Category Archives: Coco

Onset of Adulthood

Today I used my lunch break to run some errands. As I wheeled into the Stop & Shop parking lot (although everyone should know ShopRite has way better deals) I witnessed a moment that struck a few summertime memories. Two young girls were running towards the entrance look especially carefree and eager to find a cool treat to enjoy before spending the second half of the day by a pool somewhere. Ahhhh, to be young again.

Remember the days when nothing mattered? Literally, the only thing I was responsible for on a daily basis was wearing some sort of clothing, eating at least one meal, and not getting arrested (which wasn’t an issue in elementary and middle school, but things got a little hairy later on). Summers used to really kick ass. I mean, you wake up, eat something delicious like Lucky Charms, and then bother one of your parents to bring your somewhere fun or to a friend’s house. Everyday. Over and over. Not a care in the world. My life now, not so much.

When I was in elementary school I spent the summers in town run camps. Even though our mom was a teacher and did not have to work during the summer, I insisted on enrolling in multiple camps. They were the BEST. My favorite was Big Wheels. Each day all of the kids went to a different place (hence the reference to the big wheels on the bus that chauffeured us around). On a day like today, in the unbearable heat, we would definitely be hitting the beach. Now, as an adult, the thought of being responsible for 100+ small children make me dry heave, but back then it was pure ecstasy. Building other kids into the sand, buying 2 ft long ice pops from the snack stand. Those sure were the days.

In high school things changed because my friends and I could drive. Hours were spent each day just wasting time. Wasting time at the beach. Wasting time behind the CVS downtown. Wasting time at someone else’s house (preferably with a pool). Nothing really every happened during those summers, besides brief summer romances and the occasional haul to Misquamicut or Watch Hill beaches.

In high school, however, I was on the flag squad. I know, I know, who is on the flag squad? It sounds lame, but the benefits were great. I took a trip to Disney World with the squad and got to wear a cute spandex and gold sequenced outfits in front of all the football players. The worst part was the required band camp before school started. My only fond memory I have of those excruciatingly hot days practicing my flag twirls on the football field are of our lunch break. We had exactly one hour for lunch. At the stroke of noon every cool person at band camp (take that statement for what it is worth) shoved themselves into Jeep Cherokees (everyone had a Jeep back then) and headed to Wendy’s. I am not sure why we went to Wendy’s but that is what we did. The drive took about 10 minutes each way and there was always a line, so there were just 30 sweet minutes to enjoy of freedom and a frosty before heading back to camp. I loved their frostys. And I loved that in the band camp environment, I was pretty cool. This made for an excellent summer conclusion before heading back to the old grind.

What do I do now on hot, summer days? Sit in an air conditioned office staring at a computer screen or in a variety of meetings. At lunch, I eat my homemade sandwich (you save so much money brown-bagging it) at my desk looking at things on Craigslist. You have to consistently check it because the good stuff goes fast! Sometimes I run errands, like today. I had to pick up some apple juice for a pork dish I am making tonight. Oh, and I stopped by Pier 1 and grabbed a chair cushion to try out before committing to four of them. That is life as an adult. Grocery store deli meat sandwiches, computers, the constant hum of an air conditioner, and pre-planned dinners.

Green Daisy Dining Cushion(This is the actual cushion I bought. Thoughts?)

So, when I saw those girls sprinting towards the grocery store today, I silently told them to enjoy it. Things change. Not necessarily for the better (because I love having money and going on vacations without my parents), but those carefree days of my youth are long gone. I wonder if they have summer camp for adults. I would totally be in!

 

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Seattle is so hipster

Last week I was in Seattle, Washington for work. With a busy schedule full of work and school, I didn’t take much time to think about my trip to Seattle until, well, once I was on the plane there. My knowledge of the state included it was on the  West Coast and experiences lots of rain. That is pretty much it. Boy, was I in for a treat.

My first pseudo-mistake was booking a hotel .4 miles away from the convention center where the conference was being held. The last two conferences were held in New Orleans and Orlando so I am accustomed to sun and warmth. Forgetting Seattle can be rather wet, I booked a hotel a decent walking distance from the actual conference (purely for more Marriott points, obviously). Fortunately for me, it did not rain much while I was in Seattle and when it did, I was sitting in an uncomfortable conference center chair learning about how to market my organization better by panelist with 496% more funds for their projects and ideas than I will ever have.

On one of my walks to the conference center I snapped a quick photo of something I saw quite a bit in Seattle. Tight skinny jeans on guys. But these jegging-like jean wearers are not your typical Jonas brother look-a-likes. They are hipsters. With beanie hats and asymmetrical facial hair. Although I know wearing tight jeans is some sort of fashion statement for men, I am still not a fan. I doubt I ever will be. It just makes them look like a weird boy-bodied, man-face person. Creepy.

I eventually made my way down to the Pike Place Market, a trendy spot to buy overpriced tourist-y gifts. After learning more about Seattle’s food culture, my coworker and I decided to do a food tour of the Market. (We did the Savor Seattle Food Tour for anyone that ends up in Seattle looking for something fun and delicious to do) Our tour guide definitely had character.

At least he isn’t wearing skinny jeans!

Our tour guide, Eric, brought us around to ten different little shops throughout the Market. My favorite spot was the fresh produce stands. Seattle is very eco-friendly and green, so I was not surprised to see so many locally grown fruits and veggies. I obviously paid a ridiculously high amount for some Washington apples, however, I will say they were almost the size of my head and the most delectable fruit I have eaten in a long time. Worth the $2.99 a pound.

Purchasing the apple started a hipster movement in me while visting Seattle. Soon I was sipping on non-fat grande lattes with multiple flavor shots every 4 hours. I wore multiple scarves at once, not even noticing they didn’t match. My tightest jeans just could not get tight enough. And I was regretting not packing all of my boots. There must be something hipster in the water.

Soon I found myself at a cafe doing the most Seattle-hipster things ever. The experience began when I ordered some coffee drink with two shots of espresso and exotic sounding additional flavors with skim milk (in a biodegradable cup, of course). I then took a seat, placing my umbrella on the table next to my reusable water bottle I have filled up back at the hotel in anticipation of my walking adventure around the city. Then I opened my leather bound journal and starting writing about my travels and experiences while on the West Coast. If that wasn’t enough, I topped it all off with a read of the Seattle Weekly. It does not get more Seattle hipster than that!

To conclude my Seattle adventure, I journied to the location of a Sleepless in Seattle scene. All in all, Seattle kicks ass! So many people rode bikes and cared about the environment. I would compare it to Burlington, Vermont, just with less snow. An awesome place that I suggest everyone should check out if they can get to Washington!

This weekend I am headed to New Hampshire with E. Should be a good time. Hopefully something funny happens that I can share with all of you!

XoXo CoCo

Being Poor and the Great Hipster Hijack

This is a guest blog by E, my boyfriend. Enjoy!

If you had told me 6 years ago that at 25 I would be working a 9-5 desk job selling insurance for a living I would have laughed at you. I was a bearded rock and roll drummer living the life – playing shows, eating the now-discontinued $1 double cheeseburgers from McDonalds, staying up late playing Madden on the original PlayStation with my guitarist – life was good.

I was also a full time student and I was working the overnight shift at a local radio station making $7.35 an hour. Needless to say, I was poor.

But poorness had its bright spots. Steak was a legitimate treat, and the library was an air-conditioned haven where I could check my MySpace page and log into my AOL email address.  Being poor was an art and I was Picasso. Just remember, bouillon cubes make everything better.

I have a lot of great memories from the days when I was poor. Since my apartment had no cable, no internet and no phone, I read a lot more. It was during this time my love affair with great writers like Kerouac and Kurzweil started. I learned to sew my own jeans when they ripped, and I learned that you could haggle at the Goodwill store (try it sometime). I learned that cream cheese and pasta could make a delicious meal, and that 711 gives away their left over hotdogs at 3am every night for free! I painted on a canvas for the first time in my life, and I learned how to use a wet-saw when my bathroom needed new tiles.

I bought a used bike to save on gas. I fixed my old fishing pole and spent hours enjoying the hot summer sun. I walked a lot, I cooked a lot, and I truly learned the value of a dollar.

Since then times have changed and I’ve left my poorness behind. Then, about a year ago, something happened.

I was heading to my local dive bar to meet with my long-time friend, Kevin. I had been drinking PBR at this bar for almost 5 years. PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon for those of you who don’t know) is without a doubt the best tasting ‘cheap’ beer out there. Busch, Natty, Bud Ice – none of them can match the smooth, fruity, ice-cold, 1-dollar-a-pitcher carbonated deliciousness that is PBR. I had developed a taste for it when I was poor. It is a taste that I still love today.

“Two PBRs, barkeep!” I yelled excitedly over the grumbling murmur of over-worked, blue collar day laborers that filled the bar on that warm May night.

“That’ll be $6.50.”

Shocked and confused, I nearly fell off my rickety old stool. How could this be? Surely, this tall, bubbling glass of cold yellow nectar couldn’t be my beloved PBR. Not at $3.25 a glass! It must have been miss-poured. It must be some kind of shitty fancy maple syrup beer – brewed in Vermont by college drop outs that majored in the Arbor Sciences. Surely, this wasn’t MY PBR.

But it was.

And that’s when it started… The Great Hipster Hijack.

All of a sudden a strange movement had begun to sweep across the landscape of Facebook like a California wildfire. The unknown and anonymous dive bars that I loved became hotspots of hipsterism. Sales of 88’ Volvo Wagons went through the roof, and thousands of ugly losers armed themselves with acoustic guitars and infiltrated Starbucks all across America. Unemployed philosophy majors took to the streets on their longboards and left behind them a devastating path of hookah-bar destruction… tearing apart the very fabric of society with their Apple laptops and chai tea.

Hipsters have taken everything from us. Clove cigarettes, vintage t-shirts, prescription glasses, 35 millimeter film…taken!

I’m so sick of it. Wow you’re wearing fingerless gloves in August!  You must be edgy and depressed and deep. You must have ‘things’ to say about ‘society.’ You want to ‘break’ social ‘norms’ with your shitty, poorly written screenplay about a girl who hits the road in her Chevy Corsica and moves to Brooklyn to create art and ‘find herself.’ Fuck you. Fuck you and all of your wanna-be bullshit.

Oh, you don’t need money to be happy? Money is the root of all evil? All you need is your art and your Polaroid camera that you CAN’T EVEN BUY FILM FOR. Get a job! I’m so tired of it. No, I will not give you a ride to New York. Go to the library and post an add on Craig’s List under the Rideshare section. Then you and other stupid idiots can ride together on your way to see MGMT play at some small, loud, overcrowded bar in Brooklyn.

Make sure you take plenty of photos of your ‘big night in the city’ for Facebook. You wouldn’t want to actually do something in life without posting 48 photos of it under your cleverly titled Facebook pictures album, would you? “Big city stars and a big city dream on a big city bridge.”

Oh no, being an artist didn’t work out? Your 10 picture photo essay about ‘Finding Beauty in Every Day Places’ that you shot on your Holga camera isn’t selling, and you can’t pay the rent? Don’t worry, you can just move back home at the age of 29! It’ll be great! You picked up a really quirky black and white duvet cover for your twin sized bed, and the incense store down the street is going out of business. Buy 1 get 2 free! Everything is working out great!

I need a beer…

BF Wanted – Accepting Applications

I want to start off with a disclaimer: I love all of my friends. Whether from high school, college, or post-grad life, I have so many amazing friends in my life and I am so thankful for each and everyone one of them. That being said:

Living with my boyfriend has shed some light on his interactions with his friends. He has two best friends, one that lives close by and one that lives about 2 hours away. The local BF and my boyfriend play games through their phones each day (like Words With Friends and Chess), text each other funny inside jokes periodically throughout the day, and stop by and have lunch with each other usually at least once a week. They also enjoy an occasional trip to the casino together without anyone else. The friend in NYC and E talk on the phone every now and then, but hang out any time they can fit in a visit and are constantly texting and emailing each other funny links, quotes, etc. After witnessing these interactions for a few months I realized E has TWO best friends and I have NONE. This must be fixed.

Even though I have lots of good friends, I am now on the search for a best friend. There are a few things I am looking for in my best friend.

1. Views life from a positive perspective. No one wants to be friends with a Debbie Downer. I want to find a best friend that can look at the bright side of things. Life is so much more enjoyable that way.

(My new best friend will love running along the beach enjoying life!! )

2. Inside jokes. I would like to build up lots of inside jokes with my new best friend. Then we can text and email each other funny things related to our private jokes. But don’t worry, we won’t be those friends that make other people feel left out from their inside jokes. That shit is just rude.

This could be me and my new best friend telling inside jokes while on a fun camping trip!!

3. Won’t judge me. At my age, I just want to be who I am and enjoy my friends for who they are. No judgement, just good times!

4. Likes getting ridiculous. For those of you that know me, I love joking around and acting a bit ridiculous. I will need a friend who can at least enjoy being with me while I am in my element. The first example that comes to mind is dressing up like in ‘gangster’ clothes (including a tie-dye tank top and a bandanna on my head) and dancing to Carmen Electra’s strip tease video for my friends in college. So random, but hilarious.

And perhaps the most important of all:

5. Looking for a best friend as well. All of my current friends are spread so thin. Yes they are friends with me, but they also have 5r737490 friends they have to keep in contact and hang out with. I am lucky if I can schedule one lunch date a month with my friends in New Haven. This is the key to the friendships my boyfriend has with his best friends and how they are able to remain so close.

This list is all well and good, but now I have to find someone who meets the criteria. Have you ever tried to make a friend of the same gender at a neutral location like the gym or bookstore? It is awkward and difficult. When I used to drag my butt to the gym before work, I would see the same 20 people each morning. There was one woman that I wanted to make my friend and decided to strike up some conversation. As someone who has to converse with strangers for a living, I didn’t think this task would be so hard… but it was. I would get anxious waiting for an opportunity to arise where I could talk to her. Then when I did say something, I just sounded awkward and nervous. I made the mistake of finally speaking to her while relaxing in the sauna. Based on her reaction, I think she thought I was hitting on her. Opps. Not everyone will experience this type of anxiety around making new friends, but I don’t think anyone will say it is effortless.

So, perhaps by writing this post I will strike some interest in a potential friend. Until then, I am going to keep looking for a best friend… and working on my conversational skills (preferably while I am clothed). When I find her, I will let you all know!!!

~ CoCo

Failed Resolutions

For those of you that are unaware – more than three feet of snow has fallen over most of the Northeast. The first crazy storm hit Connecticut on December 26th and has not offered even a week-long reprieve. So, with blizzard after blizzard the snow has been pushed up into bigger and bigger piles. The ridiculous amount of white stuff has put a snow removal strain on many cities and businesses. One business that has failed HORRIBLY at removing its snow is … THE GYM.

The timing of these storms is horrible for anyone trying to stick to their workout resolutions. Why, you ask? Well, the gym isn’t exactly the more desirable place to be (I would get a pedicure or massage or go shopping), so in addition to dragging yourself to work out, now you have to sludge through snow, ice, and salt piles. Let me describe what going to my gym has been like for the past month.

I leave work at 4:30 pm and hop in my car. Almost all two lane roads are now one, meaning the commute to the gym has almost doubled. After speeding through changing lights and navigating around city buses, I wheel into the gym parking lot. Massive piles of snow are found at the end of each row, so seeing around any corner is impossible. Now I must proceed with caution because I have no idea if I am about to plow into another vehicle trying to find a spot to park.

As all of the legit parking spots are taken. everyone with an SUV decides they will make their own spot. Awesome. Now the barely drivable roads are cluttered with trucks and 4-wheel drive vehicles. I continue driving around hoping to catch a fellow gym member leaving a prime parking spot. When I do, I throw on my blinker and wait. At this point I don’t care if I have to sit and watch the person walk down the row, unlock their car, and get in… because I have a spot! I sit. And sit. And sit. Finally I realize the person who just got in their car has decided to call someone and have the longest conversation OF ALL TIME before driving home. Flip!!! In the past I have been naive enough to try and wait it out, but that has proven to be a waste of time. So I go back at it and drive around, trying to find another spot.

Typically within 10 to 15 minutes I am able to find a spot on the back side of the enormous gym or parking lot. Now I have to trek across the mountains of snow and ice to get inside. After the snow has melted and re-frozen a few times there is a think, glassy layer of ice left all over the parking lot. This ice tends to be the worst part to navigate. I slip and slide all over the parking lot, teetering along with my bag of gym clothes, water bottle, i-pod, shoes, etc. Finally, I make it to the door! Triumphant! But, there are days when I do not find a parking spot and have to leave the gym sans workout.

So, now that you understand what gym goers are facing everyday, it is clear why so many resolutions are probably failing. I applaud anyone who has continued to travel to the gym in the sleet, snow, and rain! It takes a real commitment to keep battling the parking lot, let alone the actual workout!

Currently, I am ignoring the cold weather by dreaming of a potential trip to South Carolina in May. Yayy!

~ CoCo

A Hickey and a Pocket Pet

Although I have only been out of my teens for seven years, I feel much wiser than my high school counter-parts. Amongst all the stupid things tweens can do, I would like to shed some light on two idiotic things I am encouraging NO ONE partake in.

One: Give or receive a hickey. Don’t do it. Not only is it horribly tacky, but it can cause a stroke. Yes, that is right. A whore, I mean, a woman in New Zealand realized she had lost feeling in the left side of her body while watching tv. After consulting her doctor they discovered her stroke was caused by a hickey. While there are multiple things wrong with this scene, the main message is to keep your lips (and tongue) to yourself. Love bites are slutty and can paralyze body parts (and not in a good way). Not worth the risk. Don’t believe me? Read the article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41188500/ns/world_news-weird_news/?gt1=43001

Second: Pocket Pets are all the rage. Apparently high school students and other teenagers have been swept away by the sugar glider craze. A pocket pet is an extremely small marsupial that can fit even in a person’s pocket… hence the name. I cannot even begin to explain how wrong this phenomenon is. ‘Young adults’ are frequently not mature enough to take care of themselves , let alone care for another living, breathing creature.

While these little pets ARE adorable, I do not believe it is appropriate for them to be in school with teenagers. Taking care of an animal is a huge responsibility.

While I am on the subject of animals, I hope E and I will get a cat sometime in the next year or so, but until then… we are going to get a fish. I feel at 26 I am ready to care for an animal, even if it is a fish to start with. At the Guilford Fair this summer I won a fish, whom I named Mantooth Guilford Schmidt, but he unfortunately swam right out of his bowl during the night and passed away : (  After a few months of mourning, I am ready to bring a new fish into my life… hopefully this weekend will be when we buy a new scaled-friend!!!

I will keep you all posted! Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my snow day!

xoxo CoCo

Plastic Surgery, Rats, Detergent, and Gold

Dear Mother Nature,

Thank you for recent gifts! Not only did the frigid temperatures help me catch a cold bad enough to keep me home 3 days last week, but the recent 24 inches of snow fallen provided me with a snow day. You may be wondering, what have I done with all the free time on my hands? Well Mother Nature, the answer is, watching A LOT of television. In appreciation of all your hard work (dumping 49 out of our 50 states with snow in the past week), I wanted to give you a heads up on all of the best shows of the season!

We will start with BridalPlasty on Sundays at 9 pm on E . Yes, it is an even trashier version of Black Swan, the show that aired many years ago claiming to help ‘ugly’ women become ‘beautiful’ swans with the help of plastic surgery. BridalPlasty follows the same idea, however, it is a competition for free surgeries with a grand prize of a dream, celebrity-style wedding. This show is so incredibly HORRIBLE in so many ways that it makes it intriguing. After watching a marathon (only featured on weekdays as my lovely sister pointed out in her last post), I have decided that Janessa is the worst woman in the entire world… ok, in the world of reality tv… this season. (Even in this picture she looks like a crazy, manipulative woman)

A&E has Monday nights covered. The season of Hoaders is just wrapping up, but this week’s episode featured a man that was hoarding RATS… more than 2,000 of them to be precise. This show is ridiculous, but actually does help those who are willing to receive therapy and cleaning assistance.

Although the Monday night 10 pm slot is shifting next week, I am anxiously waiting to see the first episode of Heavy on A&E. Each episode will feature two morbidly obese people fighting to loose weight over an extended period of time. I am an AVID Biggest Loser fan, so I obviously interested in this show as well. Plus, A&E does a great job keeping their reality shows about reality.

Tuesday nights are such a treat! Bravo (one of my favorite channels!) plays Millionaire Matchmaker at 9 pm. Originally based out of LA, Patty just wrapped up a season in NYC helping millionaires find true love. She screens candidates, plans a mixer, and then follows up with everyone after the big DATE. This show is fantastic. So many of the millionaires are nuts and super stuck in their own ways that Patty ends up kicking them out for doing something stupid. For example, a plus sized ‘millionairess’ decided to go on a date with a super-hot plumber whom she had nothing in common with (problem 1). During the date she offered to buy him a motorcycle and give him significant funding to start his own business (problem 2). And finally she told him she wanted to sleep with him and his response was he would prefer her to service him under the table immediately (problem 3). You can only imagine Patty’s response to this later! Ug, I just love the show.

On Wednesdays at 9 pm TLC offers an interesting show called My Strange Addiction. In each episode two different people are filmed while they begin to understand and overcome their addictions. In the most recent episode Tempestt finally tells her family about her addition to eating soap and dry laundry detergent. WHAT?!? These people are insane for eating this stuff. One woman had been eating Comet cleaner for 20+ years and had to have her entire top row of teeth removed. Another woman was addicted to sleeping with her blow dryer… while it was on! She had burn marks all over her arms and was currently going through a divorce because her husband could not handle her dangerous obsession. CRAZY.

Tempestt

Thursdays – The Jersey Shore. Enough Said.

Finally, for those of you that may end up at home on a Friday night (working all week tends to make me awfully tired on Fridays!!), Discovery offers a fantastic new series called Gold Rush. A bunch of guys from all over the country, facing bankruptcy and unemployment, decide to pool the little money they have and buy some land in Alaska and pan for gold. From injuries to family drama (they decided to move their families up to the middle of the wilderness of Alaska for the summer.. because that isn’t expensive or anything) make this show pretty awesome… and educational. Check it out!

I hope that my excessive tv watching for the past couple of days has helped educate a few people (including Mother Nature) on what new fantastic shows are out there. And of course, if you have any suggestions for a show I should be watching…. recommendations are welcome!!!

xoxo Coco