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Name: La Nina
  New Jersey

I'm a Jersey girl without the big hair or the accent (well, most of the time anyway), but with all of the bad driving and the penchant for weekly manicures.
Oh, and I'm an interior design student. That's how all of the weird terminology comes into play.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Knock Down
KNOCK DOWN (or KD) - Furniture sold unassembled or partially assembled. (from the Decorator Plus, Inc. glossary)

I finally got off my ass last night.

For several months I'd been avoiding exercise. Not sure why. Maybe I got into a funk. Maybe I was "too busy." Maybe I had to watch everything that my Tivo had recorded for me first (Hey, I'm two weeks behind on "The Apprentice." Cut me some slack.). There were loads of reasons, all of them spinning into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was too tired to exercise, but I was tired because I didn't exercise. Throw in the fact that pizza and cheesecake taste really awesome and I like them lots, I started wondering why my clothes weren't fitting so great anymore. Hmmmm....

That girl is putting in more effort than I was...

Finally, I got fed up and signed up for a 10 week intensive kickboxing program. I've both boxed and kickboxed on and off for eight years and loved it so I knew what I was getting into: excruciating pain coupled with great results in energy and muscle tone. Yeehaw! Bring it on, I say. (Save for the excruciating pain. I'm not so into that.)

I want to look this good in a really ugly bathing suit.

So I get there and I'm all ready to go. I'm one of those people that gets really into it: I hit hard, I grit my teeth, I occasionally make that gutteral "HAH!" noise when in contact with the bag. I'm sure it looks ridiculous to the casual observer.

I'd just like to make it clear that this enthusiasm has nothing to do with me imagining that I'm Sydney Bristow or a Powerpuff Girl and enacting a fight scene in my head. Nope. Huh-uh. Okay, maybe, but I kick ass. Seriously.

The punching bag is there! No wait, it's over there! Stop moving, dang it!

Well, this leads to some inevitable stiffness in the days afterward. Often the tops of my thighs will turn to jelly and I end up walking like an 80 year old man for a little while. (Which reminds me, I never did buy that cane I wanted to get last time.) The feeling makes me want to go into a coma for a few days, but I rarely do to my chagrin. Then I repeat the process because I'm a masochist with Chuck Norris gloves.

I'll get knocked out any day if Brad Pitt revives me... (Hee - I initially had a Freudian slip and typed "knocked up." Umm... love you Ryan! Sweetie? Where are you going?)

Today is different though. The only pain I'm experiencing is some soreness just under my glutes (Yes, that's my ass. I was trying to be mature about it.) and skinned knuckles because I had to borrow a pair of gloves. I won't forget that again. Surprised about the lack of overall achiness, however. Maybe I'll go again tonight before my body remembers that I went last night...

I'm eager to see what my results will be in ten weeks. In the meantime, I'm just happy to be kickin' it back again.

    posted by La Nina @ 11:57 AM   25 Comments

Monday, November 29, 2004
FILLER - A rod, plate, or angle welded between a two angle web member or between a top or bottom chord panel to tie them together usually located at the middle of the member. (from the Hancock Joist/Joist and Structure Glossary)

Here. This is pretty. Let this distract you whilst I catch my breath.

The weather continues to conspire against me.

Every time I've travelled to Boston I feel like the U.S. Postal Service. I've driven through wind, snow, and rain all along Interstate 95, and every time I've managed to make it through. Until last night.

The rain was heavy. The puddles were heavier. I hydroplaned twice by the time I made the Mass Pike. I turned around and went back.

I awoke at 4 AM and left some time shortly after 5. Leaving a man's apartment in the dark certainly held some reminiscince of the walk of shame for me but I got a bit of a giggle out of it and it was certainly better than the alternative.

Traffic sucked. I got to work just before 10:30, and I only have bits and pieces to write about, so this is a filler entry.

A few things I picked up this weekend:

- My aunt overcooks the turkey on purpose! Apparently she's been told that cooking stuffing inside the turkey is no longer considered safe, but she reeeeeeeaaallly likes her stuffing so she roasts the hell out of the bird to preserve her way of warm bread crumbs, and doesn't care if the meat sucks. I find that slightly unforgiveable as I think that Stove Top tastes better.

- I want to steal my cousin's three year-old daughter and take her home with me. That way I'd always have somebody to finger paint with. Finger painting is her favoritest thing ever. I like finger painting lots. However, music is out. I asked her what her favorite song was and she exclaimed "Elmo!"

- Go see the movie Sideways if you can. (It's the Paul Giamatti wine movie in case you don't know what I'm talking about) It's very funny and has now given me the habit of taking a good whiff of everything that I drink. You really can smell the caramel coloring in Diet Coke!

Thanks for putting up with my mishmash. I'll have a real entry tomorrow. :)

    posted by La Nina @ 11:28 AM   1 Comments

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
PLATE - A collective term for objects made of silver or gold. (from Whitton, Interior Design and Decoration 5e, Prentice Hall, 2002)

A lot of people think that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday of the year. For me, it's simply a pain in the ass.

"Why's that, Nina?" you may ask, and I'll tell you, because I'm cooperative like that.

Every year, my family and I drive four hours to Maryland to visit my aunt and uncle (Dad's brother). Aunt "Iris" (names have been changed to protect the picked-on) insists on hosting every year, and she insists on cooking everything. That would be smooth sailing save for one thing: Iris is an incredibly sucky cook.

Julia Child she ain't

I realize that making Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work, but it's not that hard to screw up. Yet somehow Iris manages it with amazing consistency.

Turkey? Overcooked. Every year. Splinters the tongue.

Have you ever seen a pink cranberry mousse before? I have.

Since when did gravy taste like dark cocoa powder?

I wish somebody would tell her that you're supposed to drain the green beans before you put them in the casserole.

I'm the only person I know who loses weight during Thanksgiving. It's because we all end up sitting there, looking at a plate of food we don't want to eat and trying to politely nibble our epicurean oddities while Iris plays food pusher. The only time I ever hear my father's childhood nickname is during this holiday. "C'mon Bunky, have some more!" I can hear bellowing from the dining room as I excuse myself and dash into the living room with a sudden interest in football.

Afterwards, my younger brother and I have our only bonding moment of the year as we leave our hotel and drive to the only open bar in town, drink and eat mozzarella sticks. How's that for tradition?

My real Thanksgiving dinner...thank goodness

We're holding out a bit of hope this year. We've been graciously allowed to bring the mashed potatoes this year as they're "not eating anything white anymore." I guess this means I won't have a shot in hell at the drumstick. Bummer.

Well, give us an inch, and we'll take a mile, because now we're bringing shrimp cocktail and my brother is bringing the only thing he knows how to make: homemade apple pie. (Yeah, that one makes me scratch my head, too.) I got the easiest job in the universe: bringing the nuts. Poysonally, I think we're all nuts for going in the first place. *insert Groucho Marx gesture here*

Damn I'm punchy.

Screw the presentation!

Actually, my dad's family can be a lot of fun. It's always a kick to have someone who asks you to "Say penis!" during the family photograph.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    posted by La Nina @ 10:51 AM   7 Comments

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
ROMANTIC - The early 19th century Neoclassical (which see) architectural styles are referred to as "Romantic" because, unlike the preceding Renaissance Classical (which see) styles which appealed to the intellect, they appealed primarily to the emotions. The various 19th-century Revival styles (Greek, Gothic, Egyptian, etc.), as well as the Italianate and Italian Villa styles, are considered Romantic. (from the Westwind Design Residential Design Glossary)

How can I try to write when I've just read some of the most beautiful words I've ever seen?

I get home at about 8:30 last night after a long but not taxing day at work and class. The pizza delivery man is at my front doorstep as a result of my calling him from the city. I'm paying him as Ryan shows up at the door, ready to pay himself. After putting the pizza away, I mention that I'd like to pick up a bottle of wine and he comes with me, offering his arm protectively as we're heading into a questionable part of town.

We come home. He patiently rubs my shoulders and back for a good twenty minutes because they hurt more than usual today. I patiently watch as he jumps back and forth between the Patriots game and wrestling. He mentions that he wrote a new blog entry and would I like to read it now or later? Duh. Now. I'm always excited to read what he writes.

And then I read this.

I have that same silly grin.

I've had a night to sleep on this, and I'm still humbled and touched and filled with joy and love and feeling so very, very lucky.

This morning I do the best that I can to show how much I appreciate him. I let him sleep in a little longer. I bring him a large cup of coffee with half and half and three spoonfuls of sugar. I try to help him pack even though I'm all thumbs when I'm not dealing with my own stuff. It all seems dreadfully inadequate.

He drops me off at the PATH and I kiss him goodbye until Friday. I show up at work and write. Though now I realize that my entry sounds a lot like his.

But all things considered, what can I do?

    posted by La Nina @ 11:05 AM   0 Comments

Monday, November 22, 2004
CATCH - a fastener that fastens or locks a door or window (from Hyperdictionary)

When the sound of money fills my ears, it's usually a good thing. Usually. On Saturday night it was not.

All hopes for a civilized drink were shot...

A cacophony of bouncing metal was happening behind me in a (not really a) dive bar on Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side. Until it began I was having a lovely time having a drink with Ryan and a couple of his college friends, and thrilled by the fact that we managed to find a bar that was not only not packed to the brim (unlike
The Gin Mill, our first choice bar which was being attended by every University of Florida fan in the tri-state area) but also allowed us to sit down at a table. Once I heard the initial cha-ching, I was a bit confused as I looked to the table behind me, where six people were trying to bounce their loose change into a cup.

"Aren't they a little old for Tiddlywinks?" I asked nobody in particular.

"Actually, I think they're playing quarters," came the response. I didn't see the difference. Maybe I'm just becoming a curmudgeon in my old age.

All of the fun with prettier colors!

I did my best to concentrate on the conversation at hand, but it was really, really hard because all six of them were doing it at once. Yowza (my Inspector Gadget reference for the day, since every day needs an Inspector Gadget reference), that gave me a headache. At one point I got all passive-aggressive on their asses by staring at them. Yeah, go me and my bad self.

Then I felt something slide down the back of my trousers. Oh dear. I've heard that you could bounce a quarter off my ass, but this was ridiculous (rim shot!). So I did what any self-respecting girl would do. I shouted "Oh my God, that just totally went down my pants!" then I made a bit of a show of fishing the sucker out and placing it in the hand of the girl behind me, waiting for her to be completely grossed out.

No such luck. She turned around and continued playing with the quarter that had been dancing cheek to cheek with me just moments before. Sheesh. Some people have no respect for hygiene.

I don't like where this has been...

That, ladies and gentlemen, was our cue to leave and a really weird end to an otherwise pleasant evening. I guess I'll just have to place this one under the file: "Whatta catch!"

Update: This story was so interesting, it was written from two different perspectives. For Ryan's version of events, click here. Highlight: "After maybe 45 minutes, she’s on the verge of saying something, and then, out of nowhere, her face goes from 'focused intently on listening to something Edie is saying' to 'completely surprised in the way Lucille Ball was when she stepped into the pool of grapes'."

    posted by La Nina @ 11:15 AM   7 Comments

Friday, November 19, 2004
PILE - In textile and carpet construction, the upright ends or loops (if uncut) of thread that are woven at right angles to the warp and weft. The nap generally has the appearance of velvet. (from Whitton, Interior Design and Decoration 5e, Prentice Hall, 2002)

As I stare at the hovel my apartment has become, I know I’ve got my work cut out for me before Ryan arrives tonight.

What was once so neat and pristine is now littered with clothes, shoes, junk mail, books, and empty Diet Coke bottles. I have a ton of laundry to do.
The Cheat has been spending his days in an unkempt bed. The bathroom carpet needs vacuuming. The sink needs cleaning and the dishes need to be put away.


Truth be told, the neat days are often the exception, and I’ve always been like this. My parents hired a biweekly cleaning service when I was a teenager and I would render them useless by putting all of my crap on top of the bed before they arrived and promptly dumping it back on the floor after they left. I had a friend sleep over at my house once who broke a picture frame by stepping on it. Luckily she wasn’t hurt due to all of the clothes on top of it.

My mama would ride my hide if she could see my room now...

The only difference between then and now is that I try to keep said crap off the floor. That being said, I’d love to be able to see my furniture occasionally.

You know what I would love? If my apartment had some feature that would compress everything like that trash compactor in Star Wars. You’d press a button from some funky control room and all of the unnecessaries (Yes, I know that’s not a word. My blog.) would be squished into this little cube that I could throw off my back porch. That would be so awesome.

And while I’m in the Star Wars trash compactor fantasy, I would be Princess Leia but in the Return-of-the-Jedi-slave-girl outfit instead of the toga-and-cinnamon-buns outfit because I’ve always wanted a super long braid like that and maybe Hugh Jackman would be there and – wait, what the HELL am I thinking about?! I am knee-deep in waste! This is NOT sexy! *shudder*

Maybe I'll play with dolls instead.

Sorry about that.

So yeah. Clean apartment. I’ll get to work on that. Um, right now. So okay, I’m gone.

Have a good weekend.

    posted by La Nina @ 10:55 AM   6 Comments

Thursday, November 18, 2004
MENSA - In a Roman house, a low dining table; a slab that forms the top of an altar (from Whitton, Interior Design and Decoration 5e, Prentice Hall, 2002)

Not getting into MENSA anytime soon...

A Tribute to Stupidity, As We Would Lose Much Humor Without It

SanDeE*: I'm studying to be a spokesmodel.
Harris: What is, what is a spokesmodel?
SanDeE*: Um, it's just a model who speaks, you know, and she points at things like merchandise, you know, like a car or washer and dryer. Sometimes it's something really small, you know, like, like a book or fine art print.
Harris: They have classes for that?
SanDeE*: Yeah, 'cause it's a lot harder than it looks.
-- L.A. Story

"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." -- Frank Zappa

From this month's issue of The Darwin Awards (which I believe in turn was taken from their archives):

(23 December 1991, Florida)
This account of an aircraft accident is quoted directly from the National Transportation Safety Board report, with comments added in parentheses for clarity.
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200T, Registration: N47506
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
The private pilot and a pilot rated passenger [two pilots] were going to practice simulated instrument flight. Witnesses observed the airplane's right wing fail in a dive and crash. Examination of the wreckage and bodies revealed that both occupants were partially clothed and the front right seat was in the full aft reclining position. [The pilots had converted the co-pilot seat to a bed.] Neither body showed evidence of seatbelts or shoulder harnesses being worn. [They were lying on the bed.] Examination of the individuals' clothing revealed no evidence of ripping or distress to the zippers and belts. [Their lack of clothing seemed to be voluntary.]
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot in command's improper in-flight decision to divert her attention to other activities not related to the conduct of the flight. [The pilot and co-pilot were having sex, and nobody was flying the plane.] Contributing to the accident was the exceeding of the design limits of the airplane leading to a wing failure. [The lack of a pilot caused the plane to fly erratically, over-stressing the wing and leading to a crash.]

"I've been thinking about my cabinet. Who do you think would make a better Secretary of the Interior - Nolan Ryan or The Rock? ... The Rock is stronger. But Nolan Ryan's wise. Presidenting is hard!" - Will Ferrell as President George W. Bush ( disappointed was I when that
Presidential IQ Study turned out to be a hoax!)

Couldn't find my cell phone this morning. Was frantically searching. Decided to call my cell phone from my landline. The phone rings. It was inside my makeup bag. Which was in the trash. Crikey. And yuck.

Feel free to add your own favorite stupid moments!

    posted by La Nina @ 1:04 PM   7 Comments

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Conversation Piece
CONVERSATION PIECE - Picture of a family group; also, [a French genre painting] that depicts the activities of the common people (from Whitton, Interior Design and Decoration 5e, Prentice Hall, 1997)

Some of you may have noticed that except for the title/glossary term, I really don't talk all that much about interior design and home stuff, but today I think I will. Um, because I can. (so there)

Interior design students are highly recommended to take psychology classes because, simply put, the way we decorate a room affects our mood, particularly in terms of color and lighting. There's a new blog link within the new list of blog links (those links, they be forever a-growing) for Design Psychology if you want to learn more, lest I get completely off track.

I believe that objects in a room have an effect too, so in the interest of education, I'd be over the moon if you shared with me what you have and what you want in your house/apartment/castle/funky bungalow. I'll start, and I'll use quotes from Oscar Wilde to help me.

That Which I Adore - "I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex."

"Now and then it is a joy to have one's table red with wine and roses."

Why do I want to go buy a bottle of shiraz right now?

My absolute favorite item in my apartment is my set of Lenox Aria wine glasses. I love the fact that unlike a lot of other crystal, all decorative elements remain on the stem instead of on the glass itself. I like being able to see my wine. The carvings are also very delicate and look very pretty and elegant on nearly any table setting. I've had these for seven years, and whenever one of them has broken, I embarrassingly cried a little bit. Speaking of tears...

"I know that for me, to whom flowers are part of desire, there are tears waiting for me in the petals of some rose."

Mmm... purty

I've found
ebay to be like an outlet mall for original art. You have to search like hell, but you can uncover some wonderful finds. The painting above is similar to one of the ones in my living room. I love the way this artist (I believe she goes by Iwonna J on ebay) paints flowers so close up that they become erotic viewing. I only have one of these paintings, so I think I need to get another one soon so I can pair them up. Speaking of IwantIwantIwant...

That Which I Covet - "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."

"Mere colour, unspoilt by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."

Too. Bloody. Expensive.

The plum color on this
Calvin Klein bedding is so rich and stunning. And it goes with my walls. The texture is so sumptuous, I could spend the whole day rolling around in bed. And damn if it's out of my price range. And it's probably not machine washable. Something this beautiful but impractical should come with a reminder that there's only 37 shopping days left until Christmas. Speaking of machine washable...

"The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one's clean linen in public."

I want this exact model!

One of the most difficult aspects of apartment living is the fact that either you have to hoard quarters or make humiliating trips to your parents' house in order to get clean clothes. That's simply disturbing. Right now, my dream is to have my very own washer/dryer in my apartment so that if I want to wash a pair of jeans and just a pair of jeans then I will wash a pair of jeans without the change-wasting guilt or having to bring a book with me so that I have something to do while I wait. What a nice world that would be.

So let me know what in your place makes/would make you happy. Perhaps we could start a gift exchange. :)

Before I go, I wanted to share one last gem from Oscar Wilde, aka He Of The Best Deathbed Words Ever:

"Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."

    posted by La Nina @ 1:18 PM   6 Comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
VOLUME - space required by a three-dimensional object, cubic capacity (from the Dezignare Interior Design Glossary)

So yesterday I get a spike in my traffic unlike that I've ever known for the, like, um, eight weeks I've been looking up glossary terms on a daily basis. It's very cool. And a great testament to Ryan's popularity.



So here's what I have to say to the newbie multitudes:

Stop it. Y'all are totally destroying my bandwidth.

Kidding! I don't even know what that means. Okay, I kinda do, but that's not as funny. Hee. "Destroying my bandwidth." I've always wanted to say that. :)

Of course this is the perfect day for me to get writer's block and a ton of work to do. Bleh.

So I will leave you for today with a hearty welcome and an allusion to the other type of Volume.

Thanks for stopping by.


UPDATE - I just realized I got the title wrong initially. Sorry. My day sucked big toe.

Welcome to the party, pal!

You wake up late for school man you don't wanna go
You ask your mom, "Please?" but she still says, "No!"
You missed two classes and no homework
But your teacher preaches class like you're some kind of jerk

Chorus:You gotta fight for your right to party

Your pop caught you smoking and he said, "No way!"
That hypocrite smokes two packs a day
Man, living at home is such a drag
Now your mom threw away your best porno mag
(Bust it!)


Don't step out of this house if that's the clothes you're gonna wear
I'll kick you out of my home if you don't cut that hair
Your mom busted in and said,"What's that noise?"
Aw, mom you're just jealous it's the Beastie Boys!

(Chorus x2)

    posted by La Nina @ 11:53 AM   2 Comments

Monday, November 15, 2004
Boston Rocker
BOSTON ROCKER: A large wooden American rocker with spindle back and wide top rail, often is painted or stenciled. (from the Decorator Plus, Inc. glossary)

A big "Happy Birthday" to Our Man From Boston (and, oh yeah, my boyfriend) Ryan McGee. He's 29 today, the little whippersnapper. :) For those of you who haven't checked out his blog,
Wading in the Velvet Sea, today is a good day to start.

ahem... mi mi mi mi mi... (I know I'm ripping off
Vadergrrrl but I feel it's appropriate)

I spent the weekend celebrating with him. And his parents. And his brother. And four of his cousins. And their significant others. Almost all of whom I met for the first time this weekend. Hard work. But Ryan lets everyone know how much he appreciates me.

Oh yes. We rock. And the scan of this makes me look like I came out of an
Aphex Twin video.

In today's entry he says, and I quote:

I could go on about what birthdays mean, and how they are not so much another step towards maturity but rather another reminder that our mortal coil is but short and that each day marches us inexorably towards death, a death that might not actually lead us into Heaven but rather a dull void bereft of memory of the life we’ve led, proving in fact that life is meaningless, morality is simply a social construct, and everything we strive for is pointless.

But instead, I’ll just say my girlfriend has a great butt and leave it at that for now. Why be all morbid and nihilistic when I got THAT?

I certainly can't argue with the boy.
:) Happy birthday, hun.

Too cute to live.

    posted by La Nina @ 11:55 AM   3 Comments

Friday, November 12, 2004
Traffic Patterns
TRAFFIC PATTERNS: The direction in which people move through a room. (from the Norwalk Furniture Ideas glossary)

6:00 AM - Alarm goes off. Mother f#cker... Hit snooze button.

6:07 AM, 6:14 AM, 6:21 AM, 6:28 AM, 6:35 AM, 6:42 AM - See 6:00 AM

6:49 AM - Move arm slightly to pick up TV remote and turn on whatever comes on before The Today Show.

6:55 AM - Watch breaking news regarding the absolute bedlam surrounding the transporation of Yasser Arafat's body. Figure at the very least the Lincoln Tunnel has to be better than that.

7:03 AM - Manage to make it to shower through coma haze.

7:04 AM - burningburningburning, holy --- *^#&*^$?@!!

7:05 AM - Yep. That woke me up.

7:26 AM - Get dressed and double check what I packed last night after three glasses of chianti. Didn't do half bad. Finally realize that it's raining. Rationalize that I have an umbrella in the car.

7:48 AM - Drag stuff downstairs and make sure that I have extra jacket.

7:50 AM - Just before I'm supposed to leave I remember that there was a package for me downstairs that I didn't pick up last night.

7:52 AM - Awww, my friend T sent me some gourmet hot chocolate for giving her a work reference. Really wish I had time to make some.

7:54 AM - Get rained on while going to garage.

7:57 AM - On the road again. This is the earliest I've left the house in many, many months.

7:59 AM - Notice that Howard Stern is playing on K-Rock. Wasn't this guy banned from, like, every radio station ever? It's definitely been a while since I've driven on a weekday morning.

8:07 AM - Switch to the classic rock station and hear The Donald wrapping up a summary of last night's Apprentice which i Tivo'd. Damn. Feel slightly smug because that I predicted Chris was soon to go last week.

8:15 AM - Hit the Lincoln Tunnel, which though moving slowly, is moving smoothly. Heck, if it weren't going to cost me $22.79 to park near Times Square, I'd do this every morning.

This is the system that Giuliani built.

This is a poster to the film which contains the traffic scene above. (Just keeping my obscure references in check.)

8:27 AM - Arrive at parking garage and in my rush, leave my umbrella in the trunk.

8:29 AM - Get rained on while getting breakfast.

8:32 AM - In my rush not to get rained on, enter the wrong building.

8:35 AM - Arrive at the correct desk, ready to work and ready to leave early so that I can battle traffic again on the way to Boston.

Enjoy your weekend.

    posted by La Nina @ 10:18 AM   1 Comments

Thursday, November 11, 2004
DEAL - Generic term for any member of the pine family when it is cut up into planks. Also applied to furniture made of such planks. English and Early American use. Also used in England to designate standard merchandising dimensions of both pine and fir lumber. A misnomer for pine wood itself. (from Whitton, Interior Design and Decoration 5e, Prentice Hall, 1997)

My Mission: Do I choose to accept it?

Life throws some irrational, irritating, imaginative, incredible things at people.

It’s been at the back of my mind for a few weeks now, and brought to the surface last night, how I’m constantly struggling to work with what I’ve been given (or “deal” hence the title), and I presume that I’m far from the only one.

Every single one of us makes choices every single day, and through the wonderful power of free will, we have the capacity to negate a lot of the day-to-day choices as often as we deem necessary. If the coffee sucks, we don’t have to drink it, or, better yet we can complain and get it replaced. If we misspeak, we can “take back” what we’ve said – which perhaps does not negate the impact of the words, but does negate the impetus behind them.

Lola negated her choices twice

However, so many of us feel that once a career choice is made, we’re left with inertia and have to “deal” with the consequences of that choice, in spite of any aspirations we harbor or develop for our lives at any given point. Our base in
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is so strong that fear induces us to stay in unhappy positions, or in my case, to change positions within a field we’re unsuited for with relative frequency.

I’m now in the process of changing my fate by going to interior design school. Yet I’m still a bit frustrated because I have to work within my previous choices simultaneously. I failed my midterm for History of Design somewhat disastrously. I feel, heck I know, that I would have done better if I didn’t have to get up and earn a living every day. I’ve just returned from the third shortest visit ever to the Metropolitan Museum of Art so that I could get enough information to complete my third object report (the first two being the other two trips I’ve made) since I’ve had to squeeze them into my lunch hour. Luckily my feedback on those reports has been stellar, so I know that I’m not following a lost cause.

Colin: You can change your fate, Tom. You can stop being such a gobshite.

As long as I know it’s not a lost cause I’m not going to give up. Though I’m straining to adjust with the daily workload of a second career (and that’s how it feels sometimes), this dream of mine has become a need, and I know I’ll do what I have to in order to see this need fulfilled.

May all of your dreams become needs.

Fall, crawl, break, take what you get, blah, blah, blah

Credit where credit’s due: Thanks to the Creative Freedom blog for planting the seeds of this post.

    posted by La Nina @ 2:50 PM   3 Comments

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
ARCADE - an open or closed series of arches supported by columns used along passageways, courtyards or porches (from the Dezignare Interior Design Collective Glossary)

Today I'm rather tired, so I'm recommending that instead of obvserving me yammer on about myself as per usual, why don't you take a break from work today and play a nice video game courtesy of

Smiles all around... sorta...

I do have a small confession to make. I've never actually played any of the games, but the rest of the site is awesome, especially anything involving The Cheat (that's the cuddly little yellow guy up there - I have a stuffed version guarding my bedroom) or Teen Girl Squad. There's also a video done by the Homestar crew for They Might Be Giants that I absolutely love. Update: Click on the "Directed By" section at the very beginning for hilarious commentary

The most popular area of the site is Strong Bad's emails -- Strong Bad's the one with the Mexican wrestling mask. In fact, the emails have become so popular that they've just released a Strong Bad Email DVD set.

In case I haven't given you enough links for one day, feel free to check out some of the blogs I read particularly the new showing of sisterhood I've got going. It's over there on the right.


    posted by La Nina @ 11:50 AM   0 Comments

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
HALL – 1. A building or room of considerable size and stateliness, used for public purposes; as, Westminster Hall, in London. 2. (a) The chief room in a castle or manor house, and in early times the only public room, serving as the place of gathering for the lord’s family with the retainers and servants, also for cooking and eating. It was often contrasted with the bower, which was the private or sleeping apartment. “Full sooty was her bower and eke her hall.” – Chaucer. Hence, the entrance from outside was directly into the hall: (b) A vestibule, entrance room, etc., in the more elaborated buildings of later times. Hence: (c) Any corridor or passage in a building. (from Webster's 1913 Dictionary)

"You know who you look like?"

I get that a lot.

I suppose that I'm fortunate in that I get compared to celebrities with some frequency. Hey, they're all gorgeous, so I'm glad to take a compliment when I get it. I'm always surprised by who people believe my doppelganger to be though, because it's almost always somebody different. That I find to be pretty cool, even when I don't agree with the assessment, because it flatters my sense of individuality.

The comparison that comes up the most for me is Diane Keaton during the Annie Hall years. As you can see below there is a bit of a physical resemblance, but since I only saw the movie for the first time all the way through a couple of months ago, I'm realizing that I've been subconsciously channeling Annie's personality to an extent during my whole adult life.

An Exploration of My Inner Annie Hall

Annie Hall is a bad driver.

Mmmmm.... *looks at the "About Me" description* Check. New Jersey has never called me on it though.

Annie Hall says "la di da."

I have been known to say "la di da" (before I ever saw the movie) in addition to "goodness," "dang it," "fancy that," and "fiddle dee dee." Okay, I lied about that last one. Nobody says "fiddle dee dee."

Annie Hall is described as ditsy and neurotic.

I have a couple of entries that'll back that one up.

Annie Hall is a performer.

I've acted since I was four years old, and I had a go at singing too, but only in school musicals and karaoke (Okay, one karaoke experience in a bar in the Port Authority doing a somewhat decent version of "Gloria" until my voice cracked like Peter Brady). Our singing voices sound similar as well, though I don't think that either of us is at a professional level by any means.

I'm not altogether sure what I meant to glean from this entry. I was really surprised when I first watched the film a couple of months ago and saw a lot of similarities. It was first released in 1977, when I was three years old, and had quite an impact on the culture at the time. Perhaps the movie had a secondhand influence on my development? That's certainly a little out in left field, even for such Freudian/existentialism enthusiasts as the characters in the film.

Regardless, I did have fun writing this. Reminds me of a Woody Allen quote from the movie. "That was the most fun I've ever had without laughing."

    posted by La Nina @ 2:42 PM   4 Comments

Monday, November 08, 2004
Counter November 2004
COUNTER: [1] a piece of furniture that stands at the side of a dining room – has shelves and drawers; [2] table consisting of a horizontal surface over which business is transacted (from Hyperdictionary)


Manicures: 4

I always have a team of experts working with my hands.

Times caught using Jersey accent by myself or others: 1 (hasn't changed!)
Lectures: 6
Homework assignments: 2 - and
one really crappy midterm
Trips to the Met: 2
Trips to Boston: 2

Visits from Boston: 1
Chapters read from Whitton, Interior Design & Decoration 5e: 17 (not in order)
Episodes of Designer Finals: 7

This guy is a tool. The rest of the show is really good.

Episodes of Changing Rooms: 27 - I'm doing my best only to watch new episodes and not repeats
Episodes of Trading Spaces: 0 (Hate!)
Movies watched at the theatre: 1 - but hope to see The Incredibles this week

Can't get away from the green....

People in my apartment: 15
Blogger breakdowns: 2

    posted by La Nina @ 8:00 AM   0 Comments

Friday, November 05, 2004
MOSAIC - A decoration created by setting small pieces of glass, stone, or marble in a matrix- often concrete. Wall mosaics were most prevalent in the Early Christian and Byzantine periods, during which they were a very important form of wall decoration. (from the Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture)

I've been having problems with Blogger all day, hence the late and half-assed entry.


My Thoughts On "The Apprentice"

I am absolutely floored that Raj the real estate developer thought that a three bedroom house would have more value than a four bedroom. Anyone who has just received their real estate license, heck even anybody who has ever watched HGTV, knows that more bedrooms are better. I don't care how big the master suite is. He deserved to be fired for that alone - and then he topped that by not finishing the job and ruining their brand new carpet before anybody could even see it. Goodbye Raj. You made for good TV, but now that what little respect I had for your skirt chasing self is gone, enjoy wherever that Yahoo! product placement taxi takes you.

When did Mosaic start working so well together as a team? During the last task, they were all bitchy about Andy's (what turned out to be on-the-money) choices and trying to set him up to fail. Now they're running like a well-oiled machine under Sandy's direction? What gives? Maybe I'm underestimating Sandy for the fact that she seems to be rather chipper and nice (her participation in the Stacie J. firing notwithstanding) and, well, a bridal salon owner by trade. Perhaps I'm underestimating her in the same way everybody else underestimates Andy for his age.

I'm starting to respect Andy a lot and think he'll go far in the competition. I thought he was a snot-nosed little punk at first with his "national debate champion" credentials (showing my age!), but he did a really good job as project manager and he's showing shades of Bill Rancic in that he's always trying to find new ways to step up even when he's not the PM - finding the additional contractors, hustling to get a charity for the dog company (albeit it was a dumb, dumb charity -- Kitty Kare! bwahahaha). I don't think he's going to win though, because the Donald would never make somebody with absolutely no work experience the president of one of his companies. Sad but true.

Okay, it appears that I could write about this show forever, so I'll end this now with some of my not quite predictions (since some are merely wishful thinking) for the direction of the show.

Next 3 to get the boot: Chris, Ivana, Maria - her constant blinking is the product of my voodoo doll, just so you know.

Top 3 in the competition: Wes, Andy, Jenn M. I thought that Kevin would have made it to the top 3 until two weeks ago but as The Man With the Stupid Hair likes to say, "Too many mistakes."

And there will be loads more of Carolyn in every episode. She's just awesome.

    posted by La Nina @ 9:20 PM   2 Comments

Thursday, November 04, 2004
Tongue and Groove
TONGUE AND GROOVE - Boards that have a groove on one edge and a tongue on the other so that other similar boards can fit into one another along their edges. (from the Creative Homeowner glossary)


Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching.

It's good advice. I do my best to follow it. No effort is needed on that last one, however. Hoo boy, no. I am a dancing fool.

Check out the photo above. That's Ryan and me before heading out to Pleasure Island on Friday. We look so, oh I don't know, cute. And civilized. And sort of normal. And possessing a really bad camera.

Bring on the revolving dance floor.

Madonna once said "Only when I'm dancing can I feel this free." Well, I feel free to use every style of dancing I've ever been taught in my 30 years on this planet, from my early ballet/tap/jazz combo to the social dance lessons in high school gym class to the mosh pits I would sneak out of the house to participate in to the cheerleading halftime shows we choreographed to Technotronic. So I get out there and say to myself "Let's see, a little mambo here, couple of shakes there, throw in a little watusi, toss your hair about, end it with the pogo, and voila! Freak on the dance floor." I'd like to think that I have better rhythm than Elaine Benes or David Brent (pics below), but I'm definitely just as all over the place.

After (sadly, both of these represent me)

Ryan, poor lamb, does his best to keep up with me, and he's done better than any other dance partner I've had so far. We're still working out the partner dances since he doesn't really know them and I have this problem where I always have to lead. (It's a bigger problem than you'd think.)

We must do okay though, since one of the groomsmen who neither of us had met before made a special point to tell us that we "tear up the dance floor." Um, at least I think that's a compliment. Then again, this is coming from a guy who just came off of a spot-on karaoke of Baby Got Back.

Lesson to be learned: if you see me coming to a dance hall near you, just get out of the way for your own personal safety.

By now, you're probably wondering where the tongue part of this entry is.


There you go.


    posted by La Nina @ 1:55 PM   2 Comments

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Pattern Repeat
PATTERN REPEAT - increments between horizontal or vertical patterns repeated in fabric, wall coverings or flooring (from the Dezignare Interior Design Collective Glossary)

Whoopi realizes she forgot to vote

Second verse, same as the first...

America, prepare yourself for four more years of ... this. You know what "this" is. It's nigh on impossible not to know. Question is, do you like it? I sure as heck don't.

Today I'm just speechless, disappointed, yet hardly surprised. Oh, and drained. Very drained. Or maybe that's just a developing cold (damn flu shot crisis).

I think I'm going to go take a nap in the bed the nation made....

    posted by La Nina @ 1:39 PM   0 Comments

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Screen (my phone calls)
SCREEN - A dividing wall having no function of support, e.g. in medieval churches surrounding the choir (from Nuttgens, The Story of Architecture 2e, Phaidon Press, 1997)

I was planning on spending this entire week on an Orlando travelogue, but for the moment I've been waylaid. (Much to everyone's relief lest this blog starts showing shades of Patty and Selma's Yucatan slide show.) I am, however, going to discuss the election which I realize every other blogger in the kingdom is talking about, but there's a part of it that's been affecting me quite personally.

I voted this morning before going to work. My polling place was packed, but since I've been a regular voter there for five years (and voting via absentee ballot since 1992), I breezed through the process rather quickly in comparison to a lot of the confused people I saw milling around. Once hitting the lever I figured all I had to do was sit back and wait for the lawyers to fight out the results.

Not so fast, according to the Democratic National Committee. I came home today to find that I had 5 messages on my answering machine. Since I have a cell phone, I had no idea where this outpouring of landline love could have come from and whose voices lay beyond the flashing light.

Well lo and behold, I am the political flavor du jour and all of the celebrities want me. To vote Democrat. I won't tell you whether I did or not (hint: I so did) but Alfre Woodard, Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, and two war vets specially pre-recorded a message to me in order to make sure that I didn't forget after arriving home from Orlando. How sweet of them! Plus, my phone has been ringing off the hook all evening by people whose numbers don't show up on my caller ID. Dang it, I VOTED ALREADY, just leave me alone!

These kind folks really wanted me to have a nice day

I thoroughly realize and appreciate the effort that's been put out there in order to get people to vote for many, many reasons on many, many levels, but my dears, you're preaching to the choir here. (Heh, I tied this into my definition. I'm clever today.)

Apparently my dad got a message from Bill Clinton though. Dad voted for Reagan twice. That to me shows a little more strategery in the DNC's thinking. Hee. I just wanted to say strategery.

As of right now, I don't know who's going to win. I do know that there are a lot of people out there trying to make sure your voice is heard. Hope everyone made sure to say something today.

    posted by La Nina @ 9:28 PM   0 Comments