL. I didn’t realize I was dissing the wench until after they got up and left and Josh filled me in on it. Funny thing is after that exchange amongst us, she stopped turning around to look.

We may be “freaky looking” to you if you think so, but stupid we are not and if a 4 year old is noticing, you aren’t being discreet either. Look, gawk at us all you want but if there are any glances and comments going the way of our kid, the gloves are off and I am going to stop being nice about it.

Called out by my kid. That’s my girl.

fill in the blank friday

Forgot to do this yesterday…

1. You should always take time to tell those you love how much they mean to you. You really never know when that last chance will be.

2. The fact chocolate exists make(s) the world a happier place to be.

3. I can hardly wait for
the day I get a visitor that isn’t the time of the damn month. I miss my friends.

4. Friday is my favorite day of the week.

5. Something totally dumb and ridiculous that I love is Pitbull. I dunno what it is… he is so damn seedy and greasy yet here I am, listening to his tracks.

6. If I could, I would hire a live in masseuse so I could get rubbed down when I feel like it.

7. I rather like
the fact I am getting to have a real fall this year. I just wish I had someone to share it with.

As you can tell I am seriously missing my friends. The way things are going here, I don’t see my having any either.

search term hilarity

In this edition of of “the things people type and end up on my website”, I bring you the newest and best of the best. (the spelling and lingo is not mine… I know how to use “there” and “their”)

you east coast people are a bunch of pussies
pics of ladies with those shorts were there butcheeks hang out
a good response to cool story bro
girls butt cheeks hanging out in school pics
home is wherever i’m with you
home is wherever i’m with you tattoo
Pissende+kids (<--- you sick fuckers, DIAF ) pisende+girls waxing vagoo my sister gave me a rubdown video rimjob bicycle club fuckin girl in mexico ivonne hogging blankets home is wherever i'm with you jack in the box all i see is people complaining, its fucking frustrating And my personal favorite for this round: ivonne shameless. Why yes, I am shameless. Thanks!

And men, women, you sure love your shorts with the ass hanging out photos. Cochinos!

But yes, people really love “home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I get a lot of searches for “home is wherever I’m with you” and it’s because of this song. Heard it?

I got to say though, the Jorge & Alexa version is my favorite.

happy Saturday!

jersey fresh

Things around these parts are settling down a little. Yes, the house still looks like it exploded from the sea of boxes (empty or not) but there has been a lot of progress in the unpacking department. Slowly but surely.

The scenery around these parts is actually quite nice. SO MANY TREES. The Fall around here is going to be gorgeous. The drive to get Reza from school is super scenic, literally a canopy of trees almost the entire way. Our neighborhood is very close to the Cooper River park and we drive over this bridge almost every day. The park is popular and every day you see tons of people walking/running/cycling around it. You look over to the West and you can see the sun setting over the Philly skyline. I haven’t got used to the fact the sun doesn’t set on the ocean here. Josh snagged this shot yesterday (on the left)… sadly missing the sun that was a radiant harvest shade of red/orange. The other shot is the Patco train tracks that run parallel to our house.

Speaking of trees… our backyard. Jesus. It’s like an episode of National Geographic up in this piece. At any point in time I get to see bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, cardinals, blue jays. I am not used to so much wildlife but Reza and I are loving it. This morning we watched the squirrels pulling out the yard mushrooms for breakfast. My landlord says there are also racoons, an occasional fox and that if we put out bird feeders we will attract a lot of wild birds. And don’t even get me started on the bugs. The house has lots of floral bushes and trees (we also have holly trees!) and there are big, hairy bumblebees collecting pollen from our porch daily. Then of course the crickets and cicadas at night and I keep managing to score on capturing some of them on film… like these guys…

The pic on the left is our back yard. Can’t really grasp it much, we have a very large tree outside our kitchen window. Speaking of we need to get on that renters insurance stat, cause with the idea of falling trees and possible flooding basements full of electronic equipment, uh yeah…

I had my first non Jason+Eryc hair appointment last weekend. It went well and I like it… it’s just not them. You get so used to someone, it is hard to give that up so easily. Needless to say I like Jo, she’s nice, easy going and is obsessed with Duran Duran. Plus the salon is really relaxed, no snootiness. We hit it off and once we get more familiar with one another, we will be a-ok.

Josh and I have braved 2 trips to IKEA in Philly on a weekend and man… And people back home complain about it being a zoo. Holy shit was it nuts. I have such a love/hate relationship with that place. I love the stuff but the some of the people that go there make my brain assplode from their stupidity. I go, in and out… no problems! but we got stuck behind some people who spent more than 15 minutes at the register cause they were just that stupid. Obvious college students. The future of uhmurrcah right there. Josh, who thinks I don’t notice, has devised a plan that entails him leaving to another part of the house the minute he sees me pulling out IKEA parts for assembly. It shouldn’t be this complicated to put together a square bookcase. My frustration and impatience with their picture only instructions only turns me into Miss Pissy Pants 2011 and all we end up doing is snapping at each other. Well played husband. IKEA, you will make my blood boil yet I keep going back to your land of Swedish Delight, mocking me with your names. A tool set called FIXA? OH OK. You pricks. I hate you and the freshly baked cinnamon rolls you pump out by the register, only mocking me further.

Living here is gonna be easier on the waistline. Thank jeebus. I get the urge for Mexican food/froyo/tasty something… “oh there isn’t any anywhere near here” and the idea of getting in the car doesn’t appeal. Not the way people drive here. Serious pricks of the road! Either they are stupid as all F or they ride your ass like a drunk slut on a mechanical bull. Jesus. And dude, you can only eat so much Italian food. I am already over it and I shouldn’t even be having it anyway, lately my body is REALLY hating glutinous products. No, really. Leaving the house isn’t an option so I am relegated to the tasty I may have in the house which is… Nothing. I don’t buy that business cause I know what will happen. Ironically, getting into the house I have somehow managed to lose a couple pounds. Making better choices paired with not eating out as much wins. I don’t own a scale cause seeing numbers really messes with my head. But I can feel it. I haven’t lived in a house with stairs since I was a teen and now I have 3 floors to go up and down to, pair that with lugging boxes, groceries, laundry on said stairs. Oy, my thighs and shoulders are on FIYAH. I found a pilates studio around here that has a cool vibe, the owner was awesome and they combine it with TRX training which I have always wanted to try and the class sizes have low attendance which makes it even better. Excited to get back into it.

So the nugget started Pre-K last week. So far she has really dug being around kids again and I have been getting much needed time to myself. So far I like her school, only bummer is the serious lack of play time which she has already complained about. I knew this going into it, wanting to focus on the academic but I am having my doubts.. kids her age should play outside and there isn’t much of it. I really need to find her some extra-curricular activities like dance or something.

She came home with this drawing on the first day. It’s “our new house, Nena and the cat we are going to get”. Heh.

fill in the blank friday + iphone photo dump

1. Somewhere someone is gettin’ busy. And not in that “I have a lot to do today” way either.

2. Creative people is/are my muse.

3. It would suck if Apple was no more because, I think PCs suck balls. I have been a MAC user since they were uncool and no one liked them, they didn’t make anything for them and they were ugly and beige. I love the brand so much.

4. The quiet time I have to myself to dance around with my ass crack hanging out of my pants while I unpack is/are my favorite thing about today. Ok and it’s friday, Josh time = so necessary.

5. Life is kind of like Christmas. Sometimes you get really shitty presents disguised with pretty paper. I call bullshit.

6. If I could have anything I wanted I would want that damn teleporation device to be invented already. Oh the damage I would do… but then again, those things scare me, I could end up being Brundle-Carley.

7. A funny thing happened the other day… the Verizon guy came over to install our internet and Nena got all territorial, walks right up to him and pissed right in front of his feet. Embarrassing but funny.

(in case you want to play along)

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It also dawned on me that it has been quite a while that I unloaded the phone pix. Some of these are from before the move, but most are here on the East Coast. Good times. A tend to put a lot of these on Instagram and Facebook so if they’re repeats, well, oh well. 🙂

As usual, there are many many more and if you care to see them you can do so over on the flickr set.