Authentic Experience Sat, 05 May 2012 06:59:40 +0000 en hourly 1 Darning Needles & Crock Pots Sat, 05 May 2012 06:59:33 +0000 nikkiana Ever since James got home from Arizona on Monday, he’s had a one track mind. Crock pots. And how we need to have one…. like now.

I just assumed we were going to go around the corner to the hardware store or the dollar store and buy the standard cheap-ass crock pot and be done with it… but no, he wanted to get a good crockpot from a department store and who would I be to discourage that! He had me look up the nearest location for Bed, Bath and Beyond and we decided that Friday would be the day that we got ourselves up and moving in the morning and go buy our crock pot.

It also so happened that I was in need of a darning needle. I had pretty much finished the first of the pair of socks I’ve been working on Wednesday night and they were stuck on the needles until I got a darning needle to finish them off. So, I decided to look up where the nearest yarn store to where we were going was… which happened to be about twenty blocks north of Bed Bath and Beyond. Close enough to go there first, and then walk the rest of the way. It also happened to be across the street from one of the specialty bra stores that happens to sell my size, so I happened to sort of be familiar with what was around the particular subway stop we were going to… but I also really wasn’t thinking about it that hard.

As we were walking to catch the train, all of the sudden I realized… “Oh shit! We don’t have to go to Bed Bath and Beyond at ALL! We can totally do one better… We can go to.. that store… oh what’s it called… the one that starts with a Z and has the deli on the first floor and the kitchen gadgets on the second floor… What the hell is that place called….”

Zabar’s. It’s called Zabar’s. But of course, I didn’t remember that until I was staring at it on the street.

So first, we went to The Yarn Company and endured the experience of buying a $1 item with an overkill point of sale system and sales tax. My total came to $1.04. I paid $1.05, and honestly… I would have been totally happy with walking out the door one less penny, but the woman behind the counter seemed intent on giving me the one cent I was owed and my receipt but for some reason couldn’t get the register to open… which involved her calling over the other woman working there to figure out how to get the damn thing open. Result? Awkwardly long transaction for something that cost a $1.

As soon as we were out of the store, we were laughing about it and I said, “You know, after it was obvious she was intent on making change I sorta couldn’t bring myself to just walk out… I needed to know how long it was going to take.

But otherwise, good shopping experience. I liked their selection.

We then walked down to Zabar’s. I love Zabar’s. I think a large part of it is their housewares department reminds me of the kitchen store that I used to work at in college only it’s about three or four times as large. It’s one of those places that sells kitchen gadgets for things that you didn’t realize you actually needed a specialty kitchen gadget for. We ended up getting a crock pot, a cookie sheet and some wine stoppers.

And of course, without further ado… The pictures.

James and The Pot of Crockery.

The sock, featuring James’ hairy leg.

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Sunday Confessions #5 Sun, 29 Apr 2012 06:21:20 +0000 nikkiana

1. I ate a whole package of bologna in the past two days. I just go through these phases where all I want is a bologna sandwich… and I just can’t stop eating them until it’s gone. Yay for severely processed meat food product.

2. I have spent the past two days watching Toddlers & Tiaras. Yes, I really have been that bored while James has been gone.

3. My sleep schedule has been frightening this week. Between James being out of town and being smacked with a nasty cold, I’ve been doing the whole sleep when you’re tired, awake when you’re not thing and it’s meant that I’ve been crawling into bed around 7 AM and sleeping till about 2 PM.

4. I’ve been terrible about exercising ever since I wrote the post about it. You’d think that I’d learn that when I write about a new habit on my blog, I usually end up stumbling on my face with it. I’d planned to get back on the wagon this week, but when you can barely breathe through your nose… Working out doesn’t sound like much fun.

5. Sometimes I look my friends list on Facebook or who I follow on Twitter and think “This is way too many people to be following, I can’t keep up.” Then I spend another hour realizing that I can’t bring myself to actually delete anybody.

What are your confessions?

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Of Vests and Socks, A Knitting Update Mon, 23 Apr 2012 03:54:38 +0000 nikkiana If there’s one thing that this writing funk that I seem to be in the midst of has made some extra time for, it’s knitting. I’ve been trying to pick up the needles more when I’m just hanging around the apartment and work towards the accomplishment of the making of the things!

As I mentioned a week or so ago or whenever it was, I’ve been working on the Accidentally on Purpose Drop Stitch Vest from Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation. I haven’t made a lot of progress on it, but that’s largely because I ran out of balls of yarn on me. I have enough to finish the project, but that’s at my apartment… and I’m at James’ apartment… so I’m going to have go pick up the rest of the yarn for the project. From the looks of it already, I have a feeling that it’s going to be a bit small for me to wear it when it’s done… but I’m sure I’ll find it a good home!

(Also pictured is our crazy new bedsheets).

But never to fear, when I carry knitting projects on me, I usually carry more than one and I’ve got a sock on the needles, people!

I cast on this project sometime over the winter, which is going to eventually be a pair of socks for James. The pattern I’m using is Mr. Pitt’s Socks being knit with Numma Numma The Usual in Red Barlett Pear. I’m pretty sure I got it when I was in The Loopy Ewe‘s sock yarn club, because it’s not a colorway that I particularly gravitate toward but it’s awesome for a man’s sock. I just finished turning the heel and the gusset and now am on the home stretch to the foot and toe… and then I start all over again and make the second sock. I should have it done by next Christmas.

(Also pictured, my hairy leg.)

What did you do this weekend? Anything crafty?

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Stuck. Sun, 22 Apr 2012 03:17:35 +0000 nikkiana One of the things that I’ve discovered about my anxiety triggers, particularly within the last year, is that a large part of my anxiety issues have to do with communication. When I’m having difficulty finding the words to express how I am feeling, my anxiety will spike and I’ll just get stuck.

That’s where I’m at right now.

I feel like I don’t know what to say right now other than to describe how I feel when I get this way.

I like to use the word stuck.

It feels like there are words and feelings inside of me that are stuck somewhere, and I can’t seem to get them out. If I try to push myself to write or to talk, it feels like my chest and throat are closing in on me and whatever I’m trying to say just gets stuck on the way out.

I find I have the be patient with myself in times like this, it will pass and eventually the words will come to me easier.

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Getting Back into the Crafting Spirit Thu, 12 Apr 2012 08:54:32 +0000 nikkiana I’ll admit it. I do have a deep seated love for anything crafty. I grew up with a mother who has been pretty much into everything crafty over the years… knitting, crocheting, sewing, counted cross-stitch, plastic canvas… she even went through a phase of basket making. I’m sure I’m missing some of the things she’s done over the years I’ve been alive. She always has a project or two going at any given time. It’s in my blood a little bit.

I’ve never been anywhere near as prolific. My crafting was a lot more varied as a child, thanks to art classes at school and projects that were done through Girl Scouts and 4-H (largely led by my mother and some of her friends) but as an adult, I’ve mostly settled into knitting and spinning as my primary crafty mediums, and for a brief period I dabbled a bit with digital scrapbooking.

When I moved to New York City, my crafting dropped off significantly. I went from knitting something like fifteen projects a year to knitting one or two. Truth be told, a lot of the drop off of my craftiness had to do with the fact that when I moved to the city, my evening plans nearly always involved a drink or two. Knitting’s a hobby that requires some fine precision movement and the ability to count… both are things that I have learned I’m not very good at once I’ve had a drink or two.

Fast approaching my third anniversary of living in New York, I’m finding myself slowing down a bit. My evenings are more likely to involve staying in than going out, my alcohol consumption has decreased fairly significantly, and I’m trying to make a more active attempt at picking up the needles. The past couple of days, I’ve re-picked up a project to knit a drop stitch vest that I started months ago. It doesn’t look like much right now other than a piece of pink fabric, but it’s progressing along quite nicely.


One of the things I love about knitting is that it’s a very meditative craft, especially when you’re doing something as plain as the project that I’m working on… and as I was knitting last night, I realized that I’m feeling creatively restless and I feel like I’m being seriously held back by fear at times, and one of the reasons I find I cling so hard to knitting and don’t try to do other things is because I’m afraid that I’m not going to fail and whatever I make is going to suck.

I find myself constantly poking through various blogs, Etsy, and Pinterest and finding all these wonderful ideas of things to make. However, I’ve also been feeling jealous of all these creative people out there are coming up with fabulous stuff to make and feeling woefully inadequate to join in the fun. And I know deep down I’m just making bullshit excuses. I should just try, and sure not everything is going to come out great but live and learn…

Which I brings me to an item that James handed me today wondering if I couldn’t make anything out of. He was cleaning out his storage room, and found three reels worth of 2 inch tape that’s no good for recording anymore.. something like 4.5 miles worth of the stuff. There’s got to be something I can do with it? Right?


It’s matte on one side, and shiny on the other and probably about as thick as a piece of printer paper.

I’ve been hard pressed to come up with ideas for it. Some searching on Google has brought up some bags that people have knit with VHS tape, which is similar but a fair bit thinner… and I’m not sure this would knit up as nice, though I figure I’ll probably give it a shot, but I do feel like it could be used for more than that.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Exercise! Wed, 11 Apr 2012 03:19:24 +0000 nikkiana

Living the Right Life is a weekly link-up hosted by Ashley and Megan about trading all the “shoulds” in life for all of your wants.

I’ve been admiring the Living the Right Life link-up for awhile, but never have managed to get around to posting anything for it, but after reading Megan’s post Endorphins Make Your Happy about how the days where she gets up and gets moving she’s generally happier, it got me thinking about my own exercise situation.

For some reason, after I graduated high school, exercise became a dirty word in my vocabulary. It was that thing that sorta always hung over my head as something I should do, but the thought of actually doing it would send me straight into a panic attack. The thought that exercise could actually help with anxiety and depression was outright laughable in my mind. My internal reaction every time I came arcoss the tidbit was along the lines of “Seriously? Exercise? EXERCISE CAUSES PANIC ATTACKS, PEOPLE! YOU’RE ALL INSANE!”

My early twenties were littered with attempts to exercise.

I remember before I got married, I got bit by the “I should exercise and watch what I eat” bug because all the other brides on the message boards were doing it and lasted about a week because the only place I had to exercise was in the living room of my parents house. There is NOTHING that will kill your very very feeble desire to exercise more than being watched by two people who are clearly annoyed that your exercise routine is distracting from them watching Law and Order.

I lived in an apartment complex with a gym at one point. I tried to get into the habit of going to the gym with my ex, but a few days in and I would get to the gym and start having a panic attack because the prospect of having to spend 30 minutes doing something I absolutely loathed when I could be at home curled up with my computer surfing the Internet just made me insane.

I tried hiring a personal trainer who would come to your house and get you to exercise once, and I never had her back because there was one exercise in the routine she came up with for me that I couldn’t do without being in pain that she had to modify for me and it sent me into a spiral of “I don’t want to do this.”

Exercise was something that I crashed and burned at. Yet, I was totally fixated on the fact that it was something that I should do.

When I moved to New York City in 2009, something shifted. All of the sudden, I stopped caring about exercise all together.

I think a large part of it was prior to moving to the city, I belonged to a message board community where there were a lot of women who were concerned about their diet and exercise habits. It wasn’t really my style to be concerned about such things, but the fact that it was a constant topic of discussion really made me feel pretty less than. So, I tried to force myself to be interested in something I didn’t have an interest in. That doesn’t work AT ALL.

When I moved to the city, I stopped posting on the message board because I didn’t have time to anymore. The topic was no longer in my face anymore and I stopped thinking about it all together.

And I started walking. A lot.

When I first moved to the city, it was summer and I lived a half a mile from the nearest subway station. I loved walking around the city aimlessly just exploring to see what was there. I was exercising CONSTANTLY, and I had no conscious realization that I was doing it. My walking does definitely drop off when it’s cold out, but as soon as it’s warm, I walk everywhere I can.

Recently (as in the last week), I’ve been trying to add in a few other things to my daily routine. A long time ago, I bookmarked One Hundred Pushups and Two Hundred Situps and I decided to give them another look and use them as a starting off point to introducing some more exercise into my daily life. I’ve already gotten a little bored with the sit-ups program, so I’ve been poking around the web finding alternative ab workouts but I’ve been sticking pretty strictly to the pushup one.

It’s only been a few days, but I feel like I’m already seeing some improvement. The first day of pushups was super tough, but they seemed a whole lot easier when I did them today.

The big thing that I’m carrying into it this time around is attitude. Before, I always was concerned that I had to be perfect. In the past, if I missed a day, it was the end of the world and it wasn’t worth doing anymore. If I miss a day now, it’s not a big deal. I’ll do it tomorrow.

And I actually want to do this. I’m not doing it just because I feel like I should because I need to fit in somewhere.

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What I Did For Easter Sunday Mon, 09 Apr 2012 17:45:26 +0000 nikkiana I take everything I said back about things resuming to normal with the computer situation. At probably sometime around six o’clock in the morning on Sunday, I heard the Windows shut down noise and a system beep and then silence. The computer just randomly shut down. I didn’t think a whole lot of it… rolled back over and fell back to sleep.

Several hours later… James is muttering curse words under his breath. The computer that I passed on to him won’t boot. Power supply works, but nothing shows up on the screen which says to me the motherboard shit the bed. Lovely. Just what I wanted for Easter, to have to share my computer AGAIN.

Seriously… what the fuck is going on? Has the universe conspired to make us have to spend money on new parts? So not cool, man. So not cool.

Upon this most unfortunate discovery, we decided that the best way to deal with it was just to walk away from it… literally. It was a beautiful day outside, so we decided to walk up to Fort Tryon Park, which is absolutely beautiful. Also, very not flat. The rest of NYC? Pretty darn flat. I’m not used to walking up hills anymore. My legs were KILLING ME by the time we got home.

I only managed to get one picture out on the walk, when we discovered where the road is to get to the Cloisters by car, and because Instagram is finally out for Android, I had to try it out.

When I got home, I wasn’t feeling so great. I was sore and my stomach ended up being upset and I ended up throwing up and then I felt fine after, so it wasn’t that I was ill or anything. I spent most of the afternoon sleeping it off at any rate.

James made our Easter dinner of scalloped potatoes and ham steak, which came out pretty excellent. He’s excited that he was able to make scalloped potatoes successfully, and really the only thoughts that we had about the dish is that it really did need some more seasoning. The recipe that his grandmother had given him called for onions, but we left them out because he’s not a huge onion fan. I think we’ll probably put them in next time or experiment with some other sorts of seasoning.

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Dead Rat, Living Room Floor Sun, 08 Apr 2012 01:04:33 +0000 nikkiana Things are resuming to normal on the computer front. James has installed Windows on the computer that used to be mine, so he’s back to watching Netflix on his own computer and not having to use mine, which means I’m back to being able to freely do all of those things that I do on the Internet.

Which is great… except for the fact that I’ve started four different blog posts that I seem to hit writers block with about a paragraph in. Woo!

I did do a guest post over at Imperfect Kate in her series on Modesty this past Monday which I forgot to post about here.

In other news… The cat just killed a rat and it’s now dead on the living room rug. I couldn’t decide at first whether it was a rat or not because it’s quite a bit smaller than the rats I seem prowling around outside… but it’s definitely too big to be a mouse.

I will be kind and not post the photo I took, but if you care to see the kill, I did post it on Twitter.

It was kind of a disturbing and entertaining event… I heard a crash in the kitchen, and went running in there and Logan went trotting in the other direction with a rat in his mouth, and dropped it right on the rug, and then proceeded to bat it around the living room while it squeaked and screamed but was too injured to run away.

I may have screamed along with it. As well as yelling at the cat to leave it on the kitchen floor, because honestly… I’d rather have a dead thing on the kitchen floor because that floor can be mopped.

The cat is now sleeping next to his kill. I’m too chicken to take the dust pan and get rid of it, so it’s going to stay on the living room floor until he gets home.

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Computer Catastrophe Mon, 02 Apr 2012 01:56:27 +0000 nikkiana I’m feeling a little bit guilty because I posted that call about doing a button exchange for April last week and then sorta failed to follow up with anyone about it by the 1st… I’ll be getting back to those of you who were interested as soon as I can (it’s on my todo list for this week).

In my defense it had to do with a computer catastrophe. Tuesday night, James’ computer did some crazy sort of blue screen thing and then after that refused to boot. Let’s just say that Tuesday night was a little tense, to say the least.

It’s also meant I’ve had to share ever since then…

We went and got my desktop from my apartment Wednesday night so at least we don’t have to share all the time, but my desktop is running Ubuntu Linux not Windows, so that means he can’t watch his beloved Netflix without taking possession of my laptop, so my recreational web surfing has been cut back significantly until we get the whole computer situation sussed out.

On the plus side, it’s meant that the Amazon Prime account that I impulsively bought about four months ago is now getting some use. At least that works in Linux. Though, to be honest I’m not super in love with Prime… I got the account without really doing much research into it, and I really should have done more. I had just read that if you got a Prime account, there were free streaming television shows and movies…. and there are, it’s just that the majority of Amazon’s library is not. Most stuff costs somewhere between $1.99 – $3.99 for a 48 viewing window… and much of the stuff that is free? Also available on Netflix. So, for the reason I wanted it… It’s kinda ended up being a little useless.

Hopefully, we’ll get this all ironed out by the end of the week and then be back to normal.

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Sunday Confessions #4 Sun, 01 Apr 2012 18:52:41 +0000 nikkiana

1. I’m notoriously bad at shaving. You see, the trouble about shaving is it takes time and it involves expenses like razors.  I sport hairy pits and legs more often than not simply because I hate to spend money and take the time. I pretty much only tame it for burlesque shows.

2. I have a bad habit of writing blog post drafts on the WordPress app on my phone when I’m on the subway and then never syncing them with the web once I’m above ground. Which is exactly what I started doing with this post this week and I only now just remembered that I’d already started by Confessions.

3. If it weren’t for the fact that James is constantly watching television, I’d never watch it. I don’t know what it is… when left to my own devices, it just doesn’t occur to me to watch TV and veg out. I’m constantly reading something or writing something and I just don’t want to be bothered.

4. I love incense. I always have. However, I have spent the majority of my life around people who don’t like it. My mother hated it. My ex hated it. I’ve been on an incense burning marathon the past few months because I’ve realized that there is NO ONE who can tell me not to anymore.

5. I’ve been playing Uno on my phone before I go to bed. I tend to play really simple puzzle games or board games on my phone and/or Game Boy before I go to sleep… and lately the one that I seem to be totally enamored with is Uno. I used to love playing that game with my family when I was a kid!

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