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Showing posts from 2011

The Joys of Clarity

Well blog, I apologize for neglecting you for so long. I neglect things a lot, which is a key reason I don't have any children, or pets, or living plants...

Anyway a lot as happened since my last post. I completed my first semester of graduate school! I'm at Temple University pursuing my Masters of Journalism. Believe me, it was hard, I bitched a lot, I cried, had panic attacks, walked around with crazy eyes but somehow managed to not only successfully complete my first semester but get A's in both my classes as well!

During my final presentation for my Critical Perspectives of Journalism class, I made a 2 minute movie to introduce my presentation: (it was on comparative news coverage of Turkey's recent earthquake and Haiti's devastating one). As the intro ran, I saw my professor exchange looks with one of the Ph.D students in our class. I stood there in the corner, smiling. At the end of my presentation, my friend says "I think you have a future in this field.…

The 100th Blog Post

I've been trying to find a momentous occasion in which the 100th blog post could be dedicated towards and I suppose this is it. Today I turned 24 years old on August 24th. It is my Golden Birthday. It was a pretty epic birthday filled with cards, cupcakes, a delicious dinner with a dear friend, margaritas, and lots of well wishes. I was on a bit of a euphoric haze after an exciting orientation at Temple University School of Communications and Theatre where I will begin my Masters of Journalism in approx. one week. It was so refreshing to be around like minded people my own age. There is great hope that I'll be able to form my own little grad school crew of friends to do fun things with. Maybe I'll find some future bridesmaids. haha I'm kidding

Over the past few months I've learned a lot about myself. I've had to reshape the way I see myself and adapt to interesting aspects never before brought to light until recently. I've been challenged at my job in a way…

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

Alas, I'm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for what I'm willing to call a "vacation." I'm spending my all time favorite holiday (the 4th of July) at home with my parents. I was starting to get a little homesick for the great ESVA while watching "Friday Night Lights." This show, my new favorite show, portrays a high school football team which is the epicenter of a small town called Dillon in Texas. Now, the Eastern Shore doesn't revolve around a football team, but the small town factor of the show reminds me of well, home.

I can't go anywhere without running into someone I know. Whether its my friend who beat me out for class president my freshman year of high school, or my guidance counselor secretary or even my supervisor from my high school job, the fact of the matter is, you can't go anywhere on the Eastern Shore without bumping into someone you know. Try going to the local Walmart and you'll find people you worked with, lived by, wen…

How I Became a Tourist in My Own City

My Memorial Day Weekend plans were set to the tune of something like this. Friday I'd leave work with my best friend and we'd go to this Mexican bar we went to last weekend for a happy hour to start the holiday. Saturday I'd fish along the Schukyll River all day while wearing a cowboy hat and listening to my Ipod. Sunday I'd attend church, a West Philly BBQ, and end the day either watching movies in bed or finding something fun to get into. Monday I'd clean the apartment and exercise or something.

That was the plan. Friday was solid, those things actually happened. Saturday, not so much, but I found something else to keep me occupied. As it turns out, Modells and KMart do not sell fishing supplies. I guess they figure people living in Center City Philadelphia have no use for such things. Either that or fishing poles are not allowed on SEPTA buses. Anyway, I was bummed. Fortunately I found this out Friday night instead of wasting a trip to the Gallery on Saturday.

So…

How I Survived the Rapture and Made New Navy Friends

For Rapture Day 2011, my cousin, Erin and I decided to hang out in Philly. It ended up being an epic day and an excellent idea.

We started off the day by getting a cup of Chai Tea (the best Chai in Philadelphia) at The Random Tea Room. Then we ventured down to Penn's Landing for Deleware River Day. We got to the River and immediatly gravitated to the USS Kauffman, a giant Navy ship that was docked at the landing. We wanted to tour it but the final tour had just been let onboard so we weren't able to go.

We decided to stalk the Navy guys, kind of blatnetly, and I found one who was absoutly adorable. I wanted to come up with some catchy Rapture pick up line but settled for asking for a picture.



Afterwards we went to visit the tugboats and then found a sailboat where we could take a one hour cruise onto the River for $5. So we did. It was about an hour till the rapture and we were about to "go on a boat, with our flippy floppies..." We met a guy and his daughter on boar…

How I Got $1 After Escaping from Crazy Lil John

It was getting a little late in the evening on a Monday night. I had just finished up my personal training session followed by my weight management group which I affectionately call "fat class." After picking up some snacks for a work meeting for the following day, I went to 5th street to head back home. I hopped on the EL and got off at 11th street. I wanted to take a bus back because my bookbag was so heavy with the snacks and drinks. I didn't feel like walking home from City Hall.

As I waited at the vacant depot, a guy saunters up to me and sits down on the opposite end of the bench. He is Lil John's doppelganger. This guy even has the golden grill teeth. Maybe it was Lil John. All I know is that he was high, drunk, and crazy. He kept talking and rapping to himself. Then, when cars would stop at the traffic light, he'd scream at the cars and wave a cd around saying "HEY! BUY MY CD ITS HOT SHIIIITTTT!!!!"

Normally crazy people don't bother me. I typ…

M.A.'s Top 10

In light of feeling unfulfilled, here is a top ten list of things I'd like to do before I die:

1. Write/publish a Great American Novel, or at least one worthy of a noteworthy literary prize

2. Skydive

3. Go tent camping with a significant other

4. Interrupt a street break dancing routine with moves of my own and then walk away as if nothing happened

5. Learn to surf and purchase a surfboard

6. Own a boxer dog named Bronx

7. Travel to Italy, Australia, Africa, Ireland for the first time and visit Nicaragua again

8. Write an original song and have someone famous sing it

9. Dance on the Ellen Show (yet this requires me to become famous...oops)

10. Be married in a large cathedral

Eat, Pray, Love

On Sunday, after an epic night of going to the most bizarre yet really fun party in my life, I spend the day watching "Eat,Pray,Love" on Netflix and running over to my friend's house to do laundry. The story of "Eat,Pray,Love" is very interesting. I felt compelled to read it a little after the buzz of the story had died down. A good friend of mine lent it to me and I read a large portion of the book during an RMC retreat. Then, as always, I got really distracted by life and it took me a month or two to finish reading it. It was a great book, but I tend to not finish things when I start them and reading books that are lent to me is always one of those things.

Anyway, so I watched the movie (book was better but I still love Julia Roberts) and I felt so unfilfilled. Not because the movie, as most movies do, left out major and important parts of the plot, but because I found I was longing for my own adventure. Now, I'm not talking about an Italy, India, Bali kin…

Easter Joy and then Some

This past weekend was Easter Weekend. Prior to this epic weekend was Holy Week, a week of religious ceremonies that I've come to hold very near and dear to my heart since Freshman year of college. Its the four days a year when I feel like I can be overly Catholic with reckless abandon. I feel happier, a sense of Catholic pride, and I'm reminded of when I was confirmed during my freshman year.

This Easter I chose to spend this meaningful time with the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. I don't know too many people who would be excited to spend Easter with a bunch of Catholic nuns, but these wonderful Sisters are like family to me. Since my parents are all the way in Virginia, and I took my GRE for grad school on Saturday so we couldn't arrange a visit, the Sisters were the next best thing to family. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people, sleep in my old room where I lived for a year during my RMC service year, and just enjoy life.

I love being transplanted. For …

Things that go bump in the....Ipod!

There are very few things that I'm actually scared of. The list includes the following random fears:
* fear of climbing up things like trees, rock walls, stools..etc without something to support myself on for balance. (Pretty much scared of scaling heights)

* crickets: don't mind the sound they make but I freak out if I see one

* Getting burned: prefer those lighters with the long rod at the end. Hate lighting candles with matches or a regular lighter

* and the latest....playing Call of Duty Black Ops, World at War: Zombies on my Ipod Touch!

I had played this game before with a friend about a year and a half ago and loved it! I'm horrible at video games since I grew up playing computer games from Donkey Kong to Mega Race to Forever Growing Gardens and eventually the original Sim City. However, I enjoyed the one time I played this epic zombie shooting game and was beyond excited to download it to my new Ipod Touch.

Until I tried to play it...The music is creeptastic and the fiel…

Its not a Diet, Its a Lifestyle Change/How I Became Vegan for a Week

About two weeks ago, I went to the Art of Wellness in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia to get a massage. I'm addicted to websites such as "living social, deal yo, and eversave" so I scored a very cheap one hour massage through the online discounts. While in their very nice and relaxing lobby, a staff member gave me a tour and told me about their weight management program. I was interested, I've been wanting to "manage" my weight for awhile. I could definetly use the support of a weekly group, fitness coach and a weight loss plan that didn't involve pre packaged meals, shakes, or a sure fire failure when you're done with the diet.

So after an overview of the Transitions Lifestyle System, I decided to do it. I decided to drop the dough (literally and figurativly) and invest in a weight management program that has the potential to change my life. The first portion of the "diet" involves a 7 day detox. This is..well..intense.

Basically y…

Spring, Where are you? / What's with the noose?

Why hello, it has been a while. I haven't dropped off the face of the earth or anything, just been hiding in a busy corner of it. The past few weeks have went by in a blur of illness, major events for work, and a slow yet growing social life.

Highlights have been a successful academic awards ceremony for the kids at work, a highly attended book fair for work (my brainchild) and an epically successful major fundraiser that I sold my soul to (at least for the night).

So there are two major things on my mind. I really want to be like Peter Griffin from Family Guy and say, "You know what really grinds my gears?" Well, I'm frustrated that it is March 30th and the weather is still cold as shit. Ok well literally, shit is not cold, but I'm unhappy. I was hoping to retire my winter coat days ago. Now, they're predicting a Nor'Eastern with snow and crap this weekend. WHY??? This winter started early, is lasting forever, and is horrible. I know I sound like a whiney…

Relaxation Fail

So last night, after a particularly not so great day, I decided I was going to take a nice hot bath. I really wanted the relaxation experience so I lit candles, put on classical music and poured myself a glass of wine. Now, I have never taken a bath in my bathtub in the apartment but it looked a lot larger than most bathtubs I have been in. So I figured I'd fit nicely in it and maybe have to bend my knees for ideal soaking comfort.

The problem is, I don't have a plug for my drain. I decided to use a coffee cup because it turned out to be the perfect size to cover the drain hole. I began to fill the tub and put a whole bunch of bath salts, bubble bath mix and even one of those gel bath balls. The tub filled up with hot steamy and bubbly water.

I stopped the water after the tub was a little over half full. I figured my body would cause the water levels to increase significantly. So I turned the lights off, put the candles on the ledge of the the tub, and stepped in.

The heat from…

Life is Not Like the Movies

You know in the movies how the couples work? Usually you have one person who is really busy or going through a rough patch in their life. They're trying to figure themselves out and do what is the best thing for themselves. Then you have the other person swoop on in and completly turn the stressed out person's life upside down. The couple starts going and doing things that the one person wouldn't do on his or her own. The other person brings the life out of the crazy stressed out one. I think the words, "just live a little" are uttered at some point.

I always thought I was going to be the creative and wayward life changing one. I never even considered the possibility of being hit by a Mack truck of surprise and having my world turned upsidedown. I didn't think I would be the one laying under traffic lights or taking random road trips without a concrete plan. Nope, never considered it.

I wish I could tell you that all of those things are happening but they are n…

You are Destined for Greatness

I pondered the idea of writing "You are Destined for Greatness" and taping it to my bathroom mirror. It sounds like an incredibly cheesy idea straight out of a self-help book, but I thought it was worth trying. Upon further relfection of this idea, I realized it would fail. Not because I would laugh at that statement daily, but rather, I take 100 degree showers. So the ink would run and the paper would crinkle. Plus, I need the whole mirror to examine myself in the morning anyway.

What is greatness? Is it the attribute of world leaders and life changers, or is it a quality in which we can all possess? Is greatness a thing we strive for? Does the prospect of greatness motivate us?

I think it may motivate me. In high school, countless people told me "Mary Anna, you are going places." "Mary Anna, you're going to do big things." "Mary Anna, you're going to be somebody big someday." I'm trying to capture some of that high school MAness …

I HATE Valentine's Day. :-)

I hate Valentine's Day with a fiery burning passion. However, I've learned a lot of things over the past few weeks. One of those things is that Singles Awareness Day sucks a lot less if you hate it less. So instead of plotting the death of couples and projectile vomiting when I see engaged facebook status updates, I decided to embrace the holiday with all the love I could muster.



I'm at work today with a bright red dress covered in tiny little hearts. My mom made me this dress a few years ago for Valentine's Day. I'm also donning a heart shaped necklace, a red bow around my high pony tail and yes, bright red lipstick. My Valentine's Day didn't start the way I wanted to because the Cupid's Choice Donuts at Dunkin Donuts were all sold out...everywhere. I knew this would happen but I was really discouraged when reality set it. Everyone and their mother wanted those donuts...shaped like hearts with pink frosting and little sprinkles. I wanted to start my da…

Here It Comes

There are a lot of things coming up. In about 5 posts, the 100th post of Life After College will debut. It is huge because I can never commit to anything so I'm proud of keeping up with something for over two years. Spring is coming up and that is good. It was in the mid 40s all weekend which was actually warm to us frozen Northerners. I actually saw poor souls in tank tops and shorts because they wanted to embrace the chilly springish weather. If I wasn't on a heating strike with PECO, I'd be out there donning my short sleeves too. (Last month's bill was OUTRAGEOUS so I'm engaging in a heatless strike). It doesn't benefit me or PECO but I like the perserverence. I'm not using my heat for the month of Feb. They don't get my money and I bundle up like an Eskimo. Valentine's Day is coming up. I hate Valentine's Day. But it is going to be about 50 degrees on Vday. So maybe I'll go out for a walk along the river after work. All the couples shoul…

Hold On To 47 Degrees

On my way to work this morning as I walked the streets of North Philadelphia, I did something I haven't done in a long time. I SMILED on my way to work. I still adore my job and things are busy but not particularly stressful. However, during this walk I recalled a time when my friend and I were at Penn Treaty Park eating sandwiches and sweating buckets while an elderly man with his shirt raised over his stomach kept running laps around the park, making comments each time he passed. Why did I remember such a bizarre memory? Because it was 47 degrees outside...the first time in two months where I could walk to work without seeing my breath. This weather has been horrible and apocolyptic. I think I've devloped that seasonal disorder where you get depressed because the sun doesn't shine...ever. No wonder people in Alaska go crazy! I take Vitamin D twice a day and I still don't feel all that happy and perky.

I need abundant sunshine. Warmth. Blue skies and an occasional roc…

*insert sound of noisemaker here*

Happy New Year everyone! I had a post about post-Christmas fun but I never had time to finish it. Christmas was great, got snowed in, had a wonderful time with family. Got to stay home an extra day because of the crazy snow. A true highlight would be my dog, Ralph, on Christmas morning, barking and wagging his tail like an excited 5 year old because Santa came and he was allowed to rip up paper. Ralph was very happy. :)

The end of December went by in a blur. One day at work which was a late day. Then New Years Eve. I went out with some friends to a bar in Old City and rang in the new year with the best of them. Had a few drinks, watched some fireworks and went home to thankfully my own bed. Went to the Mummers parade on New Years Day and enjoyed some mummery. Then spent the rest of the day recovering from my escapades.

I didn't make a resolution but rather a 12 step plan to happiness. I thought that if I made 12 individual goals and worked towards each one I'd be a healthier, ha…