Sunday, February 28, 2010

Masterpiece Theater

I think I'm becoming obsessed with Sunday night Masterpiece Theater on PBS. I keep stumbling upon wonderful new movies that I just can't help but watch.

Last Sunday, after spending 3 horrible hours on the longest homework assignment known to man (optional end-of-period accounting spreadsheets are useful, but time consuming, just fyi), I needed a little break before tackling my accounting quiz also due that night. I settled into my comfy chair, turned on the telly and started flipping through channels. I usually flip right past PBS, but this time my eye was caught by an interesting-looking period piece. It only took me about 30 seconds to realized that I was watching one of Masterpiece Theater's Jane Austen movies; and then it only took me an additional 15 seconds to realize it was Persuasion, one of my favorites! I don't think this story gets nearly enough credit; it's constantly over-shadowed by Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. True, I madly love both of those stories as well, but Persuasion has always given me a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I watch it.

I'd never seen the Masterpiece Theater version of Persuasion, and I must say, I was hooked immediately. It is certainly my favorite adaption to date! In fact, I just purchased my very own copy, so I can get swept away by Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth whenever I need a little pick-me-up. I cannot wait to get the DVD in the mail this week!

Speaking of Captain Wentworth, (Rupert Penry-Jones in real life) imagine my surprise when I saw his handsome face peering at me from the telly as soon as I flipped to PBS tonight. No, I was not lucky enough to have an encore performance of Persuasion; rather, tonight's Masterpiece Theater is Hitchcock's classic The 39 Steps...another fantastic movie!

Prior to Persuasion, Masterpiece Theater drew me in with it's 3-part mini-series of Jane Austen's Emma. This was beautifully done, but confirmed what I'd been thinking for years: I love Mr. Knightley, but really cannot stand Emma!

So, for the past 5 Sundays, Masterpiece Theater has won my nightly attention...and I truly hope it continues to do so for the next 5 Sundays.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fill in the Blank...Saturday?

I know this is really supposed to be Fill in the Blank Friday, but I was home sick with one of the nastiest sinus infections I've had in years! So, instead of picking my brain for answers to the little things we do...'s weekly installment, I was popping sinus meds, going through an entire box of kleenexes and sipping orange juice to hold back the coughing.

I've kept it low-key today, and while I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday, I'm still not even close to 100%. But, I'm feeling well enough to blog this evening, and I really liked yesterday's fill in the blanks, so I'm taking the liberty of creating Fill in the Blank Saturday (at least for this week):

1. When I'm nervous my chest gets red and splotchy and I become uncomfortably aware of it.

2. My favorite item in my closet is my black Old Navy's long, can be buttoned if I want, pairs well with everything and is super comfortable. What can I say, I'm a cardigan girl!

3. Browsing around Barnes and Noble while sipping on a cup of coffee is my favorite thing to do when I need to relax.

4. My favorite childhood memory is walking down the beach at our condo in Florida with my parents to get ice cream at Moon Doggies.

5. Something you may not know about me is I taught swimming lessons throughout high school and into college.

6. A true friend is someone who understands you and loves you for who you are, good and bad. A true friend is the person who laughs with you, cries with you, listens to your rants, comes to you with a problem, sings along to the radio with you, gossips with you, travels with you and grows with you. A true friend is for life.

7. Something I hope people think of when they think of me is that I'm a caring person who has a person's best interest at heart.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where in the World Wednesday

Wednesday has once again rolled around, which means it's time for Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday!

The idea behind WITWW is to post a picture of you someplace in the world. It doesn't have to be somewhere foreign or tropical, just someplace that you consider traveling. It can even be in your own backyard if you so desire!

If you choose to participate (which I think you all should), feel free to use the button as made by Feris, and make sure to post a link on Jess's blog so she can see where her weekly installment has taken everyone today.

Because I haven't yet tackled the task of blogging about my Boston trip, I think I'll take today's WITWW opportunity to show off a pic or two...

Cape Porpoise, Maine

The breeze coming off of the ocean was frigid, but my Uncle and I had a great time climbing around the shore and snapping up lots of pictures. There was no one around, so the only sounds were the seagulls and the little waves breaking on the sand. It was gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I finally have...

...table pics!

For those of you who are already friends with me on Facebook, these will be a repeat, but for my blog land friends, here is my new table:

So far I have had a real sit-down meal here, have spent 2 hours working on homework here (on Sunday..ugh) and have loved how it completes my apartment!

Now all I need to do is find some more artwork for the dining room. This is on my to-purchase list (but will probably end up in the guest room):

Monday, February 22, 2010

Somehow it's already 3:20 pm...

1. High heels or boots? I love high heels and really wish I could actually walk well in them, but I'm just not that, boots.

2. What time did you get up this morning? 6 am

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Shutter Island...LOVED IT! I love me some Leo and some psychological thrills!

4. What is your maiden name? Claussen...the same as it is now

5. What is your favorite TV show? Fringe, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Accidentally on Purpose, White Collar, Burn Notice, etc

6. What did you have for breakfast? yogurt with granola and a banana. Yum!

7. What is your middle name? Elizabeth

8. What food do you dislike? olives, salmon, clam bellies

9. What is your favorite CD at the moment? it's generally always mixes...I'm still loving the latest John Mayer cd and I'm slightly obsessed with "Two is Better than One" by Boys Like Girls (featuring Taylor Swift).

10.What characteristic do you despise? ignorance and entitlement

11.Favorite Clothing? I always vote for yoga pants and a comfy tee...but, cardigans are my wardrobe staple

12.Any where in the world on vacation? Ireland, back to Germany, Italy, Australia (not for any real desire to visit the country, but I miss my bestie hardcore right now).

13.Are you an organized person? For the most part. I don't quite live up to my mother's standards of organization, but I have my OCD moments.

14.Where would you retire too? Italy, so I can drink wine, eat fresh pasta and take in the culture without having to worry about work.

15.What was your most recent memorable birthday? My 23rd was quite the blast! Drinking, dancing, friends, having a blast...

16.What are you going to do when you finish this? Back to work!

17.Furthest place you are sending this? Whoever is furthest away in blog land.

18.Person you expect to send it back first? not an email.

19.When is your birthday ? June 20th

20.Are you a morning person or a night person? Definitely a morning person.

21.What is your shoe size? 9 or 9 1/2

22.Do you own any animals? No, but I wouldn't mind a kitty friend.

23.Any news you'd like to share? I haven't forgotten about the earring giveaway I mentioned awhile back! lol.

24.When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? A princess that owned a unicorn (haha) or a children's book author and illustrator.

25.What is your favorite flower? Tulips, gardenias and roses

26.What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? the first weekend in May because Corey (my Baltimore Bestie) will be in town!!

27.If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Kelly Green

28.What is under your bed? an empty backpack and my blue overnight bag.

29.How is the weather right now? Cold and snowy, but the sun is out and I have high hopes of some melting!

30.Last person you spoke to on the phone? My lovely mother

31.Favorite drink? water, wine, tea, coffee, and when it's not Lent: Diet Coke

32.Favorite restaurant? Backcountry Provisions, Thai Pepper, Bisetti's, Gunther Toody's, etc...

33.Hair color? Light Brown

34.What was your favorite toy as a child? American Girl Dolls, Barbies, and turning my bed into a covered wagon or a train car.

35.Spring Summer, Fall or Winter? Fall

36.Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

37.Coffee or tea? Both!

38.Wish you were still young? No...I like growing up and seeing what each new year brings. I get nostalgic sometimes, but I've really never wished to go back in time.

39.Do you want your friends to email you back? Not an email, but if other bloggers feel compelled to fill this out, it's certainly fun to read about other people.

40.When was the last time you cried? got a little teary-eyed last night because I was missing my besties, but really didn't cry.

41.What did you do last night? worked on homework with Chelsae, cooked Coconut Chicken Chili, spent another 2 hours finishing homework and getting a bit stressed, watched Masterpiece Theater's "Persuasion" (which was amazing!), took a quiz, read my book and finally went to bed around midnight.

42.Did someone not like this question? obviously not.

43.What are you afraid of? Losing the people that I love most, dying in a fire, not living up to my potential, sharks.

44.Salty or sweet? totally depends on what I'm craving, but I like both.

45.Best quality you have? I care about people with my whole heart and will fight for them...but, that being said, I refuse to be walked over and rarely give 3rd or 4th chances.

46.How many years at your current job? 1 and a couple of months.

47.Favorite day of the week? Saturday...I love Saturdays!

48.How many people will you send this to? whoever's reading my blog

49.How many will respond? not a clue...whoever feels like it, I suppose.

50.Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends? love it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. If I could medal in an Olympic event it would be gymnastics, but only because I was a gymnast growing up; I really have no talent for it.

2. If I was stranded on a desert island I'd take my best friends (this includes my mom), a ton of strawberry chapstick, my favorite paperbacks, sunglasses and a water purifier.

3. Peacocks and sharks are my most irrational fear.

4. I'd rather drive in the snow everyday, than drive in the rain everyday.

5. I am on the hunt for table linens for my new dining room table (pictures to come soon) and a fun passport cover for my new passport!

6. I should really be working, but sometimes a gal just needs a blogging break!

7. One of my favorite things in all the world is sharing nachos, chowing down on peanuts and having a few drinks with my 2 best friends at Lucky Joe's, all while chatting our heads off and randomly singing along to our favorite songs!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm back!

Still trying to get back into the swing of things, and attempting to catch up on everyone's blogs...once I upload pictures and get my head back on straight, I'll post about my little Massachussetts trip. It was lovely!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday...

Because I feel like blogging again today, but I really don't think anyone needs to read more of my whining about how I'm OCD and apparently a nervous solo-flyer, I thought I'd give the little things we do...'s Fill in the Blank Friday a try:

1. I'm hoping my Valentine's day this year includes East Coast amazingness! Preferably some seafood and a Sam Adams, along with some quirky conversations with my Uncle, whom I'll be visiting in Boston. I'm certainly not complaing about being single this year!

2. My biggest guilty pleasure is (are) used books.

3. I am most proud of how well my parents handle life's curve balls that get thrown at them, and how they always strive to disrupt my life as little as possible with said curve balls.

4. If I could choose one outfit to live in it would be black yoga pants, a soft tee and a cozy cardi!

5. People are often baffling, and therefore, fun to study
(I have a Psych degree so I can't help it).

6. I would rather wander through a city than lay-out on a beach.

7. I love my best friends more than I love used books, coffee and wine combined!

An interesting revelation

Tomorrow morning I leave for Boston!! And, while I cannot be more excited to head East, I did have a mini meltdown on the phone with my mom this morning. Nothing serious, just the realization that I pretty much always have an annoying mini meltdown the day before I fly...interesting. I swear, I am not afraid to fly! I'm more afraid to forget something important, plus I get quite nervous when I fly alone. I'll be calmer the day of my flight, but it wont be until the plane is in the air that my pulse slows a bit. I don't get this way when I fly with my friends or family; and considering the fact that I've been flying alone since I was 12 years old, I find all of this to be so strange! I blame my reaction on my control-freak ways. There is something about flying alone that makes me feel like I'm not entirely in control, which always bothers me. Probably because flight delays, other passengers' misshaps and general airport chaos are all things that are completely out of my control, yet these are things that can make flying a pain in the butt! Ack...

So, to help calm my nerves I made a very detailed list of everything I need to pack, both in my suitcase and in my carry-on. I felt instantaneously better after making this list, and after talking it all out with my mom. Thank goodness she knows me so well, or my morning meltdown could've started her day off on the wrong foot.

I've got my suitcase laid out in the guest room and I started gathering up outfits this morning. Getting a little headstart always makes me feel more in control, and therefore so much better! Packing will be a breeze tonight, I plan on checking in online in about an hour so I can get a good seat (and have one less thing to worry about tomorrow) and so long as my hair cooperates in the morning, everything should go smoothly!

And now I feel even better having typed all of this out! Sometimes I just find myself and my reactions to be quite odd.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where in the World Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Since I missed out on last week's Where in the World Wednesday and I'll be traveling next Wednesday, I most certainly do not want to miss out this week!

The idea behind Classy in Philadelphia's weekly installment is to post a picture of you someplace in the world. It doesn't have to be somewhere foreign or tropical; just a picture of you somewhere you consider traveling.

And if you do decide to participate, make sure to steal Feris' WITWW button and to post a link on Jess' blog.

This week I'm heading just a little southwest from my hometown to Golden, Colorado. Golden is home to the Colorado School of Mines (super intelligent future engineers migrate here) and to The Coors Brewery! Over Thanksgiving my Uncle, Mom and I took the tour for the first time, and boy did we have fun. I've always been partial to Killian's Irish Red and Blue Moon, so it was fun to see where these tasty brews are made.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let's talk movies, shall we?

For the past 2 weekends, I feel like all I've been doing is going from theater to theater, consuming mass quantities of popcorn and being swept away by new sceneries and time periods. I really do love going to movies; in fact, it may even be one of my favorite things to do.

I saw Dear John on Friday night with my mom, my friend Chelsae and her mom. Despite being surrounded by giggling teeny-boppers and the occasional dragged-along boyfriend, it was a great outing! Having given up on Nicholas Sparks' sad endings to his books, I haven't read Dear John but I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Now, thanks to chatting with Ashley yesterday, I do know that there were a few differences, including the ending, but it seems that readers and non-readers alike have enjoyed this film adaptation. Plus, Channing Tatum is pretty easy on the eyes...and their first kiss gave new meaning to kissing in the rain!

Also with Chels and her mom, I saw When in Rome. This was funny and predictable and made me want to visit Rome. I wouldn't say this is one of my favorite movies, but it was far more fun to see this than to do homework, which had been my original plan. I did like the scenes that were filmed in The Guggenheim; the spiral walkway just begs to be used as a movie backdrop!

In the comfort of my own home, while drinking hot coffee and snuggling under my giant green blanket, I finally watched Audrey Hepburn in Paris When it Sizzles. I love Audrey Hepburn, and have seen just about every one of her movies, but somehow I managed to never sit down and watch this one. Well, I loved it! William Holden plays screenwriter Richard Benson who has put off writing the already paid for screenplay, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower. With only 2 days left to write the entire script, he hires typist Gabrielle Simpson (Hepburn) to help him meet his deadline. While coming up with off-the-wall scenarios (which get acted out to the delight of the audience), Gabrielle and Richard find themselves falling in love against the backdrop of Paris' most famous sites.

And, to top off my movie adventures, I saw 2 of the most beautiful period pieces to date: Bright Star and The Young Victoria. I blogged all about my desire to see Bright Star here and it truly lived up to my expectations. It was beautifully tragic and incorporated many of my favorite Keats poems. The scenery was lovely, the clothing made me want to travel back in time and the love story tugged on my heart strings. Watch this one with a few tissues within reach!

As with Bright Star, The Young Victoria was wonderful. I'm a nerdy history buff who delights in reading all about European royal families, so this was right up my alley. Queen Victoria is the longest ruling English monarch to date and, unlike other royals at the time, she and Albert married for love and remained true to each other for the rest of their lives. I loved how this movie focused on how Victoria came to be the ruler she was: lessons learned, family interactions and deceit and the young queen's desire to do right by her people. And, underlying all of this was her relationship with Albert and his many positive influences. At the end I sighed, dabbed away a few tears and wanted to sit through it all again. If for no other reason, see this movie for the costumes!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Table update:

AFW didn't have the table in stock this afternoon, so I have to wait until next Thursday for it to come in, which means you all have to wait until then for pictures. :-(


My apartment is about to be complete: a dining room table has been found!

As I'm sure you all can tell from my lack of posting this week, I haven't been in much of a blogging mood for some reason (I missed WITWW!). Maybe it has to do with how quiet it's been at work, which has in turn put me into a quiet, productive mood, or maybe it has to do with not having a whole lot to share this week...or maybe I've just been too lazy to blog. Haha! Regardless (fyi-"irregardless" is NOT a word) of the reason, I have missed babbling about my life and am happy to report that I'm back!

Does anyone remember when I talked about my hunt for the perfect black, wooden dining room table? Well, I found a table last night! After playing the role of a tight-wad, commitment-phobe for weeks now, I finally decided on a table. It ultimately came down to two tables:

1. A normal height, rectangular, dark brown 5-piece set at American Furniture Warehouse
2. A counter height, rectangular, black 5-piece set at Oak Express

Both tables were lovely, and would fit in my space nicely, but I just wasn't sure which one was the right one for me. Obviously, the black one seemed like the natural choice because it was, duh, black! But, I wasn't too keen on the counter-height style. Don't get me wrong, I love how counter-height tables look, and this one was no exception, but I am not what anyone would describe as a gracefully coordinated gal...a.k.a, I have extreme difficulty scooching counter-height chairs up to the table without feeling like I'm too far away and will end up with half of my food on my lap (ok, a tad exaggeration: I can usually manage to get my food in my mouth even at counter-height tables). Kind of pathetic, I know, but it's the truth.

So, after much debate with myself and asking of my parents' advice (and trying to figure out if the Oak Express sales guy was attempting to flirt with me) and staring into my empty dining room, I made the choice: the normal-height, dark brown table from AFW! I liked how this table looked and I found the chairs to be very comfortable. If it had come in black it would have literally been the perfect table, but the dark brown will look nice in my apartment and will still match my other pieces. Ultimately, the fact that it was normal-height (and cheaper) was really the selling point for me. I don't want to have to struggle just to sit at my table to do homework, audit invoices that I bring home from work with me, or eat my meals. I am very pleased with my choice!

And, because I have such awesome parents, they will be picking the table up for me this afternoon and putting it together in my apartment. If everything goes according to plan, I'll have a new dining room table waiting for me when I get home this evening! Like I said, I have awesome parents. :-)

Once it's all pretty and ready for a photo shoot, I'll make sure to put up some pictures of my new furniture addition (I couldn't find one on, otherwise I wouldn't make y'all wait).


On an entirely different note, does anyone have any fun weekend plans? It is Friday afterall, and I know I am looking forward to this weekend. My Saturday is packed already, but Sunday is all mine...well, mine and whatever homework I manage to procrastinate until then, that is. It should be a lovely weekend. Oh, and tonight I'm going to swoon over Channing Tatum in Dear John with my mom, my friend Chelsae and her mom; it's a double Mother-Daughter date of sorts! I plan on sharing lots of popcorn with my mom and cursing Nicholas Sparks for rarely having a happy ending.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just your usual afternoon texting between besties...

Me: You better still be in MN on fri bc you should have mail
Jamie: Oh I sure will be! :) :) Is it a pony?
Me: It is and it was a bitch to package and mail...damn air holes and room for hay and carrots!
Jamie: Oh yay, my dreams have come true!!! You put a 50g water jug in there too, right?
Me: Shit! so, keep your fingers crossed that this pony is half camel and stores water. :-) it was a tad lumpy, now that i think about it.
Jamie: Is its name sally? If so, we might be lucky.
Me: ...once again, we lucked out: she looked like a sally to me...sally the apaloosa-camel hybrid!
Jamie: Ooh I can't wait to meet her on friday!!
Please tell me someone else has conversations like this with her best friend...

January Recap

Today might end up becoming a 2 post kind of day because I want to do a goals recap for January and I'd like to blog about all of the lovely movies I watched this weekend...but I don't have it in me to do both in one giant post.

So, let's start with my January goals recap and see where I stand:

1. Pay all bills on time. So far, so good! I managed to remember to pay my Comcast on the morning it was due, and it was posted to my account so that counts in my book. Rent, utilities, my car payment and Netflix were all paid on time, as well, but that's normal for me. It's really just Comcast and I that butt heads most months. Oh well! I would also like to note that I bought a plane ticket (with a little help from Mom) and paid for my $60 textbook this month without wrecking my budget; this was big for me because my budget is fairly tight!

2. Finish the books I've started. Hasn't really happened. I had about 6 library books that I've had on hold become available this month and they took priority. I have managed to keep up with my reading (for pleasure, book club and school), I just haven't tackled my bookshelf that holds all of my half-read books.

3. Continue to work-out 4-5 times per week. I'm rockin' this one! My magic number has actually been 5 work-outs per week, but only 4 of them are really good ones. Usually the 5th work-out is one that I barely squeeze in at 9 pm after being out with a friend; it's kind of half-assed, but it's still better than not going to the gym at all. And last week, I actually got in 6 good work-outs! Oh yea, I'm patting myself on the back for that one.

4. Call Grammy more. Epic FAIL! I haven't called her once this month and now that I just typed that I'm sure my Catholic guilt will set in and a phone call will made ASAP. I swear, I really do love my grandmother more than just about anyone and miss her terribly, but I hate the phone and am far too talented for my own good at making up excuses. :-(

5. Write to Grandpa and Grandma twice monthly. If you count sending a thank-you note from Christmas, I did meet this goal. But, since I really don't count that, I have to admit that I only wrote to Grandpa once and just kind of hoped he would share it with Grandma.

Wow, I really kind of suck at being a good granddaughter right now. I vow to do better!

6. Keep track of the books I've read. Success!! I joined Goodreads to better track the books I've marked as to-read and have-read, and it's worked! I'm able to keep track of all of my books online, and can still update my hand-written Book Journal when I take the time. I have a system that is working out just swell for me.

(and yes, I found another excuse to create a Library Catalog Card)

Well, I'm looking at about 60% for this month (I did write to G'pa once), which isn't fantastic, but I'll take it. With any luck, February's recap will be better and I'll have met and kept-up with each of these goals by December. I'm perfectly aware of all that I am capable of, I just need to stop allowing myself excuses. haha.