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Goodbye Brickyard – Part 2

The following evening was my third and final going away party. I called it the “Drink/eat this so I don’t have to move it” party. I wanted to get rid of as much stuff in my kitchen as possible so I wouldn’t have to move it or throw it out. I also wanted one more chance to play Cards Against Humanity before I lived with a four year-old and would have to watch my language.

If you haven’t heard of Cards Against Humanity, then you are missing out. Ever played Apples to Apples? It’s like that, but wrong. Just check out their website.

Two of my best friends from high school drove 3 ½ hours to come see me, which blew me away. But that’s what great friends do, right? Also a college friend, Sally, came by. I’d seen her by coincidence a few years ago, when we were both at the Butler bookstore during the basketball team’s second Final Four appearance (in a row!). But we just briefly chatted then. This gave us an opportunity to catch up a bit more and just hang out, something I wish I’d strived to do more with Sally while I was still in Indy. Patti also came, though not her two young girls, who I’d babysat a few times before. After all, it was a grown up night and no one under the age of 18 should be exposed to Cards Against Humanity. But she told me that when the girls heard I was moving away, they said, “I thought she was going to babysit us forever!” It was very sweet, but I have my own family to babysit for now.

When the crowd was down to just a handful of us and the game was getting old, we switched to another one of my favorite card games: Anomia. Basically, everyone has a stack of cards and they each take turns to flip one up in front of them. Each card has a symbol and a subject, like “Mystery Novelist” or “Famous Ghost”. If the symbols from two cards match, the players must name something from the other person’s card first. The first person to correctly name something, gets the other person’s card. In the end, the person with the most cards won, wins. It sounds pretty easy, but if you play it, you will find that thinking on the spot and under pressure makes for a lot of “uhs” and “ums” and will make even the smartest person look stupid. For example, I had to name a famous astronaut. Not hard: Neil Armstrong. But then I had to name a famous inventor. Because this card was with the same player as the previous one, my mind automatically went to my last answer and I’d blurted out, “Neil Armstrong!” So, after a few rounds and many, many laughs with that game, the party dispersed.

The next morning my mom arrived to help with final preparations and take my cat to her new home. Dad arrived a few days later and the next day we packed up the truck* and hit the road, leaving the Brickyard behind.

*Actually, I hired people to pack the truck for us. Best use of my money ever.

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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in About me

 

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Goodbye Brickyard – Part 1

After my first going away party, I had a second, smaller party at one of Indy’s best pizza places: Bazbeaux Pizza. When Jess learned that I was going there before coming to Virginia, she asked me to bring her some (like it would last that long!). That’s how good Bazbeaux is.

I first experienced Bazbeaux my sophomore year at Butler University, when a group I participated in went out to Broad Ripple, the strip of bars and restaurants frequented by students. A few people in the group were vegetarian, like me. Having not been to Bazbeaux before, I thought that I was in for just some plain ol’ cheese pizza (which I enjoy, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not very exciting). Low and behold, they had just as many specialty vegetarian pizzas as they did for the meat eaters. There was a Chipotle pizza with black bean sauce rather than marinara, a Greek pizza with feta cheese and spinach, a Spring pizza with carrots and broccoli. There were so many choices, I didn’t know where to start! Thankfully, another vegetarian helped me out, as we would have to split the pizzas between several people. That day I tried the Chipotle pizza. It was different and a bit unusual, but I liked it.

The next time my family visited me, I insisted that we go to Bazbeaux. They instantly loved it, too, and it became a regular place for us to dine when they were in town.

So, after more than a decade of decadent pizza, I naturally had to give the place a proper farewell. When a coworker suggested dinner when she couldn’t make it to my first going away party at Mediterra (also in Broad Ripple), I picked Bazbeaux to be the place. The branch we went to was in Carmel, though, close to work. The group was smaller, but it consisted of people who couldn’t make it to the first party, so it turned out perfectly.

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After dinner, I asked if someone would help me with another tradition that Jess and I partook in: posing with the statues in the Arts & Design District. Everyone decided to come on the outing. There was a fairly new statue that Jess and I never got a picture with because we couldn’t think of anything to do with it. The statue was a lady walking a small dog. I thought it might be funny to pose as if I were peeing on the dog:

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Of course, it just looks like I’m trying to kick them at a weird angle, but that worked as that was my signature move for many statues over the years. Then someone suggested that I make it look like I was about to slap the woman:

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And that was the end of my second going away party and the last time I’ll have Bazbeaux pizza (until I save up enough money to go visit!).

A few days after the Bazbeaux outing, I had my final shift at the store. A few friends popped in to say goodbye, which was great. Toward the end of my shift, though, I was ushered into the back to enjoy some gourmet cupcakes (I had a cream-cicle flavored one! Yummy!) and to open my going away present from the staff. One of my coworkers and great friend Burt is an illustrator (a great one at that!). He’d drawn a picture of me and my nephew donned in Hogwarts outfits and holding hands. We each had a wand, spraying out hearts, and above our heads he wrote, “Have a ‘magical’ time with your nephew!” The matte around the illustration was signed by my coworkers, wishing me luck and saying goodbye.

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I currently have it sitting on the nightstand to I can see it as I lay down at night and wake up in the morning. When I get my own place, I will hang it on the wall and display it proudly. My friends’ words of love and support are very precious to me.

Once my shift was over, I went around to the staff that was there and got some more pictures to remember them by:

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in About me, Food

 

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Goodbye friends

Yesterday was my first goodbye party for former and current coworkers. We were at Mediterra Restaurant in Broad Ripple*. I started the night with the passion fruit Sangria and the pesto flat bread (pesto, feta, Kalamata olives, and red onion on flat bread – perfecto!).

Of course, the company was fabulous and I was able to catch up with some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I was also able to get pictures of everyone before I left so I can have a scrapbook full of my friends’ faces!

Here’s a group shot:

Group shot before a fond farewell!

Group shot before a fond farewell!

I am in the first row, second from the right. The picture I’m holding in my hand is one of my nephew. Since he is the reason I am moving, I only found it fitting that he be in the picture as well.

My favorite part, though, had to be when someone was taking a photo of me with another person and said, “Is it just me or is this blurry? I can’t tell; I’ve been drinking wine.” It was, in fact, a blurry photo, but it was still funny!

All together it was a great night and only a few tears were shed on my part (after almost everyone was gone). I have a spectacular group of coworkers because they are also my friends. I will miss them all!

*Broad Ripple is in Indianapolis and it is where many 20 and 30-somethings go for dining and drinks.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in About me

 

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T minus 12 days

The last time I posted, I wrote about finding a job so I could uproot my life and move closer to my family. Well, I I finally landed a job and have been in the process of packing and tying up loose ends for the past several weeks. In exactly 12 days, however, I will have my moving truck loaded and I’ll be hitting the road.

I’ve already had to say a couple of goodbyes. One to a great friend and coworker who is out now out of town on vacation. Another to a fun guy that I was just starting to get to know. Tomorrow, I have my farewell dinner and drinks with whatever coworkers can make it. I am still working this week, though, so I’ll have plenty of opportunity to say goodbye to my coworkers. Then, the day after my last day at my job, I’m having friends over to consume everything in my kitchen (so I don’t have to move it) and play games. This will be my final face-to-face farewell.

I haven’t been as teary-eyed as I thought I would. I think part of it is because I still have so much to do and the scope of the journey I’m about to embark on hasn’t fully sunk in yet. Part may be because I hold hope that I’ll see my friends again if they ever make it out to DC and/or I come back for a visit. One reason for sure, though, is because I’m so excited to meet my nephew and finally be near family and that excitement has pushed away any fear, worry, sadness that I may feel. The sadness probably won’t really hit me until I lock my apartment door for the last time and hit the road. I’ll say one final goodbye in my car as I leave the city that holds my friends – my second family – who’ve loved and supported me for the past 13 years.

For all of you who I consider a friend, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I wouldn’t have made it through many holidays without you opening your homes and arms to me. I wouldn’t have sought the help I needed when dark thoughts settled on my mind. I wouldn’t have the knowledge or confidence about myself without you to help me see it. In short, I would not be the strong person I am today without you. It’s because I’m strong that I’m able to uproot my life and start over in a new place. Gracias.

(Shit. Now I’m crying.)

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2013 in About me

 

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Yes, I know it’s been awhile (only half a year) since I posted so I’ll try to make this “catching up” post brief.

The most significant change in my life is my relationship status. Fred and I called it quits back in September, though we both saw it coming for a while. There are no hard feelings between us – we just wanted something different out of the relationship that the other couldn’t provide. Yes, we still talk, but not like we used to. He moved out and I’m in the large apartment by myself. For the most part I enjoy the quietness of living alone again but I do get lonely at times.

The holidays were the worst for this. My sister came to spend Thanksgiving with me and we had fun crafting art for our walls. I spent Christmas at a friend’s house, expecting just good food and good company. The family surprised me by getting me a wonderful gift – a certificate for a massage! Needless to say, I felt that my coming with a partially drunk bottle of spiked eggnog was not a significant exchange. Gift aside, just being around people on Christmas was good. Had I been home, I would have been on the couch crying. (Although, come to think of it, I did cry that evening, but that was because we saw Les Miserable.) New Year’s was probably the most uneventful; I spent a few hours at Judy’s house watching The Twilight Zone marathon. Just before midnight we flipped to another channel, one showing the ball dropping in Times Square. When the clock struck midnight, we gave a very unenthusiastic “woo”. And, no, we did not kiss (pervs). So, I wasn’t alone for the holidays or my birthday (smack dab in the middle of December) but that doesn’t mean I didn’t shed a few tears.

Not all is gloom and doom, though. I am expecting to become an aunt soon, which is very exciting. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say on the internet so for the time being, I won’t say anything else. Mom and Dad are enjoying retirement. Last year they took a three week trip to New Zealand and Australia and next week they’re going to Tahiti. What an adventure!

Of course a new year brings new goals. My goal first and foremost is TO FINISH EDITING MY NOVEL AND SUBMIT IT TO IUNIVERSE! I wrote that in all caps because it’s been four years – FOUR! – since my dear friend Mike gifted me a publishing package. That’s too long and it looks like I’m ungrateful for the wonderful opportunity to see my words in print; I’m not ungrateful, just scared. But I’m also anxious to move on to another writing project. This one just needs to be wrapped up first.

I also want to continue to grow my card business. If I hadn’t mentioned in previous posts, I make sarcastic greeting cards called Sarcasm Included. I opened an Etsy shop and have a corresponding blog. I’m reading books about making your craft into a business and just have to remember: one step at a time. Also: craft every day. That is something I need to be better about (as well as writing every day).

The other big goal for 2013 pertains to books. (Who’d have guessed?) Last year I had a goal to read 40 books, which I did (sadly, counting a few picture books) so this year I have a goal to read 45 books. Last year I also hoped to read 6 classic novels but I didn’t even read one. I think I was overwhelmed by my first choice, which was The Annotated Wizard of Oz. “Overwhelmed by The Wizard of Oz?” you may be thinking. Yes and I’ll tell you why. The annotated version started off with 100 pages of introduction to L. Frank Baum’s life and the evolution of the Oz series. And I’m not talking 100 pages of paperback proportions. The book is wider and taller than the average hardcover book so the amount of text per page is significantly greater.. I’m talking 100 pages of that. So I got through that (it took awhile but I did it) and then I started in on the actual book itself. First was Baum’s own one-page introduction (ah – one page! How nice!). Unfortunately, this came with three pages of annotated notes.

So that’s where I stopped with that. Too much too soon. If I’m going to drudge* through 100 pages of introduction for weeks on end, I want the rest of it to be easy. I think I’ll go back and read just the book at some point and skip all the notes. Either way, lesson learned.

That’s the news for now. Hopefully I’ll be posting more here as well as my other blog and Etsy shop. Thanks for reading!

*It was actually a very good, detailed introduction and I enjoyed it for the most part. It just felt like it took forever because one page took several minutes to read so reading for an hour and only get a few pages done made it feel like I wasn’t accomplishing anything at all.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in About me

 

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Will the real Jackie Collins please stand up?

In college I participated in a program called Ambassadors of Change (AOC).  Freshman year I was an ambassador with about 30 other freshmen along with 10 upperclassmen to help lead groups.  Each group had a different topic and it was our goal in the program to come up with a way to teach others about that topic.  The program was only 4 days long but it was right before orientation so we pretty much had the campus to ourselves.  It was wonderful in many ways: we got to know a small group of people before being surrounded by thousands; we got to know the campus; we volunteered with different organizations; we learned about different causes.  I could go on and on but I won’t.  In short, it was through AOC that I met like-minded people and the leaders of tomorrow.

Sophomore year I came back as a group leader.  While I was still a bit in my shell, being a leader of a group helped me come out a bit more.  The upperclassmen had to come a few days before the ambassadors to get everything ready.  When we were given the list of freshmen that each group would have, I scanned the list.  One name jumped out at me: Jackie Collins.  Really?  Jackie Collins, like the author?  It made me laugh.  “I have got to meet this girl!” I said to myself.  She wasn’t in my group but I made it a point to talk to her.

This Jackie Collins loved to read but wasn’t a writer.  She was an opera singer.  She was high-energy, friendly, and funny.  She became one of my best friends and we still hang out when she’s not in rehearsal for a show.  Sometimes, when I’m at work, I like to tell people, “Yeah, I know Jackie Collins.”  When they give me a surprised look, I laugh and say, “Not the writer – the opera singer!”

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in About me

 

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