Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dream Wedding Venue

I've put a good amount of thought into what I want and don't want for an upcoming wedding. Something I've thought about a lot is the wedding venue. I know I don't want to get married at my church or Easy"s church. But I know I won't have/don't want a huge wedding budget.

If the sky was the limit, I'd want a wedding reminiscent of being outdoors in the midst of nature. For where I live, the ultimate in that-- for my personal nature preference-- is the Chicago Botanical Garden. It's just north of the city and so fabulous.

Having a likely winter wedding, it would be indoors. That would bring down the potential cost, but not much. To have a wedding there, with all the table, chair, linen, etc. rentals, it would be upwards of $10,000 dollars.

But I can dream, you know?

These picture are summer wedding pics. Imagine it as a winter wonderland. Sigh.

But I am looking for somewhere to have a wedding that allow a feeling of nature in some how, doesn't what will likely be my entire budget, and when you see it makes sense as a wedding venue.

I will figure it out. I've got time. Hey, I'm not even doing official planning yet. I just know when Easy sees this post, it's gonna be hard to convince him that I'm not wedding crazy.

I swear I'm not. I'm just really indecisive, and figuring out my dreams and inspiration early will make everyone's life much easier. Trust me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering How To Live Life

In the two weeks since I've started working, the adjustment has been to working nights, having demands on my time, and not being able to do every thing I wanted at the time I first wanted to.

But there is a new world emerging (now that I"m getting used to working nights). In this new world, I have to schedule things. Sure, there's less spontaneity, but there's also more resources.

As I inch closer to the weight ceiling I'm allowing myself, I worry that I won't get back to yoga before I cross that line. But I have a resource for that. My workplace has a pretty nice workout room. We have 24/7 free access to it. I packed up my workout bag and got myself a locker. Friday morning when I got off work, I went to the room and got back on the exercise bandwagon. I want to be fit and healthy, and right now I feel like I have more control over that situation.

As my friends plan events, I can't go to all of them, but I can go to some. And starting next Friday, I'll actually be able to fund my time out. Having my own spending money is something I had forgotten about. Well, I didn't forget, I just tried not to think about it because it wasn't a part of my happy place.

And vacations, oh vacations. Easy and I plan to go to NYC this summer, and I think we may just be able to pull it off!

Having my hobbies and travels and friends were important to me before. They kept me sane when I felt directionless for a year. But now they are an integral part of my life that keep my life full of more than just my job. So far, I love my job, but I'm also loving starting to plan for the days I don't have to work. And since it's summer, the plans are going to be quite interesting. If I have any say, it will be very interesting.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Mom Beating Me To The Punch

Yesterday, I posted about the differences Easy and I have in tastes for setting up an apartment. This led me to thoughts about my parents' and their sure-to-be-bad reaction to us living together before we're married.

Aside from leaving medical school and a few other big mistakes over the years, I generally agonize over the thought of doing something my parents won't like. This is a particularly sensitive situation because I don't want to make them angry right before I want them to pay out thousands of dollars for a wedding in the near future.

The decision Easy and I made to wait until we're engaged to talk about this with my parents makes me feel better, but it still won't be easy I don't think.

My mother said something to me Thursday morning that really made me feel quite a bit better. She said she was becoming less and less against the idea of Easy and I living together before we were married. She cited many of the reasons Easy and I had already come up with.

1. If we're getting married in less than a year, someone would have to break a lease for us to begin living together after we're married.

2. Doesn't make sense to pay two sets of rent. Could save lots more money with only one lease.

3. We'll be married so soon anyway, it's only a few months (her words, not mine).

4. Living with my parents isn't going well so far since I've started my job.

I was so happy to hear her reasoning. I didn't tell Easy yet, though I probably will by the time the post publishes. But it really makes me feel better that she won't go through her usual process of approval, then disapproval, then manipulation, then anger when we tell her our plans.

I feel as if I should explain #4. I love my parents, I like their house. But it's just weird for my old ass to be living at home when I have gainful employment. Plus, there's so much going on in the house all day and all night cause 4 adults (one of whom has too much time on his hands) lives there.

These two weeks that I've been working have shown me that it's not a good idea to still be living there. I can't expect everyone else to go around on eggshells because I have to sleep to get back up for work. I'm the only one in the house who works nights. If I were living with Easy, it'd be much easier for just him to be accommodating of my sleep needs.

And I knew this day would come. Even if Easy and I had never met, I'd be itching to move out once I had steady income. But it does make me feel a world better to know that my mom has an increased chance of being on board with my plan.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Moving In With Easy

One of my co-workers is working on furnishing her apartment, so she has catalogs from Crate & Barrel and CB2. It got me to thinknig about how Easy and I will be decorating an apartment together soon. We don't have extremely different taste, but we definitely don't have the same taste.

I want our walls covered with things we've collected from our trips to other countries as well as prints or paintings of nature. He wants framed posters of great musicians.

I want shelves and storage for everything. He wants neatly stacked piles.

I want my pink, purple, and black bedroom decorations. He wants his blue and brown decorations.

He wants a fan close by the bed. I want a humidifier close by.

These are not huge hurdles, but they are things we've sorted out from just a couple discussions and a few trips to St. Louis where his current apartment is. I'm sure before it's all said and done, there will be a lot of debating over which decoration/house arrangement works best for both of us.

But the thought of sorting that out had me again thinking of how to approach this subject with my parents. That's for another post though.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Long Day/Night, But I Think I'm Getting Used To It

When I got home from work, my mother was still home. Her stomach pain was still there and her doctor had instructed her to come into the office at 3 pm. Going into the doctor's office certainly beats getting put to the back of the line in the emergency room. The back of the line is exactly where you go when you walk in with stomach pain unless you start coughing up blood or re-enact the dress-shopping scene from Bridesmaids.

Before I got a chance to go to sleep, my mother asked me to go to Walgreens and pick up some pharmacy stuff for her. Still no prescription, just ibuprofen. Apparently not only is the doctor's office closed on Wednesday, they also treat it like a sabbath at that place. But I was happy to go because it was a very reasonable request. Plus, my brother was still sleep, so it's not like he could go.

When I got back, I set my sights on my bed. My cat Belle was already snuggled up under the covers as if she knew it was sleepy time. But I could go to sleep yet. My girl Camille is about to fly to Barcelona for a class tomorrow and I promised her I would have her Snuggie embroidered by then. In case you don't read the blog in which I discuss my friends' love lives and this is news to you, I really did just type Snuggie and embroidered together. I embroidered a Snuggie.

Well, I start a while ago, but I hadn't finished. So I stayed up to finish it because I wanted to keep my word. I hid my cell phone so I had no idea how much sleep I actually got. I seriously don't know. And I know that it might be my new trick for sleeping between work shifts. I'm not tired like I should be considering I didn't get even close to 8 hours of sleep. My brain is fully unaware of how much sleep I got, and that works for me.

I finished the Snuggie, curled up with Belle, who woke up only long enough to give me a look that said, "finally, now you can stop moving and we can both get some good sleep," and took a nice restful sleep. And now that I'm back at work (on break, yay!), I'm thinking about this weekend.

What are your weekend plans? Mine involve a birthday party, spending time with Easy, hopefully some Memorial Day barbeque, and of course, the most important... seeing Hangover 2!

I love movies, especially comedies. I love movies with sexy men in them. I love sequels. I love American movies shot in foreign countries. There are so many reasons to be super excited about this movie. It's one I've been looking forward to for sooo long. It's been a couple years since I was excited about several movie line ups for a whole summer movie season. It was back when Hancock, Iron Man, Dark Knight, etc. all came out. Good times.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just One Of Those Days

Wednesday was a day I'd like to not repeat too often. I only got one good thing accomplished today. But, bad news first.

I went to sleep last night because I was super tired and I couldn't stay up. Then I woke up at 6 am or so without having had a full night's rest. I figured this was a good thing because then I could get up for a few hours and then head to work and not be up for 20 hours like I was doing the first few days I worked.

That didn't go as planned. I got up and made breakfast, and just as I was settling back into the bed to chat with Easy while he was getting ready for work, my father comes into my room to ask me to take my mother to the emergency room.

I had already told her the night before that she should go to the ER because she was having acute stomach pain. She didn't listen to me. And now that it was time for me to get some sleep, now was the time to go. My father couldn't take her because he had to go to work. Her brother couldn't take her because he had to go to work. My brother couldn't take her because he's a lazy so-and-so. So, it was me.

My mother can't go to the emergency room without permission from her doctor. If her arm is about to fall off, she can go. But her arm wasn't about to fall off. We spent the rest of the time I should have been sleeping trying to track down the doctor on call for my mother's doctor, who was out of town (again).

Long story short, around 3:45, we still hadn't heard back from her doctor person, and I was running out of time. We had to decide whether or not to just take her to the emergency room for her pain that still hadn't gone away. Where was my brother in all of this? Chilling in his room! Freaking relaxing! It must be nice to be him.

So, I got no sleep, and I couldn't get into the shower to head to work until my brother got out of work. His defense for going before me? He had to be at work at 7. My mother informed him that I also had to be at work at 7, but I had to drive over an hour. I didn't have the heart to tell her I had to be there at 5 and was already late because of her ER situation.

So I finally headed off to work with one resolve: I no longer cared about how my parents felt about Easy and I moving in together. I needed out of that house. It's not fair that I'm the one who gets leaned on in these situations when there are other (albeit it less responsible) alternatives. If I were living in my apartment up north, they would have (and could have) worked it out without me.

And because I was late to work, I missed half of a mandatory training session. And because I missed it, I won't get credit for the part I did attend. And they only do that training once a year. I am on record for missing that training. That would not have happened if I lived elsewhere.

After not getting enough sleep last week because my brother can't be quiet during the day and having to choose between family and work this week, I'm more convinced than ever that I need to move. I need to move ASAP.

And if I'm moving and Easy is moving, it makes no sense for both of us to get 6 months leases, only to try and find 6 month leases again to move into together after we're officially married, and then figure out how to get to NYC if that's where we go next. That's a lot of moving and a big waste of money. My parents' won't like it, but that knowledge is undeniable.

The silver lining? Easy and I agreed on our plan of attack to officially announce this decision to move in together. We agreed on the reasoning and we agreed that we are going to wait until after I have a ring on my finger. And the exciting news is, Easy still says we'll be aiming to move into a new place by July. I added up those pieces of information, and I'm super excited. Did I mention that hardly anyone in my life is subtle?

I apologize if this post isn't completely coherent. I'm so sleepy, and the coffee is only keeping my eyes open, but not really keeping my brain functioning at its highest. And I'm spending my break at work blogging instead of napping or jogging around the block or something to wake me up. One of these days I'll figure it out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Do Not Care About Wedding Invitations

I read a lot of wedding blogs. I've been doing this since Easy and I first decided on a specific time frame for engagement and marriage. I have been reading for inspiration, for entertainment, and also to pin down exactly what I might want for my own wedding. Something interesting happened in my readings. I not only discovered what I really really wanted (like a dress that's not white), I also discovered the things I definitely couldn't care less about, like wedding invitations.

I mean literally the piece of paper that lets people know the when, where, what, etc. of a wedding. I just don't care. With all of my voracious consuming of wedding blogs, it's quite clear to me that the invitations, and save-the-dates, and place cards, etc. are very low on my list of worries and priorities for planning a wedding.

The ones that have been sent to my parents' house in the last couple of years have been split into two categories: visually appealing and God-awful. I just want something that looks classy and simple, clear cut and precise. I don't want the invitations to chart out the depth of our particular wedding theme.

The perfect solution to my wedding invitation indifference is to make it DIY. I cannot justify spending a ton of money for a fancy invitation that will not mean a thing to me (at least I don't think). Finding a great online invitation, personalizing it, and printing it out on a home computer sounds perfect.

It's actually right up my alley in terms of skill set. I make designs for things all the time. I've done Sunday School brochures for my mom, Youth Department brochures for my church, album covers for Easy's demo. I specialize in simple, clean, and precise. I could totally design our invites and keep them simple and classy and get them done for the price of an online template and printer ink.

As long as Easy likes the idea, this is definitely what we'll be doing. I'm also excited because it's officially my first DIY project. Seeing as how we want a short engagement, the invites (or at least some save-the-dates) would have to go out almost immediately after he puts a ring on my finger. I'm just glad I found a way to make invites more exciting for me. They have to be done. I might as well enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch, Double Dating, And Re-Decorating

I'm just now getting around to finishing this post because I was writing about other things and then my PC was down. Have I mentioned I was having computer issues?

My mom and I went to lunch on a Thursday afternoon a while ago with Jordan. She's the girlfriend of one of my best friends, Bad. We ate in the Walnut Room at the Macy's in downtown Chicago on State Street. I'd never been there before and so I was glad to check that off my list. It's practically a Chicago landmark.

The lunch was a lot of fun. I finally feel like I can successfully reach out to the girlfriends of my close guy friends. My mother is a big help in that department. But Jordan is going to be a big part of our lives over the years, so I'm glad we're getting a head start on familial comfort.

Since that time, Bad and Jordan have hung out with Easy and I twice. I like spending time with them. I dare say I enjoy it more than spending time with other couples, except maybe one. Easy and I know a number of other couples, but having a couple we can hang out with as a couple hasn't been the easiest task. But we're trying, and Bad and Jordan are good candidates.

Jordan is helping my mom with planning to redecorate my parents' house. She is supposed to come by the house this week to look at what we've got going and to help plan some things out for re-decorating. I'm super glad about that because I've made no bones about my low opinion of the decor they have going.

I'm looking forward to getting to know Jordan better and really developing a real relationship with her. And after I feel like I have some real skill at this, I'll reach out to Sonny's girl, Cher.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Things That Don't Fit Into My New Life

There have been a couple of occurrences recently that don't fit into this fancy lovely wonderfully optimistic view I have of what my new life will be like.

The first is that I missed my friends' birthday celebration on Saturday night. Part of having this job meant having income and the ability to really do great things for my friends for their birthdays. But unfortunately, that didn't happen. My first paycheck is still weeks away, and having to go to work that isn't a 9-5 means missing events.

I honestly don't feel too bad about missing the event. I really wanted to be out with my people, but I was glad to have that sense of purpose to get to work. And my girl Gloria's birthday is coming up and she's having a birthday celebration this weekend. I'll be going to that and I'll make sure I let them know I'm celebrating both their birthdays that one night out.

The second thing that doesn't fit is having to sort out car-pooling to work. I spent a very long time today sorting out all the possibilities with public transportation. If we don't want to drive, we can take a combination of the CTA Green Line, the CTA bus, The Metra Train, The PACE bus, and a taxi to and from work. And that would take 2+ hours whereas driving takes 1 hour. And it would cost us and extra $50-100 each month.

Driving to work is the more affordable option. Crazy right? My vision of myself as one of those women hopping on the Metra, reading my Kindle on the way to work, will never be. At least not until I move up north and reassess the travel situation.

The third thing is that settling down with Easy is this wonderful thing that makes me feel like we're the only two people in the world. That is until an ex (or something like it) pops up. PT texted me on some "just running cross my mind" stuff. He asked how I was and if we could catch up soon.

After checking with Easy, who's very laissez-faire about involvement with exes, I agreed to grab coffee with him some day this week. I told him Wednesday or so worked for me this coming week. Since I agreed to catch up with him over coffee, I haven't heard from him, so we'll see if it happens or not.

But him popping up out of nowhere was a bit jarring. I haven't spoken to this man since I decided I preferred Easy over him. And we never had a "we need to talk" discussion. We just fizzled out. So why does he want to catch up? I don't know and mostly don't care. But I am glad that I have good things to report. The last time we spoke, I was floundering out in a jobless abyss. He picked a good time to catch up since I actually have life updates to report.

The last thing is that my wrist hurts. I think I slept on in weird a couple weeks ago, but it's been hurting since then. When I type it really hurts. That sucks because of my typing for blogging and the fact that almost all my job training is one the computer. Also, I'm worried that it's carpal tunnel or some sort of stress fracture. I'm not getting it checked out until my insurance kicks in mid-June, so I just hope whatever is wrong with it will be fine until then.

It just doesn't sit right with me that I could have some sort of health problem. My insurance hasn't kicked in yet damnit! But I guess if I had to start falling apart at any point while uninsured, just a few weeks before I can fix it is the best time.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Settling Into The Job And Preparing For The Next Step

I've decided that so far I like my job. Everyone is so nice. They are always smiling and look relatively stress-free. Dealing with organ donation means dealing with people who are both receiving and giving organs and tissue. That means you deal with death. That could make for a lot of unhappy or indifferent or jaded people, but so far that's not the case.

In medical school, being in the emergency room was exciting, but also draining. I will never forget the night a 21 year old arrives at the hospital already dead. The response of the doctors and nurses was probably my second major indication that perhaps medicine wasn't for me. In my current job, the response is much better. Death is sad, but something positive can come from it. That works much better with who I am as a person.

And on to the next step. What is that next step? Why I have to find an apartment for Easy and I. And I have to find a way to break that news to my parents. My friend Bad pointed me in the right direction for where to start.

So far, I know I want to stay in the city limits of Chicago. I'd prefer to live up north because that would work better for me travelling to and from work as well as Easy going to gigs. But living south would be closer to our friends, family, and church. I think being up north might be better for Easy so he maintains that feeling of being off on his own and not so tied in to his people. It's not that he wants to be away from them, it's just that he's eager to form his own life.

So where would we live? I love Rogers Park and I hear Ravenswood or Andersonville would be right up my alley. Where are these areas? Andersonville is around Ashland between Bryn Mawr and Foster. Ravenswood is around Lawrence and Ashland. Rogers Park is around Touhy and Clark. The question would be how much apartment could we get for our money. We have to save up for whatever the next step will be, but I need, I need to be comfortable in my surroundings.

Ideally, I'd want a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment circling 1000 square feet. Paying around $1.00 per square foot sounds reasonable to me. But I'm learning this all from scratch. I've only searched for Chicago apartments occasionally over the years, and this will be the first time it has to produce real results in just a matter of weeks. Literally, like four weeks. I guess I'll start looking at options and that will help decide the step we take next.

There are some interesting looking places. Like this.
Building / Model Image Photo [1/4] Building / Model Image Photo [1/4]
pics from the Apartment People

I still don't know what's going to happen next. But the apartments don't look terrible, they aren't completely out of our price range, and the location would suit what Easy and I had discussed. I do love shopping of any kind.

Any suggestions for finding a great 2 bedroom apartment in Chicago?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Plans for My New Life With An Income

This job I have is my first "real" job. That means a steady paycheck, 40 hours of work per week, benefits, pension plan, everything. But the most important part for an unmarried, childless, mortgage-less woman in her 20s are all the fabulous things I get to do with my income.

They are: my own place, student loans, spa appointments, varied workout schedule, live performances, great gifts, and saving for the future.

My Own Place
I moved back in with my parents when I decided to leave medical school. That was fine because I hang out with them all the time and they treat me like I'm an adult. It mostly sucks because I don't have my own space outside of a bedroom anymore. Also, I felt like such a loser that the most I could contribute to the household was occasionally making dinner.

Student Loans
I will be re-negotiating my payments to match my salary and making those payments all by myself. Any help from the family will be voluntary and not essential to preserving my financial future.

Spa Appointments
Eyebrow waxing, Brazilian, massage, facial, mani-pedi. Need I say more?

Varied Workout Schedule
I have been dying to have a varied schedule, but I've never been able to afford it. Ideally, I'd like to go running at least 3 times a week (free! score!). Also, I'd like to go back to ballroom dancing, back to yoga, and back to rock climbing. If I could do one of those three things 5-6 days a week, I would have the perfect (for me, I know I don't represent the masses) workout schedule.

Live Performances
I love live music, theater, dance performance, hell even spoken word ("the suuuun in the skyyyy" or something like that). And I can finally afford to go to some shows. Not all. Alicia Keys, you cost too damn much. But Janet, I'll pay to go see. I'll just have to budget.

Great Gifts
I think about the perfect gifts for people all the time. For instance, a good friend of mine has a birthday on the 19th, but I didn't get her anything. When I get paid, I will get her a Magic Bullet. It's the perfect gift for her to make smoothies. Perverts. But I can finally do more than bargain hunt on amazon.com to get people the gifts I know they'd love.

Saving For The Future
I have to be realistic though about the future. My wants sound extensive, but since it will be just me (and Easy, but no kids! Yet.), they aren't extensive enough to keep me from really putting away some savings for whatever step comes next. I have to focus on my needs, and I needs to save money.

I hope I'm not over-planning, but I'm just so excited, as if that weren't super obvious.

Starting My New Job And Other Life Changes

So, I haven't fixed my computer issues, but I do have PC access as well as internet on my new job, and I'll be doing my best to keep up with blog posts on the nights I work. At least, one day in, that's my plan.

I've missed the blogging world. I've been trying to keep up with reading everyone's blogs, but I'm about three weeks behind. Consequently, I will be putting comments on blogs late as hell, ha ha.

Okay, so back to this new job. Everyone here is so shiny and happy. If you watch Grey's Anatomy, you probably get that reference. I'm not a Meredith or a Christina. I'm more of a little Grey. Shiny and happy (plus lots of windows in my office) works for me.

I don't think I will say where I'm working, but I feel that keeping it completely secret isn't warranted. A woman who was hired with me gave the company a shout out of her Facebook page. What I will do is say the type of work I'll be doing. I will be helping with organ donation. Expect plugs for signing up to be a donor for organs, tissue, blood, and bone marrow in the future.

There are also other big changes in my life that concern Easy. Our plan before I got  this job was for me to start looking for jobs in St. Louis and move down there at some point in the engagement/marriage plans we have for the next year (not next year, the next 12 months, well 9 months now). But that changed when I got this amazing job in Chicago.

Easy knows I would pack up and move for him if he got a great career opportunity, and he says he would do the same for me. Turns out, he wasn't just talking. His school year ends June 3rd. His roommate (plus one new wife) are settling into their apartment June 17th. So, we have to find a place in Chicago for us to move into by June 17th.

Did I forget to mention this wasn't at all the plan? Making this move so soon, while sorting out what he's going to do for employment, what we'll be paying in student loans, and when we're actually getting married engaged, was not the plan. Oh, and I have to find some way to tell my parents that we're going to live together before we're even engaged.

A big part of me is excited, another big part of me is trying to keep my feet on the ground about all the changes. I have been feeling for so long that my life was at a standstill with no forward movement. And suddenly, it's all moving forward very fast. I couldn't be happier about that fact. All of my frustration is gone. Finally!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Starting A New Job Monday And Other Updates

I haven't been posting like usual because of my continued computer issues. But I did want to put an update because the last thing I said what I got the job. I'm not sure about what I can say about the job, so I'll say nothing so far except I love the salary and benefits, and I am actually using my degree and medical school training! Yay.

My first day of work is Monday morning. Technically, it's new employee orientation. But I get paid for my time there, and it's the kickoff of the countdown to the 30 days before my healthcare kicks in. My friend Bad says we have to have a "gainful employment party". I wanted to wait until I had officially started earning money, so perhaps we can set something up for soon.

I spent the last week in St. Louis with Easy because I have no idea when the next time I'll be able to get down there to see him. He's winding down his school year, so he'll be able to spend some time in Chicago. I am very much looking forward to that.

Oh, by the way, the bowling league that I was on ended two Fridays ago. My team won first place! My handicap plus others' skills clinched the win for us. It's pretty exciting for bragging rights as well as for a sense of accomplishment.

I'm most looking forward to having a consistent paycheck that will finally allow me to live the life I've been dying to have in my 20s. I have no kids or mortgage or anything, so I'll be able to have fun but also save money for when Easy and I head to New York.

That's all for an update now. But I look forward to the near future when I've purchased my new MacBook and I can post updates about my career, friends, family, hobbies, and love life.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Computer Woes, And Some Great News

The problems have started again. When I turn on my computer, it either loads up or gives me a screen that says startup repair. It's been all startup repair the last couple of days.

So, I'm e-mailing in a post to give a quick update until I have time to do a full posting. I got the job! They called me Wednesday and I missed the call. I called back Thursday and the HR person was out of the office. But we finally spoke Friday morning.

They offered me a job similar to the one I interviewed for, except it uses my degree more. The benefits and salary are so amazing for this being my first real job. I couldn't be more excited.

Later Friday, it was the last night of bowling for my church league. My team is in first place, but the second place team could have stolen victory had they won all three games. They didn't do that. And so my team became league champions! That was the perfect end to the night.

Last Friday will go down in history as one of my favorite days of 2011. I start in two weeks. Yay for me.

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