Friday, July 29, 2011

Sassarella, I love you BUT...

"Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally.
I cannot see any other honest way of taking them."
- Marya Mannes

"I think you're amazing're heading back to school (or you're heading home for the summer). You'll be there and I'll be here; it would never work. Let's see what happens when you get back." Yeah, right.

"You're a great girl BUT...we're in different places in our lives right now. You're still living the college life and I'm in the working world so I wouldn't want to hold you back (Christ, the amount of times I've heard that one is insane). (Or now it's...) You're just finishing school, trying to find a job and my career is really taking off. It's just a hectic time." Isn't life always hectic?

"I really like you a lot BUT...I don't want something serious right now. It's summer, my buddy has a house down the shore, and I wanna screw anything with boobs and a spray tan while I still can. You're too special to be treated that way and I care about you too much." OMG, thank you soo much! Really, thank you and boy, do I feel special right now!

"I love spending time with you BUT...I've been talking to my ex again and I'm not sure what's happening. AKA, I'm getting back with my ex even though I've been b!tching about her to you for weeks." I hope you two whack jobs are very happy together.

"You're the absolute best BUT...I'm just not sure what I want right now. I'm still kinda dealing with my last break-up and I wouldn't want to lead you on. Can we take things slow while I decide whether or not you're worth it? No? Okay, well it's really important to me that we stay friends." Yay, you win the award for having the most friends everrrrrr. Happy now?

"You're the perfect girl for me BUT...I'm not ready. You're the kind of girl I'd love to marry and take home to mom but I'm still too much of an idiot to get it together. I wish we met five years from now. Your maturity intimidates me." Grow up.

"You know I think the world of you BUT...I don't want to ruin our friendship. I would hate for us to not be able to hang out and talk." Yeah? You wanna braid my hair too? Imma just go ahead and call bullsh!t. No guy with a functioning downstairs really thinks like that.

"I love everything about you BUT...just not enough. You're smart, funny, and gorgeous but just not smart, funny, and gorgeous enough for me to be a man about it. I can't put my finger on what it is but there's just something missing." Could it be your balls? Just sayin'...

"We have such a great time together BUT...I'm just gonna stop calling for no good reason at all. Even if I have a good reason, I'm not going to tell you about it. Why? Because it would mean using my words like a big boy and it's so much easier to be a coward and ignore you instead." K. (And by "k", I mean eff you).

"I love you arm hurts, your favorite color isn't the same as mine, the Giants game is on, you have ten toes and ten fingers, you like your eggs scrambled and I like mine over easy, you drink too much Diet Coke, and your hair is an inch longer than I'd like it to be." Well, excuse me for living.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? And it's never us, right? I'm so wonderful that any guy would be lucky to be with me so please, Sassarella, don't take it personally. Whether it's me, it's you, or it's Scooby-Doo, it doesn't matter because the bottom line is that it still sucks (to be perfectly honest). I'm sure you've all heard one of these before and have other examples of your own. Care to share with the class? I'd love to hear them. Guys, the excuses are getting old #FullOnRant

Sassarella Says...I think I need a Happy Meal.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Girl, you've never known no one like me up there in your high society" - Tim McGraw

So I mentioned that I saw my ex-boyfriend who I had not seen in 2.5 years while in California. What I did not yet mention is that he was my first big love and the first man to propose to me. I also failed to mention that the last time we saw each other we were completely in love and head over heels happy.

He was stationed in the Chicago area so I went there to visit him. We had an amazing Valentine's Day weekend together until the last hour of the visit. Story time: So we're in the airport parking lot and I am sobbing, like hot mess status, just a total wreck because I did not want to leave yet. I'm sobbing and sobbing and sobbing until BA BOOOOM, "Baby, I love you. Will you marry me?" The crying stopped, better yet, it came to a screeching halt. Is this really happening? I thought to myself. Hum dida hum dida hum umm omg Christie you NEED to say something right now. Just say anything, something, good God! "I love you very much but I can't answer that right now," I finally said. His faced dropped and my heart broke. What did I just do? I panicked. However, in true Sassarella form, I re-grouped, "I'm 20 years old, I haven't even finished school, you move all the time, and most obviously...we've only been together for four months. I love you so much and I miss you while we're apart but I just can't answer that right now."

We spent the next hour wandering around the airport. I was still crying and trying to act normally but I knew everything had changed. He was distant and cold. He was so hurt that he could barely look at me, which of course made me cry even more. I remember the Northwestern girls lacrosse team was at the airport and in line behind me at security. I remember them laughing at me for being so emotional but it was one of the toughest moments I had ever had to handle. I loved him and I didn't want to leave him or Chicago but I also knew that this would be a tough hurdle to jump over. I wasn't sure if we'd survive and clearly, we did not.

For the next month we fought like cats and dogs. Looking back I know he was just so hurt he couldn't even stand it but instead of talking to me about it he just treated me like crap. One night while I was home over spring break I sat up and waited for him to call. I waited and waited and waited. He had gone out that night with his buddies in Chicago and I wanted the usual text, call, any form of communication to say goodnight and I love you. It never came. I was not nearly as headstrong back then so I called him first. He answered after my third attempt and I could tell he was buzzed. He was being a jerk and I told him to call me when he grows up.

The next night I was lying on the floor of my room (sanctuary) listening to Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy" on repeat. By about the tenth or eleventh listen, I got up off the floor, found a big container that used to hold that flavored popcorn you send people on Christmas, and packed everything I could find of his or that reminded me of him into it. I stripped my room clean of anything that could be traced back to him. I had made a "(Blank) Box" and it was time to make the call. I broke up with him and he was completely shocked.

We spent the next week or so going back and forth between arguing and contemplating getting back together, which I suppose most couples do, but at the end of it I was just done. For the next year we didn't speak a word to each other. He was stationed far away and moved several times so we didn't see each other either. We finally made contact last summer and seriously considered seeing each other when my family decided to vacation near to where he lived at the time. I backed out and slowly pulled away because I knew that what seeing me would mean for him was not on the same page as what seeing him would mean for me. He was still very much in love with me while I was just testing the waters.

Seeing him last week in California was wonderful. At first I was excited then I was dreading it but afterwards I was very satisfied. We caught up on life and had a few laughs. I care about him in a nostalgic, at one time you meant a lot to me, and you are a good person sorta way. He was my first love and no one ever forgets that. I also left with the satisfaction in knowing and confirming that we are not meant to be together. If we met now, there is no way we would have even come close to getting together. I have changed too much and I have changed in large part because of him.

My relationship with him taught me that opposites can attract. He is a country boy in the military while I am...well you know what I am. I'll never forget visiting him in his home town and sticking out like a Jersey thumb. On the same point, it taught me that there is a certain level of desired comfort in dating someone who comes from where you come from. Let me also say that maybe it's not necessary to date someone who comes from the same background, location, or lifestyle as you do but it is necessary to date someone who can respect, appreciate, and be open to getting to know where it is that you come from. He was not.

"Real Good Man" by Tim McGraw

It taught me to be more vocal in relationships. It was his way or the highway which I now know does not fly with me. There were things he did and said that really pissed me off but I can't put all the blame on him because I was too afraid to say anything. I know what I like, what I don't, what works for me, and what doesn't but I was so afraid that we'd get into an argument that I often let him have his way. I think it's pretty obvious that I no longer do that.

Our relationship taught me that long-distance connections are incredibly difficult to maintain. We didn't get enough time together while he was around to know just how difficult being apart would be. We had our first fight, our first make-up, our first anniversary, our first holiday season....over the phone. I visited wherever he was as often as money and time would allow me to but it just wasn't enough. For long-distance to work it takes a true commitment to communication, love, and support from both parties.

It taught me that if you want to ask a grown-up question then you have to be grown up enough to handle any answer.

Our relationship taught me, and I believe I've mentioned this before, that sometimes you have to break your own heart. I loved him but I was not willing to put up with his neglect, his habit of hanging up on me, his stubbornness, his lack of communication, and his often disregard for my feelings. He was not always this way, just that last month or so, but as soon as I pulled the plug he was willing to do all of those things. Sadly, it was too late. I knew I deserved better than what he could give me. So yes, he broke my heart but ultimately it was up to me to evacuate myself from the situation.

I believe that a person, whether a first love or a one night stand, comes into your life for a reason. He came into my life so that I could learn those lessons. He exposed me to areas of the country and a way of life that I would never have had the opportunity to be apart of. I have a deep appreciation and love for our armed services. He loosened me up and showed me a spontaneous, childlike side of my personality. He loved me in the best way he knew how and I will always love him for that. He is a remarkable human being and I have genuine respect and appreciation for him and the time we spent together.

Sassarella Says... 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Californiaaaa, here we MIGHT coommmeeeee" - Phantom Planet

"Sometimes ideas, like men, jump up and say 'hello.' They introduce themselves, these ideas, with words. Are they words? These ideas speak so strangely. All that we see in this world is based on someone's ideas. Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive. Some ideas can arrive in the form of a dream. I can say it again: some ideas arrive in the form of a dream."
- words of wisdom from the Log Lady on Twin Peaks

The thing about California is that you feel like you're living in a dream, or at least I did for thirteen days. It is so unlike anything we have on the East Coast in an absolutely fantastic way. The scenery, the weather, the people, and the pace and activities of daily life make one question why one would want to live anywhere else. From this dream, I got an idea: I should live here. Based on my overall experience in the Sunshine State and a few things I learned about myself along the way I have concluded the following:

Firstly, I learned that now I know a place where the grass is really greener. Katy Perry's "California Gurls" might be pedestrian but there really must be something in the water in San Diego. I spent the first few days in Del Mar, La Jolla, Encinitas, and Pacific Beach. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of this part of the state. The beaches, the sun, the trees, the views, the mountains, everything makes you question how this is still part of the United States. Going out to dinner, shopping, and getting drinks in all of these neighborhoods feels like you should be on vacation (which I was) but people actually get to live there! They can have the ease and the beauty every single day, it's incredible. I went for long runs through the hills and along the ocean and felt overwhelmed by how picturesque this part of Southern California really is.

Besides the beauty, the ease, the serenity, and the immediate comfort of the San Diego area, I also learned a ton about myself. I was there specifically to spend time with my cousin, who is a specialist in just about every aspect of life, but is fantastically organized, intelligent, and skilled in job search techniques and career exploration activities. So, I learned that according to the Myers-Briggs personality type test that I am an ESFJ (extroversion, sensing, feeling, judging).

ESFJ: Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-to-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute. Yup, sounds like me.

Another personality test showed that I see myself very similarly to how others see me and how I believe others should see me. Unassuming, unselfish, agreeable, peaceful, extroverted, stimulating, enthusiastic, socially poised, impatient, restless, quick, tense, accurate, careful, thorough, and self-disciplined. Yup, sounds like me too.

I learned that my strengths lie in leadership, communication, sales, customer service, street smarts, creativity, organization, and optimism. Based on all of that, if anyone has an idea for a job or career that is fast-paced, involves working with people, highly active, creative, detail-oriented, and fabulous then by all means please let me know. Even better, if you know of a specific position available in the areas of public relations, marketing, sales, writing, human resources etc, etc....well then you just send me a quick note! Please and thank you.

Oh, by the way, I saw my ex-boyfriend who I hadn't seen in two and a half years.

Moving on, I learned that I really effing can't stand Facebook and g.d. mobile uploads. As I'm falling in love with San Diego, I was also feeling completely left out of the Sona Saturday and Tiki Monday routine that my friends were engaging in without me. What I learned that is that if I do decide to move across the country, I will have to accept that life goes on. I will have to be prepared to see pictures and hear stories about "how absurdly drunk and ridiculous we were" or about "the funniest thing that has ever happened" even though I wasn't apart of it #WayHarshTai

I learned that LA is way more than what The Hills and the Kardashians expose us to. It's like when people watch Jersey Shore and stereotype the entire state that way except it's totally not. I saw a side of LA that I think I might have to live in for some time. I got to the top of the escalator from the metro and saw this:
On the East Coast I would have to do some serious hunting around to see these artists but not in LA! At that moment, I knew I had come to the right place.

I walked around 3rd Street Promenade, had drinks on a rooftop bar (one of many in the area) that was part of an outdoor mall, and then went to a local spot with my newly found awesome cousin, Zoe. It was so nice to be out and about with someone my age and really see the city from a different perspective. Sitting at Library Alehouse, munching on ahi tuna and sipping local beer, the Matthew & the Atlas song that I posted in the post just before leaving for CA came on. It was awesome. No one over in New Jersey has ever even heard of the band but in LA it is playing at a bar! I melted.

I learned that I am still not sure about having children. The four crying babies surrounding me on the airplane (no exaggeration) and the hours I spent in LA with my goddaughter showed me just how much more time I need before making that decision. Of course I have the time so I'm not worried but I have very little patience right now. Please, for the love of California, please understand that I love my cousin/goddaughter more than any other red head in the entire world but pondering whether or not I'm popping out any of my own...well, we'll just have to see 'bout that.

I learned that I really regret not making more time for the Santa Barbara portion of my trip. We went there for dinner one night and spent some time in "the Heavens" (don't worry if you don't get it, you don't have to) but it just wasn't enough. I would love to go back and spend some QT time with my Aunt Honey.

I learned that my brother, Mark, is the sh!t. San Francisco was the perfect way to wrap up my trip because it was all about music, non-touristy sight-seeing, booze, and food. We made our way around SF based on the best places to eat, drink, and catch glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was the first time he and I had undivided, one-on-one, bonding time and I can't wait to have more of it. I already kinda knew my sister-in-law rocked, "you think I don't like mustard?" I mean her name is Levine K, 'nuff said, but I was pleasantly surprised on how many levels my brother and I could connect on.

One favorite moment was the slightly buzzed driving tour around the city at night. Another was the time I squirted ketchup all over my food, our table, the floor, the table next to us, and all over the pissed off and staunchy teenage girl sitting at the Dipsea Cafe table across the aisle. I loved hiking through the redwoods, going to Amoeba Music on Haight Street, and discussing the debt ceiling at Alembic. I'll always remember shopping on Hayes Street, having lunch at The Ramp, and enjoying the views from Pier 39. However, I think my favorite part of the whole trip was when we got home on Sunday night. I saw the thirteen year old come out in my brother while he played DJ and educated me on rock music. We sipped vodka (and gin...or whatever else we could find) and rocked out for hours. I watched him and Levine dance around their living room and just thought, "damn, they are cool." So those were my favorite moments, oh wait, that was the whole SF trip! I loved every part of it, including the hours spent watching Twin Peaks and the long walk through the park on Monday morning with Mark.

Now that I've really spent some time in California, I understand some of my friends who are from there much better. An old co-worker, George, is such a California dude and it explains so much about his demeanor and outlook on life. I also thought about a few guys I've dated who were from CA and now I just have a better understanding of who they are. It is weird, it really is, but totally makes sense and is completely bad ass at the same time.

And although I already knew this, the concept was further developed throughout my stay in CA: great women make the world go round. My cousin Eileen is amazing. She is intelligent, caring, creative, organized, gorgeous, genuine, and fun. I can't thank her enough for passing along so much wisdom and knowledge to me. She has given me so much confidence and support that I know I could not have received in any other setting or from any other woman. She also introduced me to her friends who are successful, intelligent, and giving women. I was so grateful that they took time out to meet me and talk to me about their careers, their lives, and my future.

My Aunt Jan is loving, kind-hearted, and absolutely hilarious! Throughout my stay with her family, she and I really bonded. Unfortunately for my uncle, our side-splitting laughs were often at his expense but we really had the best time together. I spent a few hours with my Aunt Honey and left craving more. And my sister-in-law Karen is a strong, intelligent, supportive, and clever woman. I admire her work ethic and sassy, free-spirited, don't you tell me what to do attitude. I have Ya-Yas all over the damn.

I learned that as a brunette I am a minority on the West Coast. I learned that people from California keep the visors down in their cars all the time.

Finally, I learned that I live on the wrong coast. It's no secret that I am a happier and a more at ease person in warmer weather because I can exercise and be outside. The music that gets deep into my soul is loved and appreciated over there, not criticized for being too indie or dark. I like that over there my style will stand out for being just a tad Jersey instead of feeling like I'm always a step behind the NY trends. I learned that as much I have myself figured out, that there is so much more to learn. That being said, what better way to learn more about myself than in a new setting with new opportunities and with new people. I am thankful to have grown up in New Jersey and to have lived in Washington, DC because both locations are so much apart of who I am today. However, I do incredibly well with change so I just might have to make a big one.

Sassarella Says....California, here we (might) come
but for now, I just came to say hellooo (ya know, like ideas & men)!

"California" by Phantom Planet

"Hello" by Martin Solveig & Dragonette

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DJ CFabb: "This is my west coast intervention and I'm getting on that plane" - My Favorite Highway

Ever notice how "what the hell" is always the right answer? - Marilyn Monroe

Where do I even begin? Friday night I went out to dinner in Jersey City after seeing my sister's new place. It's gorgeous, it over looks the water and the New York City'd all be jealous. We went to Amelia's for dinner and after a Johnnie Walker Black I learned that the guys were going to Dark Horse in Morristown. I hate the Dark Horse but I figured, what the hell, just go! The evening was, for the most part, an epic success at a good time. Whenever I'm with this crew, it feels like a blast from the past but better. And besides, I was wearing incredibly bright blue pants. WOWZAAS.

Saturday, I spent a lot of the day trying to figure out a game plan for the rest of the weekend. Through my conversations with Lauren and a lovely little text from Tanya Bo Banya, we decided to go out to Sona, what the hell right? It was the BEST time. We danced for hours and made new friends. Lauren even danced with a midget man (is that kosher to say?) well irregardless, he didn't help his cause by humping her legs. He practically tried to get in her lap and at that moment I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.

Sunday, what the hell I'll say it, it sucked with the exception of Zumba.

However then we get to Monday aka Tiki Monday. Butthead Friend and I drove down to Martell's Tiki Bar to meet up with Hill Horo Babes and Lauren at 10:30AM. What the hell, what else do I have to do on a Monday? Tiki Monday owned us. Hillary actually went in the ocean (or as she would say, "the New Jersey shore"), Lauren packed 1/2 of her slice of pizza in her LV bag to save for later, and then there was that whole pickle incident. We were on the beach ordering drinks until 5pm, stopped in a real restaurant for food, and then ventured back to Tiki. We took shots with Angelina from the Jersey Shore, hung out with "Jay" and Chris, and drank more SoCo than one should ever drink in a half hour time period. There was a house party, a pool, Avicii, and cherry vodka. My savior picked me up from the house and took me back to Tiki until closing, what the hell why not? Ace, favorite juice head and gorilla king fed me pizza like a baby and ordered a few more Tiki Teas before finally surrendering. Hey Ace, Lauren and I are still laughing about, "take care of her, she has something on her nose!" (I got a tad sunburned but what the hell, it was worth it and thank God for you, Buddy).

I've had a genuine blast this past weekend (and week day) but today I leave for the west coast. Peace out, Dirtttty Jerz, I'll catch in a few! What the hell, why not jet set out to California for a bit? Ok, I will. The most recent DJ CFabb post was all about the Jersey music, however today's post is all about California. Yay, I can be a hipster! Enjoy the tunes.

"You're Making it Come Alive" by My Favorite Highway

"I Will Remain" by Matthew & the Atlas

"Believe Me" by Ellie Goulding

"In Love, Not Limbo" by Of Oceans

"She Loves Everybody" by Chester French

"Static Waves" by Andrew Belle

"Save the World Tonight (acoustic)" by Collin McLoughlin

"You Have My Attention" by Copeland

"Thistled Spring" by Horse Feathers

"Animal" (Miike Snow cover) by Javier Dunn

"Wide Eyes" by Local Natives

Sassarella Says...I spent almost two hours making a playlist for the plane. I'm a music junkie, what can I say? I also have no idea why these videos are soooooo large and in charge but I can't fix it, so deal with it. Katy Perry says California Gurlz are unforgettable....let's see how this Jersey girl manages. Peace outtie.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Sup wit dat whack Playstation whack" - Joey Tribbiani, Friends

So I put my dog Luc outside to "go potty" last week after a crazy rain storm in NJ. Since we don't have a fence around the yard and because Luc is blind and going more deaf by the day, ya gotta keep checking in on him while he's out there. When I looked out the window there was no sign of him, so to prevent another episode like the one we had in December (we lost him for a few hours, thought he was a goner), I went to the closet to get some shoes so I could go outside and look for him. The part of the story that involves Luc ends here; he was in the driveway wandering around, no worries. The part of the story that pertains to this post is what I discovered in the closet. It was shocking. It was appalling. It was a little embarrassing. It was blog-worthy. What did you find, Sassarella? I found out that my dad has way cooler sneakers than I do.

Why so shocking, so appalling, so embarrassing? Well because my dad's style is, how should I put this, it''s...I don't even know how to describe it. Put it this way, my mom buys him twelve shirts every year at Christmas and those are the same twelve shirts he wears all year until she buys more the following xmas. The khaki pants he wears to work sag on his butt, makes him look like he doesn't have one! Not to mention how completely traumatized I was for most of my life because of the bright blue, high-waisted, Spandex-esque shorts he wore to my softball practices and then to the highly populated with people I know gym. "I'm stylin', Chris", good old Dad would say. He'd also have his arms stretched out in front his body, shrugging his shoulders like "check me out."

So now I see these sneakers and think, "what is wrong with this picture?!" Here I am, a self-proclaimed fashionista with less than stellar kicks. The Nike ones I wear to the gym are different shades of blue and gray, which highly clashes with my typically all black ensemble. I bought them when I was in DC because I ran outside on the street so the weight/specs of the shoes were more important than how hot I look in them. Pshhh, get your priorities straight, Sassarella!

The thing is though, it gets worse. These aren't even his working out sneakers, these are walking around, hanging out, let's go to lunch sneakers. He has this type of sneak and I don't, what is wrong with this picture? I used to have a lot of these kinda sneakers in different colors and what not but I seem to have let that part of my wardrobe fall by the wayside. I know why and it's because given the choice between new pumps and trendy sneaks, I choose the pumps. It only makes sense that the LBD-wearing, sassy side of my personality over powers the hipster/indie girl in me who wants cool kicks very badly. Dad has cooler kicks than I do, there's something wrong with this picture.

 This picture sucks, right? I'm using it to prove a point that will make sense
after you read the rest of the post - damn Blackberry!

Here are some other pictures that have things wrong with them:

What are a few of my favorite things? Music, photography, and my blog. I'm newly obsessed with Twitter and I also started the fan page on Facebook that I want to keep updating, so we could say that social media is another favorite thing. What is wrong with this picture? I still have a dumb Blackberry, that's what's wrong! I would love to have my digital world at my finger tips so that I could update, keep track, and stay in tune with it more efficiently. I need an iPhone. I love to take pictures and I'm constantly hunting new music but I'm still stuck with the formerly hot Crackberry....there's something wrong with this picture.

 iPhone, I love you too! I really really really do!

I once chased a guy down the street, who already rejected me at the bar, still wanting to give him my number. I usually call and text the guy I'm seeing at all hours of the day and/or night because I need to know where he is and what he's doing at all times. I sleep around. I purposely eat garlic before I make out with someone. I'm secretly dark and twisty, I have so many issues I can't even sleep at night. I smell like poop....on a good day. I make a habit of talking down to people, especially those in the service industries because I am better than they are in every way possible. I'm a racist. I don't shave my legs. I will whine and complain that you don't love me unless you buy me presents like diamond earrings and a Maserati. Mothers hate me because I disrespect them and tell them that their famous lasagnas really just aren't that good. I'm selfish, inconsiderate, lazy, wasteful, jealous, pretentious, dishonest, unreliable, and extremely insecure. What's wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING. It's all false. And yet, I don't have a boyfriend...there's something wrong with that picture.

I'm going to California next week for a much needed and long-ish vacay slash job prep sesh with my cousin. I'll be making stops all over the state. I get to go on an airplane, which I love. I'll have five hour plane rides and hour long trips in between each city to do nothing but listen to music and write. I'm going to see family members that I don't get to see very often. What's wrong with this picture? Allison J won't be there. Who is Allison J? Only my most favorite Zumba instructor! At some point during each class last week I thought about how I only have a couple more before I leave and how I'm going to miss at least 3, if not 4, of her classes while I'm in CA. The classes last for about an hour and for one hour, I am happy. I am so consumed with dancing that I'm not thinking about anything stressful and I'm also comforted knowing that I'm burning about 700 calories. Woot! I'm going to have the time of my life on this trip but I keep thinking about how much I'm going to miss Zumba...there's something wrong with this picture.

And finally, I have 12 followers on Blogger and 28 people who "like" my fan page on Facebook. That's so awesome, it really is. However, the day I made the fan page, my blog had 171 page views. The day I posted the "Capital 1" article, the page had 87 views so what's wrong with this picture? I have a ton of people who read my blog but not a lot of people willing to publicly admit it. I hope you read and enjoy my posts but even if you don't, if you know me, if I support you, if you'd call me a friend....just "like" the g.d. page on Facebook. I don't care if you read it once a month, once a day, or never! I mean, of course I would like you to, but it's just about me trying to be somebody so help a girl out. The more fans I have, the greater the chance is of someone reading it who can help this little blogger's dreams come true! I have a ton of readers but I'm lacking the public displays of love and support...there's something wrong with this picture.

Sassarella Says...I need new kicks so I can keep up with stylin' Dad, I would love an iPhone, I wouldn't hate finding a guy who I actually like and he likes me, I'm going to miss Zumba while I'm away, and please "like" my fan page on Facebook. There are some pictures that have things wrong with them and there are bound to be many more but that's life. Off to Tiki Monday!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Capital 1: What's in your wallet?"

Before I get started, "Like" my fan page on Facebook, por favor. Find me at Sassarella Says. Help me "make it work" Love you, mean it.

Women often refer to their bags as black holes and this week Little Louis was certainly teetering on black hole status. He was almost getting too heavy to carry! Normally dumping him out on the floor wouldn't be so exciting (I'm an extremely organized person) however yesterday was quite a different story. Now, I'm no LAM aka I didn't find an open bottle of Diet Coke or an assortment of jelly beans and peanut butter M&Ms but it was still insane none-the-less...

So first I found my new wallet. It's so chic and pretty even though it only cost about $8. It coordinates very nicely with Little Louis. Inside my wallet I found the basics: credit cards, cash, ID, gas card, Starbucks gift card, etc. Nothing too exciting until I opened up the side pocket and found the business cards I've collected and obliviously transferred from the old wallet to the new one. "Junie & Johnnie Taxi Service of Morristown, NJ," "Frederick P. Stahman, Glen Rock Chief of Police" (I think I met him at a bar over a year ago), "People's Taxi" (never leave home without that one, Canada eh?), "David Gsell, Owner of Sona Thirteen"(oh hot dayum), and a bunch of doctor's numbers that I need to call (buzz kill).

Then I found my iPod aka my life. I lost an old iPod on an Amtrak train this fall and cried for 3 days straight. Even when I knew another one was in the mail and on its way to me (thank you, Mom-mom & Pop-pop), I was still devastated. I hated thinking that someone else had my precious baby, I felt violated. ANYWAY, in my iPod case is my gym membership card because apparently I'm now a gym rat...and I don't hate it!

I also have my camera and camera cord in there. The camera I understand, obviously because I take it with me e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e hoping to catch every great Kodak (or in my case Samsung) moment, but the cord too? Like what am I gonna do, upload the pics at a traffic light or at the mall? Good one.

Claw clip and bra clip. The claw clip is always handy when I'm going topless in the car and the bra clip is in there just so I don't lose it. It's one of those little 2 inch contraptions that hold regular bra straps together to fit under racer back shirts, very important. And here's what every guy just read, "Wat is sy praat? Ek is lief vir 'n mens," ... or "What is she talking about? Thank god I'm a man" in Afrikaans (that's a real language according to Google Translate!)

Shades. Black Ray Bans...classic Jersey.

A frog finger from Famished Frog. In no other situation is it kosher to take one unless you're with small children or on a date. Small children, duh, and on a date it's a cute little way to be girly and nerdy (or to stall and give yourself more time to decide in your head what you want to do go back to his place or not....hmmm). I will be disposing of this frog finger.
 Under his body is a hole to stick your finger in. Cool, right?

Caught up and tangled in all of this are two things: the iPod car adapter and a Jagermeister lanyard. I had to drop something off for my parents where the grass ain't so green and felt it was best to put all valuables out of sight. Right, because if someone actually broke into my car, the thing I'm really worried about is the $30 iPod adapter....makes total sense. And the lanyard, well back in the Rhino days I wouldn't even think twice about having liquor and beer paraphernalia in my purse but not no mo'. This came from the Parker House on Sunday where things escalated quickly...

A sandal. One of my favorite black sandals, actually. I took it get fixed at the shoemaker last week and picked it up yesterday. Naturally I left it in Little Louis instead of taking it out when I got home.

My green notebook Bible. I have a small-ish spiral notebook that a make notes in all day long. To-Do Lists, food diary (sometimes), lyrics of songs to download, and rough drafts or outlines of my blog posts. It is attached to me and I would be absolutely lost without it. In addition to the green notebook Bible, I have three black pens. I'm normally a blue Bic pen gal but I love love love hotel pens (and they are always black). On the first page of the "Green Bible" I used a black hotel pen so now I can only use black ink (just a tad OCD, whatever).

Five lip glosses, two lipsticks, and one chapstick. All 8 are necessary....kinda. I also have white nail polish and top coat because I casually did my nails in Lauren's car on the way down the shore last weekend. Ya know, before the night at Bar A when Lauren mistakenly called her Dad at 1am. He texted her asking if she was ok, she responded: "I'm pj." Damnyouautocorrect. An eyeshadow brush and the rest of my make-up bag.

A prescription from CVS. You don't even know the struggle I went through to get this refill. I take something to keep my skin clear but there are two issues: 1) I've been on the meds for so long, which apparently isn't good so the docs want to get me off of it and 2) you have to see the doctor within 6 months in order for the office to provide more refills over the phone. So over spring break I called the doc to give me more refills and I was denied. My phone call was passed around from receptionist to receptionist because I wasn't taking no for an answer, "But please you don't understand, I'm a senior and I'm writing a thesis and I just wanna have clear skin for senior week, graduation, the senior ball, you HAVE to, and I mean you HAVE to give me like one more, just one more refill, just to get me through the last couple of months of school...I really hate to be annoying but puhhhhleaseeee." After all of that, the final receptionist realized that they were looking at the wrong date of my last appointment and gave me the okay, no problem. She asked me if I break out a little bit when I'm stressed...I told her over the course of that phone call two shiners popped up on my forehead! Two days ago I refilled the second permitted refill and I'm gearing up for another battle when it runs out. Also from CVS: an Extra Care Card coupon for fake eyelashes...yup, using that bad baby!

Orbit gum, Orbit gum wrappers, two hair ties, a receipt for Red Bull, and Advil.

 Notice the Green Bible isn't there - obvs because I needed it to write this post!

"These are women, they got more strings than a g.d. baseball," Tommy on Rescue Me explains. This statement may be very true, however, empty out a woman's purse and you can tell a lot about her right off the bat. The organization of the purse's content is the first clue. For example, my mom used to use a purse that was more of a wallet wrapped up in a little rectangular shape with a strap. I mean how anyone even dared to call this a purse is ridiculous and thank goodness she has moved away from this fashion statement BUT that's my mom. No frills, no clutter, just what she needs right there, easy, quick, and accessible. So organization then content. In terms of what I keep in Little Louis, you know right away that I like music, I work out, I'm a bit girly (make-up, shoe, etc), but also that I'm practical (Advil, hair ties, pens). You know I like to have a good time (lanyard) but that I'm also a person who keeps track of her shizzz (my wallet is organized and I have phone numbers from over a year ago). Of course because of the Green Bible you know that I'm a Blogger, duh. And if you wanna get really personal, you could even know what type of medication I take!

For guys, I always find it interesting to notice whether he uses a wallet or he doesn't. My dad and Butthead Friend (I could probably change his nickname now but ehh it's more fun this way) both use g.d. rubber bands to keep track of dem dolla dolla bills. Other guys hoard movie ticket stubs and receipts in wallets like it's going outta style. To each his own.

Sassarella Says...what does your bag, wallet, 
or lack thereof, say about you?

I couldn't pick one - both are hysterical

David Spade, 'nuff said.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Make it work" - Tim Gunn, P.R.

My mother's client: "Oh that's so nice that Christie is working at the store. 
Do you think it will inspire her to go into the family business?"
My mother: "Nope, I actually think it is curing her of EVER wanting to take over."

Yeah, so about that. My brain is on the verge of exploding, my creative juices are compromised and suppressed. This is bad news bears, I've had just about enough. I was in a Starbucks last week for a caffeine fix after work before heading to the gym and I took a minute to look around. There were tables of people, one girl in particular, sitting with her laptop open, head phones on, typing away. A pang of jealousy hit me and then another one of nostalgia for the hours I used to spend at Saxby's in between classes writing posts in DC. I'm still writing posts but I write them over the course of two days, fitting it whenever I can. I rarely ever take the time to sit and enjoy what I'm doing or be sure that the posts are as cohesive and entertaining as they once were (in my opinion).

On Tuesday I got out of work a bit earlier than usual so I decided it was time to get back into the coffee shop writing routine. I went to Starbucks in FP, grabbed a table, and a wrote a post. It wasn't my best and I knew it as I was writing it but it felt good to be back. While sitting there a former middle school classmate caught my attention and asked about my blog. She said she read it awhile back, one about music, and complimented me on how interested she was in that particular post. LOVE IT. I told her to keep checking back in! A few minutes later, two more middle school classmates hopped out of a car and waved hello. I don't keep in touch with these two guys but through Facebook and Twitter I know that they are both heavily invested in their creative talents. One, Rob Cali, spends his time working as a DJ with gigs all over New Jersey, including the famous club from the Jersey Shore called Karma. The other, Matt Enderle, is an aspiring photographer who recently developed a website to showcase his work and to offer his services for parties, weddings, athletics, etc. [Check em out!] Another pang of intense jealously came over me as I sat there writing a mediocre post.

I have no clue if they have other jobs, other responsibilities, or any motivation of making full blow careers of these activities but as far as I can tell, they spend a lot more time actively engaging in them than I have recently spent writing. I want what they have: absolute obligation and credibility given to what they love to do. This is BATSO, what am I doing? I've been banking on my upcoming trip to California to give me some direction, so more focus, and a better idea of the "real job" that I want to have so it had better do that. My brain, my heart, and my ambition will be hurting if I come back here just as lost as I am now.

Switching gears (but I promise it will come together), I watch A LOT of Bravo TV. Probably more than I should ever admit but I'm really and truly addicted to that network. I watch every single Real Housewives series, Bethanny Ever After, Top Chef, Million Dollar Decorator, Flipping Out, Platinum Hit (it started slow and boring but it's getting better), Kell on Earth, Million Dollar Listing, Millionaire Matchmaker, The Rachel Zoe Project, and Project Runway. Ya ha bi bi, I can't get enough of them!

"I die. You look bananas and are completely shutting it down." - Rachel Zoe

So in the middle of another night of a Bravo TV marathon, I figured out what I have to do. I have to do something utterly fabulous, completely entertaining, and highly in demand with my life so that I can then get a show on Bravo. Of course I immediately texted my brother, Matt, to inform him that we need to start a business/company/whatever and do this together. Every show needs a character and he would make us stars for sure. I have it all planned out: we get our own show, it gets super popular, and then our business will excel even more. Then we hit baller status: I'll be considered such an expert in my field that Bravo will develop a show that I can then judge rookies trying to get into my field, I'll make dreams come true, and become a mentor to these aspiring creative minds. THEN I'll hit the mother lode: I'll be asked to guest judge on Rocco's Dinner Party or Top Chef. I'll eat great food, meet the other fantastic guest judges, we'll combine forces and make even more miracles happen. I'll also casually seduce Tom Colicchio, he'll leave his wife, and we will get hitched. We'll then open up a stellar bar and restaurant in NYC. Salute, Sassarella!

Anyway, this is all incredible but then I watched a movie this past weekend called Love Happens. A self-help guru, who lost his wife in a car crash, wrote a book and travels the country helping others cope with death. In the film, you see the guru (named Burke) and the people he is helping, make breakthroughs in their recovery. The one particularly touching story is about a contractor whose young son is killed at a construction site. The man loses his business, his wife, and he says he can't even go near a hardware store anymore. He resists Burke's help but eventually pulls through. Burke even takes an entire convention full of people to a Home Depot to help the man get over his fear and move on with his life. Not an overall great movie, but that was an incredible scene.

Walter and Burke at Home Depot, Love Happens

So then I thought that a show on Bravo simply isn't enough. I want to help people too. I wouldn't turn down the opportunity, however I don't want to just make money based solely on the fact that viewers will watch the chaos and creativity of my future office. There has to be a bigger picture. It will obviously be called Sassarella Says... so what could I do? I clearly have some stories, some advice, and some laughs for young girls but ehh that sounds so cliche. I'd hate to be that voice that parents and teachers shove down thirteen year old's throats because they think what I have to say is valuable. What to do, what to do? I do know this, I'd much rather intensely help five people at a time than reach out to thousands of people at a time and only minimally interact with them. What I'm about to say is ambitious, I realize that, but it will help clarify my point: you know how Oprah is a major household name, a brand, and money-making machine but still manages to touch and affect change at the individual level? Yeah, that's the stuff I'm talking about. Watch this Love Happens movie too - he is a well-known author and popular figure but through the conventions is able to deeply impact individuals.

I need ideas, people! How do I make this work? What is the angle that I need to take? How can I make this blog not only worthwhile for me in that I continue to write, do what I love, and make money but also make a person weep in relief because of something I was able to say or do to change his or her life? Lots to think about. And btw, while you're thinking, follow me on twitter @cnigara :-) Read it, tweet it, tell your friends about it, anything to help spread my good word. Like most people I encounter, the initial female middle school classmate was hesitant to tell me she liked the post and that always fascinates me. People think that it's going to sound weird or creepy but HEYYROO I post links all over the Internet, OF COURSE I want you to read it. Don't be shy, kids!

Sassarella Says...My name is Sassarella and I have a problem. I am addicted to Bravo TV. I want my own show on this network about my career, I want to encourage others to be in my chosen field by hosting and judging a competition show, and then I want to be invited onto Top Chef. Easy enough, right? Through this show on Bravo, I will have the platform to affect change. I've never been the charity/volunteer work kinda girl so the angle I take in performing this endeavor will have to instill passion in me. A lack of passion is fatal for any career therefore mine cannot be cheesy or ordinary. It has to be different and it has to be mine. Shaaaa-ZAM.

Love Happens has a kick ass soundtrack too, check it out:

"Fresh Feeling" by Eels

"Everyday" by Rogue Wave

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weekend Warrior: "I'm Mrs. Oh My God that Britney's Shameless / You Want a Piece of Me" - Britney

As you all know, I read a variety of blogs on a weekly basis. There is one that I find particularly interesting because it is written similarly to mine. The author is a young woman in her late twenties, living in a major US city, just expressing herself online about the ups and downs of her every day life. She is witty, honest, and all of that good stuff but to me, she is specifically entertaining because I know her boyfriend. Yes, really. What's funny is that I got turned on to her blog through a friend of a friend and as I read the archived posts I figured out who her unnamed boyfriend is by complete coincidence. (I happen to be a world class stalker btw). Anyway, the point is that I liked and read her blog before I figured out that I know her bf. How I know him is an interesting tale and obviously has everything to do with why I find this aspect of her life particularly interesting.

He came into my life at a "I'm keeping everyone at arm's length" phase. Looking back, thank God I did because I would've been in for a serious heartbreak if that wasn't the case. I did not actually get to know him very well but after midnight, like clockwork, almost every weekend for a few months, we knew each other very well. He was clearly not the most stand-up guy but it was what it was and I knew it. However, I did not fully realize just how thankful I was to have kept him a safe distance away until I started to read her blog. According to her posts, she was dating him and started officially calling him her boyfriend in early November. Meanwhile, he and I spent plenty of late-night time together throughout October, November, and even into January. Yikes.

If I remember correctly, I started reading her blog in February, a month after I had last spoken to him or seen him. In March, he randomly texted me at 1am...I called him out for having a girlfriend and even spoke of her by name. I did not reveal how I knew of her but he was completely thrown off. I thankfully haven't heard from him since that night. So not only had he cheated on her in the early stages of their relationship but now months into their "committed and loving relationship" as she referred to it as, he's still looking for a side job. If I hadn't started reading her blog and figured out who her boyfriend is, I still wouldn't know he is in a relationship and could very well have hooked up with him again. I could have unknowingly helped him cheat on an innocent woman. Now that makes my skin crawl.

At this point I could care less about how much he sucks (which he totally does) but what pisses me off is that now reading her blog is quite frustrating. She frequently writes about him and their issues and all I can think is, if only she knew. If he would've cheated on her with me, you can take it to the bank that he's found another chick to take my place and has cheated on her again. Regardless of the moral complications of this saga, I can hardly read her posts without thinking they are total crap. At first reading, I took her for an educated, sassy, and interesting woman but now I can only think of her as weak and insecure. She wraps up her posts about him by saying something like, "relationships take work" or she even will say that it's her fault for being a certain way and that she has to work on changing. Meanwhile, THE GUY IS CHEATING ON HER! She's even written a post about how she always falls for the same type of guy: the jerky, insensitive, pompous type who she can't trust but is so happy to not be in the same situation with her boyfriend now. Woman, you're in the same situation! Her blog is tainted and I can't take her seriously.

This weekend I enjoyed another epic party weekend at the Jersey Shore. We ventured everywhere from Osprey to Bar A. Lauren fell down in the sand, Gabbie lost her voice, and the $3 Parker House drinks at 2pm turned into a Sunday Funday to remember. However, Saturday night at Bar A, I had a bit of a tiff with some guy, we'll call him Steve. He heard that I had been on a few dates with someone this summer and he went nuts. Steve grew up with the guy I dated and Steve hates him. He had no good reason why but what angered me was the assumptions he then made about me based on the fact that I had a few dates with the kid. I really don't care why Steve hates him but don't get all up in my face thinking you know me based on him. Why is it that the people who know the least about us usually have the most to say? He knew me for ten minutes and was making judgements about me, my life, and my personality. Not cool.

However, here I am doing the same thing to this poor girl. I've never met her and I've now just written an entire post about her. I've never met her but I somehow think I know enough about her to judge her life. Welp, I might as well keep in line with the judging trend and say, she either knows he's cheating on her and accepts it or she doesn't have any clue but based on her posts, it's not a healthy relationship anyway! Either way, the girl needs to get out. I even tried to anonymously comment on a post, hinting that she shouldn't settle for this idiot, but my comment was conveniently deleted.

Just for kicks, this applies to Butthead Friend too. His girlfriend does not know me or my friends from a hole in the wall but thinks she knows us well enough to want to keep her boyfriend away from us. (You all know me, I always gotta throw in my two cents....)

 Makes ya think twice about the BS we they
(the royal they because I would never) talk about Britney, huh?
"I'm Mrs. Most Likely to Get on the TV for Strippin' in the Streets
While Getting the Groceries, no for real, are you kidding me?"

Is it that we only know ourselves as well as the information we have access to or is it that we have all of the information we need and it's up to us to face the music? What I mean to say is first thought was that this woman blogger thinks of herself and her relationship a certain way based on the fact that she does not know how horribly he is treating her. It is what is causing me to dislike reading her blog. Although I have to believe that deep down she knows that this is not the guy for her and that her relationship isn't as healthy as it should be...when is she going to face the facts? Therefore my second thought is that it's not difficult to read her blog because she is ignorant to his bullsh!t but rather because she is admitting to his BS and is continuing to put herself in a position of disrespect. Whether she knows specifically about his infidelities or not, she knows that he has hurt her in other ways...face the music, baby girl, face the music. As frustrating as it is to read, I keep going back hoping that one of these days she'll write about how she kicked his butt out the door!

It also made me think of myself and my blog. Do the people who have a narrow impression of me believe what I write about my life? The people I tell everything to should know what I say is legit but what about those people who only know me on a deeper level through this blog? In their eyes, does the real life version of Sassarella match up with the blog version of Sassarella? When I write that I'm feeling confident (or any emotional state of mind) in a situation, do people believe me? I don't believe this girl simply based on the knowledge that I have of her boyfriend. How messed up is that?

Sassarella Says...I have two points to make in this post. The first is regarding those people who don't know us very well but choose to make opinions about us anyway. For the most part I'd say to disregard their words of wisdom, however it can't hurt to at least listen. The people who don't know us very well see things with little to cloud their impressions. It's like how people always say, "well you just can't see it because you're in it," in that case it can't hurt to at least hear what those outside perspectives are all about.

And the second point I have to make is regarding the opinions that we have of ourselves. I happen to be a person who is very in tune with my feelings and because of this blog I am always looking for the bigger picture of my experiences. That being said, I am a person who believes that when a thing, person, or experience feels and looks right on me then it does and if I get a vibe that it's doesn't, then it doesn't. Of course situations aren't always that cut and dry but the clues are there. Think about a past relationship, a previous job, or a fallen out may have taken you awhile to see the damage but there were little clues along the way that spiked red flags in your mind.

Am I right...or am I right?