Archive for Personal Enjoyment

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I can’t say that on this page you’re going to find anything of substance necessarily, but I try to post one or two monumental findings a month. You’ll find that this page ranges anywhere from awe-exciting photos I’ve found, to tattoos I like, to a video or four. It’s a collection, so to speak, of the things I find online that interest me. This blog is similar, but in a more educational genre, where as my tumblr is strickly fun-induced media.

Updates @ 1:45am… 2 months Later. (Pardon)

Inspiration, as always, has led me back to my blog, then twitter. Oh how I missed you both!

A quick update for any followers of my ever so eventful life: Working for FedEx Office as a CCS in a compact car. Hard work, too much stress often, but a better paycheck. Heck, a paycheck period, which is quite a step up from my previous unemployed state of misery. I am pleased to announce, despite all odds (in my book I collectively call them this, as rashly as one can), I can announce I had my 3 month evaluation and I’m locked down. The company itself has an enormous amount of growth potential, as well as outstanding benefits. I look forward to going back to school… for free. I’m holding my own bill wise, and so, I got a tattoo to commemorate this occasion (kudos to Mike French of Blood, Sweat, and Tears Tattoo in Charlotte, NC). Josh and I are doing very well, his new car and all (long story for a rainy day)… I’m very pleased about this, because although he might never read this, he means the world to me and I would be lost without him in my life. He’s my everything, then some, and an apple (of my eye, of course). I love him dearly, and I do look forward to the chance that we might one day take it to the next level, and eventually have a family. (Side note: The first child, I have been informed, will be named Logan after Wolverine from the X-Men. True story.) We are looking into officially moving in together in a rental we found through friends in Charlotte off of Rozelles Ferry. Ikea, here we come! We’re already preparing in high anticipation. In the meantime, I got a bike and a tennis racket to blow off energy until the big move date. I can’t wait!

I also include some awesome tidbits, and so, for tonight’s momentous re-acquaintance of my blog and myself, here is some need to know things:

1. Shit My Days Says: Follow it on Twitter. Funniest page that has existed, if you have dirty, crude humor like I luckily gained from my father. It’s so random and makes me laugh contageously. They just released a book, which I WILL buy, check it out: http://shitmydadsays.com/book

2. Changing icons on a Mac can be done the easy way, the hard way, or the extreme way combined with the previous two options. For a tech fix and maybe the purchase of Candy Bar for $29 online, you can download whole folders of icons others have made and modify some or all icons together, semi-professionally. The downfalls are the cost, and no you can’t use cheat codes, and that the program is a bit difficult + a hassle to use. But go for it if you want to sound/look really smart in an overly complicated fashion. And for the easy way, followed by hours of addictive icon swaping, here goes: Google Images. Search for an icon. Be sure it’s a .PNG file, otherwise, this won’t work. Find the icon you currently use in Finder. Right click the google image and select copy image. Now right click the icon you’re trying to change in finder. Click Get Info. Click the icon in the very top left corner of the box that appeared on your screen. Press Command + V and… Free and easy icon changes!! To create your own, follow the above steps, but prior to: Draw your image clearly and dark on paper. Scan in and place in Illustrator. Create outlines. Clean these up using your mouse, or the really nice finished professional way i.e. a Waccom Tablet. Save. From here, follow the above methods.

Wa-la! Now you can say, today, you learned something! Now, go prosper.

Re-Entering With A More Valiant Step

I need your comments, your suggestions, your personal advice, your help… This blog is dedicated to my need and your input!

Here’s to possibly having a job by the end of the week (cheers!), and a significant paycheck on the horizon, finally. This will be a more personal blog, but one I need many responses to. Before now, I was a college student who entered into a full-time job before graduating college, so when I had my degree in hand, I was securely situated for as long as I desired to be. Then a better opportunity presented itself, and proved to be probably the worst decision I’ve made to date, for more reasons than one, the biggest reason being basically unemployed. I don’t count my $80 check every two weeks from Michaels… That blog will come soon enough.

So, pending this job opportunity pans out, I might actually have a bit of money to earn and save up. Before, even as a department manager, I wasn’t making enough money, plus was still in a college-kid “help me!” frame of mind, and never truly had to be a “real-world citizen”. Thanks so much to my parents for always being there for me… But it’s about time to cut all ties and tackle life head on. I’ve been waiting for that moment for nearly 24 years, despite how nice it is to have a level of comfort, and I’m preparing as much as one can feel prepared to make the transition. It would be an extremely proud moment for me. Freedom, so to speak.

This is where I need advice and suggestions. I’ve made my list, and done a bit of research, but firsthand experience is always a more valid form of research, in my opinion. You can figure out pros and cons straight from the horse’s mouth and save a few steps along the way with better results at the end.

Car Insurance: Questions – Suggestions on companies. Prices that I might be expecting to pay. Loopholes. Pros/Cons that you’ve discovered your current provider to have.

Car Purchase: Deliberating on trading in my 2004 Honda Accord for a car built a bit better for my stature, and of course, more fuel efficient. This job might be a 45 minute one-way job, and I want to maximize my earnings by decreasing my loses. Questions – What cars do you know of, year included, to be good on gas mileage? Are Honda Civic Hybrids a good car choice? Are Mini Coopers a good car choice? Is this an overall educated decision to make the switch, or am I “jumping the gun”  by making this purchase early in my employment to decrease lost money due to gas waste?

Moving: I’m looking to move to the Charlotte area. This is pretty much a given once May and/or July hits. I’m trying to figure which location would be the best for me. Options as it stands are: 1) The Noda district where I currently stay   2) Near N. Sardis road in Matthews, which would be halfway between boyfriend and work   3) Closer to Indian Trail and Monroe, which is more in the area of where I’ll be working, but understanding I can transfer after 3 months to a Charlotte store if one opens  Questions – Which would you suggest I make the move to? Do you know of any good places to move to in any of these areas? Should I try to find somewhere that is rent to own, or just rent?

I need all the comments/suggestions/help I can get on these matters, so yes, feel free to comment as much as you’d like! I’d love to hear what you have to say! Make me one for the wiser.

Top 10 of ’09

2009 was a great year for music and cd releases, especially as the year was  wrapping up to an end. Now that it’s officially 2010 and we have a whole new  year of music to look forward to (and we hope that it’s good), here is a list of ten  albums released in ’09 that I really enjoyed. These are in no particular order,  except for, of course, Brand New really is my number one top pick… but that’s  extremely impartial (it’s my favorite band – see blogs below).

#1: Daisy by Brand New (pictured)

#2: Self-titled The Fray by The Fray

#3. Hazards of Love by The Decemberists

#4. Swoon by Silversun Pickups

#5. City of Black and White by Mat Kearney

#6. Ocean Eyes by Owl City

#7. The Outsiders by Needtobreathe

#8. A Time for Lions by Stars of Track and Field

#9. Out of Ashes by Dead by Sunrise

#10. Waking Up by OneRepublic

Runners-Up (A tribute to my random taste in music): Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Switchfoot, Flyleaf, The Almost, Creed, P!nk, Between the Buried and Me, Cartel, Sherwood, Built to Spill, Breaking Benjamin, Paramore, Three Days Grace, Muse, Chevelle, The Used, Imogen Heap, Third Eye Blind, Cobra Starship, Modest Mouse, Sick Puppies, August Burns Red, All Time Low, Killswitch Engage, Emery, Green Day, Coldplay, The Devil Wears Prada, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and New Fond Glory.

For a complete list of 2009 releases, visit the Wikipedia page.

Annie’s Anthem

Truth is, the smallest things bring the most joy. My grandma asked me for a new version of her the poem that has sat for years on her fridge to replace her old one. She hasn’t seen this yet, but is already tickled to death that I’ve made it for her. I hope she loves it!

Charlotte = Embrace

Charlotte, NC-

I’ve certainly never lived in the country, but I’ve never lived in anything bigger than a larger town. From Signal Mountain, TN to Greenwood, SC to Anderson, SC to current town choice of Rock Hill, SC, nothing has ever consisted of skyscrapers and one-way streets. In towns like Columbia and Charleston, though I love them both for their varying array of atmospheric selections, I find myself often overwhelmed with traffic, parking, directions, street names, etc. People are everywhere, especially on the tail-end of my car, and the pressure at times, makes me one grumpy visitor.

I’ve found the same to always be true of Charlotte, NC. Every trip, though full of fun and excitement, has always been a planned trip, with a heavy debate as to who was going to drive and who was going to navigate, and this is only after the debate on where we are even going in the first place, with a list of backup plans on hand.

Though it has only ever been a 30-45 minute journey from the center of Rock Hill, it’s never to be taken lightly. Experiences I’ve had alone, such as finding the police station and courtroom to appeal the traffic ticket I received while lost on my second ever trip to the city, have been exhausting and made me want to visit as little as possible. Familiar places, such as Amos’ Southend, Tremont Music Hall, and the SPCA, ease my worries and anxieties a bit more, and they always deliver a stellar dose of entertainment.

Lately, I’ve found myself a frequent resident, yes, resident, of Charlotte. I stay here often with my amazing boyfriend, Josh. This helps minimize trips to and fro to all the job interviews I’ve had to travel miles and miles to appear for, none successfully, to my dismay (although I’m very knowledgeable on the scam artists in town now). In the meantime, I’ve taken the time to discover the town on my own.

I love the architecture and buildings for one. All the new housing is very sleek and modern, which I adore. With Ikea just a few exits up the road, I’m beyond anxious to be able to move up here and furnish a place of my own. The places are beautiful and I find myself almost wrecking as I drive, because I can’t seem to tear my eyes away from the favorites that I so often pass.

Today I enjoyed a trip to Trader Joe’s, a local grocery store full of organic, healthy foods, very similar to that of an Earth Fare. Their website is perfect for feeding the vegetarian in your life, with recipes and food choice guides all available on their website. My $45 journey for groceries will be transformed into several new, exciting recipes for dinner over the next few nights.

The reasons I’m learning to love and embrace the culture and atmosphere of Charlotte continues to grow, as does my curiosity, desire to reside downtown, and my prospects of working in such a large city. Wish me luck in my endeavors, and in the meantime, enjoy with me my quest of Charlotte, NC.

To follow Josh’s new Twitter page, aka my second Twitter page, full of vegetarian recipe ideas, jokes, comments, inspirations, and more, go to www.twitter.com/JOSHtheVEGGER. It’s awesome!

Cheesecake Factory

Wild Blueberry White Chocolate and Adam's Peanut Butter

The Cheesecake Factory

4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28211-3606
(704) 770-0076

The Cheesecake Factory menu features more than 200 menu selections made fresh from scratch each day – using only the highest quality ingredients – which combines to create our remarkable tastes.

I recently visited the Cheesecake Factory for the first time, somewhere I’ve been meaning to go to for years… I love cheesecake! Here’s what I thought:

Location: In the heart of Charlotte off of Tyvola Road (Exit 5 on I-77) in the Southpark district, connected to the Southpark Mall near the Crate and Barrel. This provides a chance to get in a good walk through stores before or after the meal… I highly suggest it afterwards, because without fail, you will be extremely full. It sits next to a large parking garage, so finding a place to park isn’t such a hassle, although I short walk will usually be involved. The building itself is enormous and elaborately decorated, with high ceilings, columns, and a golden interior that would awe almost anyone.

Food: This menu is a little bit of every simple pleasure you ever wanted to put in your mouth… But watch your portions. If you go before 5pm, I suggest ordering a lunch portion, because as they will tell you, the portions are very large. When my lunch plate came, I thought it looked smaller than I was expecting from their description of sizes, and I almost wished that I had ordered the normal portion, but to my surprise, I couldn’t even finish it, and still had cheesecake to go! As far as taste, it was rich and delicious. Cheesecake Factory is not just for dessert… Although I’d gladly go there for just that.  🙂

Service: The waiter that we had was very nice, and shared his favorite dessert, as well as those of others. I was glad he shared portion sizes with us prior to ordering, as not all restaurants will allow; it showed that they were there for the customer and what they feel they are looking for from their Cheesecake Factory experience. He was also very willing to help me choose between the two cheesecake types I was torn between, and I thought his answer was a smart assessment… The only part that threw me off a bit was that all waiters/waitresses are expected to dress in all white. As we know, plumbers pants are about the only white pants easy and cheap to find, so yes, I felt like a plumber was serving me food. White also gets dirty, and since I want to enjoy a clean experience, white was not a good choice, in my opinion, because each had food splashed up their sleeves. And the white shoes, mainly sketchers work, were obviously distracting to me as I ate… I think Cheesecake Factory might want to work on this selection. Tisk tisk.

Price: As warned, the prices are a bit high. It’s not going to be a spot in for a bite to eat, but more of an experience, so expect to pay that way. Lunches are at least $10 a person, drink and tip not included. Dinners are more on a $15-$20 range, drink and tip not included. Cheesecake slices are about $6-$7 a slice, but well worth the money. I did not see a cheesecake platter/smapler option, which I was eager to purchase, but this is not to say that it doesn’t exist… Please let me know if anyone knows of one and a bit of specifics about it. Overall, I do suggest that, as stated, you go before 5pm if you are not someone that can eat a giant’s amount of food, but if you don’t mind a to-go box, the choices, you’ll find, are infinite… And will delight you infinitely!

Conclusion: I can’t wait to go again! I think that next time, although the food was WONDERFUL, I might opt to go for just a slice or two of cheesecake, since it was the very best part of the meal. It is rightly named, and is everything it is made out to be. It would be an excellent place to take a date, or to celebrate a holiday. Absolutely beautiful from start to finish. I HIGHLY recommend it!