Monday, April 27, 2009


My photo from a few months ago while riding on the 147 bus in Chicago made it on ROCK on the CTA… (for those of you who can’t see the link/photo, it is a photo of a woman’s feet. She had fashioned white duct tape as sandals. The things you see while on the bus….


ROCK on the CTA is a website that people submit photos of crazy things they see while riding on the Chicago Transit.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The festival is over!

I am exhausted, but the weekend, and the festival is over. I worked from 7a until 9p on Friday (at work and packing the truck), 6:30a-8:30p Saturday and 9a-8:30p today at the actual festival.

Yep, you read correctly—that is 6 1/3 days of work (8 hr days) in 3 days.


It was hot (on the mid 80’s) both days, but we had one of the most shadiest spots along the festival so that was helpful. We also were along the parade route, so that was something that was cool to watch from the comfort of our booth.

I am stupid exhausted, so I am not going to write very much- just know I am glad it is over. I will be in the office tomorrow but will take Tuesday off (waiting for Comcast to come fix my broken-since-Wednesday TV and home phone – thank goodness my internet is finally up and running!


I’m sorry did I already say that?



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why I dislike Atlanta: Reason #132

There are tiny black flying bugs here that LOVE TBO’s wet food. I hate them, and they love me.


I have NO idea what they are but I want them gone.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On 30 Days Here…

Yesterday was 30 days in the new city.

In the first 30 days I:

  • moved across country/rode in a car for 15 hours
  • unpacked over 75 boxes
  • installed, reinstalled and installed again my wireless internet connection
  • had 2 out of 4 Sunday AJC newspapers delivered correctly
  • did untold loads of laundry
  • (ditto for dishwasher use)
  • researched, test drove and bought a new car (Fiiiiiiiiiit!)
  • worked on, went with the flow with (when plans majorly changed 2 times) and planned logistics for a 2 day festival in ATL (happens this weekend)
  • entertained 5 visitors in one week
  • researched, bought and put together 2 leather barstools and a wooden TV stand
  • organized my new closet
  • took 4 car loads of clothing and other things to Goodwill
  • bought a sleeper loveseat
  • bought a new outdoor plant for my balcony
  • joined the gym downstairs and worked out 10 times (wish it was more)
  • received countless emails and phone calls from family and friends asking me how I was doing
  • cried myself to sleep 10 times
  • found my mailbox after 8 days (was not told the mailbox #)
  • spent 2 “fun” days of Comcast installation
  • did hatha yoga 6 times
  • received 5 cards and notes in the mail from friends
  • watched TBO sleep for hours and hours and hours
  • went to the Dialog in the Dark Exhibit in Atlantic Station
  • had a lot of trouble sleeping the first 3 weeks. Still having some issues, but am starting to get a little more sleep.
  • spent more time than one person should at Target and WalMart (surprisingly, more time at the WalMart which is farther down the road than Target)
  • only been to Starbucks 2 times in 30 days (and one of them was the day after I got here) I think I have broken my addiction to hot chocolate
  • was put on anti-anxiety medication
  • learned my way to and from work both by Marta train and car
  • found the closest JCPenney's
  • learned the pros and cons of both Kroger and Publix (I think I like Publix better, but I am not sure yet)
  • made brownies, homemade mac and cheese and homemade freezer burritos…mmm…comfort food

I am sure there is a lot more that I have done that I am missing, but this is all I can think of right now. It has not been the worst month of my life, but it certainly has not been the best.

While change is a good thing most of the time, I am allowing myself to be unhappy and homesick for a little while longer.

A lot of people have told me the sooner I “own” my unhappiness, stop pretending I love it to people who live here and just grieve for what I have lost, the sooner I will come to terms with everything.

I miss my friends. I miss picking up the 147 outside my house and waking up to frost on the windows. I miss my morning starbucks and walking to Walgreens at lunchtime. I miss hearing sirens every ten minutes on Sheridan and walking along the lake on the bike path. I miss I Go car sharing and pool monitoring. I miss seeing Chase banks on every corner and the crazy lady in the wheelchair that used to think she was a car. I miss seeing the Chicago skyline as I ride into work.

I still feel like I am on vacation.

I miss home.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My first visitors…

While my friend N was REALLY my first real visitor, my first visitors other than my drive down buddy were here Monday.

While they were supposed to be here earlier in the day, but mother nature decided to have some fun and have crazy 60 mile an hour winds, 300,000 people in ATL left without power, crappy storms in Chicago and major delays at both airports.

NM and HD got in at 9 and we were all hungry for the famous (and first) Chick Fil A – The Dwarf House.


We ordered WAAAY too much amazing food


and went home full.

It was so great to catch up with my 2 good friends—though we were tired, TBO was nice to them, and we stayed up a long time catching up and gossiping. I had a blast. It was so nice to have a taste of home.

I am still homesick.

HD was so nice to help me pick up my rental car at the Marietta dealership after I bought my car on Tuesday, so I could drive my new car home.

They were in town for work, and they left waaaay too soon. I miss them already! :-(

Lookie what I did!

Today was “work on all things festival day” at work.

For those of you that don’t know, my normal (and new) job has been put on hold to instead do all the logistics and implementation for a festival in Atlanta next week. In the last month, “we” (quotes meaning not me) have changed the plan of action about 4 times. 

I am working very hard to make sure the festival goes off without a hitch.

I spent the early morning running around town gathering items to use at the festivals. All of the stores I needed to go to opened at 10, so from about 8-9, I worked on my for the day “to do” list then remembered that today is a day I had been trying to remember for the week.

Today is “get something expensive for really cheap” day at IKEA.

IKEA is in my backyard, and last week I was reading my new favorite in-town blog, Atlanta on the Cheap, and they mentioned that IKEA was having “Seize the Day” sales over this weekend.

Let me back up.

When I first arrived in Atlanta in February to look for a place to live, the place I ended up living in was available either with or without furniture.

The island in the kitchen had 2 barstools that made a cute seating area. I decided to take the place unfurnished (since I had furniture already) and knew at some point I would need to buy a few new pieces to make my house feel like home.

I had priced barstools at Target and IKEA recently, and was blown away at how expensive they are. I figured I could wait to have an eating area until I had more cash.

And now, back to the story at hand…

I noticed on the Atlanta on the Cheap blog that they were going to have barstools that were usually $99-$109.00 on deep discount- $39.99 each (limit 2). The ad said they had 2 sizes and that they were chocolate leather with black wood. They we only available at that price on Friday morning.

I figured I would be working (IKEA opens at 10am) so I put it in the back of my head.

This morning I realized I was home and would have time to run over there before I ran to the Container Store, Home Depot, and Office Depot.

At 9:30am, I pulled into the parking lot at IKEA (IN MY BRAND NEW CAR!!!), thinking I should probably be at the store when they opened for breakfast so I could wait in line for the barstools.

When I walked in the front door, there were my barstools, and 2 people handing out wristbands (yes, wristbands). Purple for short, grey for tall. Guess which ones I went for?


I felt like I was buying tickets for a super popular concert. There were about 10 other people there also getting wristbands. The wristbands guaranteed I would get 2 short (25inch) leather barstools for the cheap price.

I went up the escalator to see if I could get an OJ while I was waiting for the actual store to open, and WOW – people galore!!!

I was amazed – there were about 150 people in line for breakfast. I didn’t know that IKEA was that popular for breakfast.

And I don’t know if it IS usually this busy, because I lucked out again, IKEA was giving away free breakfast today! And it was a great breakfast! Eggs, bacon and potatoes.


It only cost me $1.29—for the 100 percent OJ I found.


I ate, then went back downstairs waiting for the store to open.

I was one of the first people to get my 2 chairs, and was out the door by 10:03am. They fit well in the Fit (pun totally intended) with the 60 part of the 60/40 seat folded down flat.

Have I mentioned yet how much I love my new car??

I had a crazy day at work, came home and made a turkey burger and sweet potato fries for dinner, then put together my new chairs. It only took about 15 minutes per chair.

So,  TADA! Here they are!


different view…


How was your day?

Friday, April 10, 2009

My New Love – a late Wordless Wednesday post



(adding a few words to say RUN don’t walk to the store to buy these chips—I HATE baked chips normally, but these- FANTASTIC!! Full of flavor that is baked in – not sprayed on top like most chips.)

Get more info here.

A Storm’s a Comin’!

Some (OK, most) of you know I am a HUGE weather buff. When I was in high school, I even job-shadowed the local weather guy(The Wonderful Weather of Woz. Seriously.) and wrote my “what I wanna do when I grow up” papers on becoming a meteorologist.

I applied and was accepted to University of Oklahoma (side note: does anyone else sing the song from the musical to spell the state?? Anybody??), one of the best schools in the nation for storm chasing and meteorology.

Then I found out that it would include lots of math and physics.

Yeah, I am not good at that stuff.

So, I decided to do Communications instead, hoping to become a weather bunny (ie: someone who reports the weather for the news, but not AMS-American Meteorological Society - certified).

I fight global poverty for a living. Not the same but still interesting work none the less.

I still take on the role of “weather announcer” at work, sending out watches and warnings to the staff and giving updates throughout the day.

Snow storm coming? Check your email- I sent you an update! Hailstorm headed our way? I will let you know and send you the latest radar images!

While I am fascinated by weather, I have a love/hate relationship with severe storms. They scare me to death, and I get a stomachache each time they are approaching (not to mention the horrible migraines I get from the barometric changes).

But for some reason, when I move to new places, I am initiated by bad weather.

Most of my spring and summer storm seasons as a child were spent in the bathtub with my (not wanting to cooperate) cat reading covered with a blanket.

I did that until I read somewhere that the bathtub is on of the worst places to be during a storm (you could be electrocuted if your house is hit by lightning) so I changed my venue to the internal hall closet.

Yes, I was am kinda a freak.

One Mother’s Day when I was 7 or 8, I spent the course of 8 hours driving Interstate 80 home to Rock Island, IL from Montezuma, Iowa with my mom and her cousins hitting a new tornado warning every county we travelled through. The storms were following us.

I spent the whole hot car ride under a scratchy blanket scared to death. We even had to stop at the University of Iowa music building to ride out one particular bad cell.

When we got home, I drug my mattress out to the living room and hit under it while watching the radar and warnings on television.

But I digress.

When I first went to college (in Cedar Rapids), the first night I moved in we had a tornado warning. I spent my first night living away from home in the basement scared to death, getting to know my other freaked out neighbors.

Since today is a furlough day, I spent the day inside the house (other than a run to RiteAid and Wal-mart for supplies) then about 30 minutes ago I checked and noticed one of the stories was about “live coverage of severe weather in Atlanta” so I quickly went to my favorite weather website NOAA (

There are tornado and thunderstorm warnings all around my house right now.

I stepped outside onto my balcony and snapped a few pictures of the fast moving clouds …


100_3209 100_3208

My pictures don’t do the cloud movement justice—the low clouds are moving one direction, and the top ones are moving another. The temperature is about 72 degrees – a perfect recipe severe weather.

Here is my welcome to Atlanta, I guess!

3 weeks in… a progress report

Well, it’s been 3 weeks in my new condo, my new job- my new life. Soon, I will be adding new car to the mix (probably a Honda Fit).

I wish I could say that I love it here and I feel like I am “home”, but I don’t and I’m not.

I am overwhelmed most of the time at work – it feels like I am starting at a whole new organization. No one in my department knows me, my work ethic or my reputation. I find myself inter-office instant messaging my work family in Chicago just to “hear” a friendly/familiar voice.

Don’t get me wrong – there are VERY nice people in the building who have taken me to lunch, ask me to eat with them, people who I bother on a daily basis (hi “M” and “C”!) with incessant questions and random thoughts, and others who I am meeting for the first time who are extremely inclusive. I appreciate every person who has taken the time to reach out and welcome me to HQ.

With that said, unless I see the person 15 times a day, I have a hard time remembering their name. That’s not anything that wouldn’t happen in Chicago though, but I just have to remember 10 times the names now.

I am sad.

I am lonely.

I am tired.

I am having panic/anxiety attacks (recently put on meds to help with that, thank you very much).

I am not sleeping (see aside above – yep more meds).

I am overwhelmed.

I am living in a sea of boxes.

I am not liking what I am doing at work right now.

I feel isolated.

I feel incomplete.

I am trying to be positive about….something. Anything.

So here are 6 things I like about the ATL:

  • I am closer to my aunt and cousins
  • I have a Washer and Dryer in my unit.
  • I have a dishwasher in my unit
  • I have covered parking for my car at home
  • I like my new gym – and it happens to be in my building and only cost 5 bucks a month
  • I finally get a security pass (after 7 years of visiting HQ) to KEEP

Pathetic that all (but one) of my “likes” are objects, right?

I hope in the next few weeks I will begin to get in a better groove and start to meet new people and begin to feel more like myself and more relaxed.

But right now, as my toddler friends might say, “I don’t yike it here”.

Right now?

I just wish I were home. Anybody got a pair of ruby slippers?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dialog in the Dark

When I moved here, I promised myself I would see if there was an “ATL on the Cheap” type website or book to find interesting things to do, but not have to pay full price to go.

I noticed that in my neighborhood they have this exhibit/experience called “Dialog in the Dark”. This is how the website explains the experience:

The idea is simple: In completely darkened rooms blind people lead small groups of guests through an exhibition in which everyday situations are experienced altogether differently, without eyesight.

A role reversal takes place: sighted people are torn out of social routines and familiar acceptance. Blind people provide a sense of orientation and mobility and become ambassadors of a culture devoid of images. They prove that being blind is a different, interesting way to perceive and lead life and has nothing to do with thoughts of suicide and despair. Everybody shares an unforgettable experience. They feel their own limits, perceptions and gratitude for their eyesight; they come to understand the importance of empathy, communication and solidarity and develop respect for people who see the world through different eyes.

I was intrigued.

I went last Thursday night after work after finding a 40% off coupon online.

When you walk in, they measure you for a cane, then take you into a slightly darkened room where you sit on lighted boxes. As a recorded voice tells you about what you are about to experience, the lights slowly go down until you are in total darkness.

It is sort of scary, sitting in total darkness not knowing what is coming next.

For some reason I was freaked that they were going to all the sudden flash 2 headlights in my face as a joke.

Rest assured, it was nothing like that.

It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I went.

My leader, Roxanne, has only been visually impaired since 2002. She lost sight completely in one eye in 1996, then lost most of her sight in the other in 2002.

She was extremely interesting to talk to to hear about her life and how she copes with every day live as a visually-impaired person.

I won’t tell you what happens inside (incase you decide to go) but I will say that it is fun and interesting to get around obstacles in total darkness.

Let me know if you decide to go!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Not dead…. I promise….

I have just been extremely tired and working my butt off the past few days. I am working on all the set up for a festival we are doing at work and it is taking a lot out of me!

I came home this evening and promptly fell asleep. A two hour nap. And it felt sooooo good.

I have 3 visitors coming next week to see me so I need to get myself in gear. I am really excited that my friends are coming to see me! Next Post: my fun time at dialog in the dark!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What do YOU wanna see?

Is there anything you are DYING to hear about regarding my 48 month vacation in the ATL?

Want to see pictures of anything specific?

Want me to address something that I haven't thought of yet?

Want more picture of Mr More?

Let me know! leave me a comment below or email me.

I want to know what you think! ;-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009