Catching Up

‘Sup guys, So at the very bottom of my last post I resolved, in the spirit of New Year’s, to write more posts like Tina Fey’s Bossypants (because she and I both have glasses and brown hair, she’s straight up awesome, and honestly the only lady comedian-book I’ve read). The real reason is because Bossypants is all about her real life and once upon a time this blog was about my life that real people enjoyed but then it turned into, a self-help blog or something lame like that. So let’s talk about anything but self-help………….

……………..I started my fourth semester of being a ramlet! Now the fun things are going. I’m finally in my major and doing fun things, like taking cool history classes not “Here’s everything that happened in America since 1865 quick learn it in 14 weeks or fail”. I’ve got one professor who mentioned Ellwood Thompson three times in one class and spent ten minutes talking about my favorite painting. I’m getting ready to turn in some adoption papers, which is totally fine, my mom has been trying to sell me for a few years now anyway.

Edouard Manet’s Olympia, 1863. Take this French prostitute in. Love her. Aspire to be her. Just don’t try to call her up, since she’s not really a prostitute, just Manet’s friend modeling as one.

The Big Lebowski is teaching another one of my classes. I mean it’s totally fine, I walked into class on the first day expecting to learn about post-Civil War Richmond and now I sit and wonder if the professor prefers to go by “The Dude”, goes bowling and pays for his milk in checks and, if I give him a rug to tie his room together, if I will get an ‘A’ in return? (Here’s a little clip of some “Best of” the Big Lebowski so you can have a little taste of what class is like. Don’t worry about not getting the plot, I’ve seen the movie and don’t fully understand it either)

Alright, alright, what else has been going on in my life? I won $2 from the 70’s scratch off ticket but then lost all my winnings when they PowerBall ticket I bought with the said $2 failed me. I have a new favorite venue, after Hannah and I took an adventure to see Sleepwalkers. The Broadberry is awesome and cheap ($7 show? Hell yeah!) for anyone interested in awesome and cheap shows. Also, Sleepwalkers are pretty groovy, I ended buying this local band’s album, which definitely deserved its placement on the best of Richmond’s local music scene 2014 list by Richmond.com. They have a groovy, 60’s British psychedelia-Yellow Submarine Beatle’s feel to them. Which, is inarguably one of the best feelings the history of music has to offer.

Ignore the fact that it’s called “Cocaine”. It’s still got a good sound.

Every ladies’ night with Hannah and Alison is always the best (insert awes here), but our latest was probably one of the best yet. Seriously, our night started off with Shyndigz, the late night dessertie on Cary, then twenty minutes of menu indecision over the classic “Cake or pie for dinner?” debate (The answer is you actually can’t go wrong because everything at Shyndigz is made of sugar, rainbows, happiness and fairy wings so order whatever sounds best to you. Or take a tip from us and get the key lime pie, peanut butter pie, or salted caramel chocolate cake. It’s your call).

Real women do too!

We then went to go see Gone Girl at the Byrd, which was already promising because hello two hours of Ben Affleck, but the plot!: his wife disappears and Ben Affleck’s character is a suspect and then Neil Patrick Harris appears and he’s crazy and it gets thicker as the movie goes on. Guys (girls?) it’s a $2 movie ticket to see Ben Affleck for two hours AND it’s an insanely amazing movie, why are you still reading this and not at the Byrd now?

Look there he is! Behind the lady with the crazy eyes! (PSsst, Hannah, the poster is in French!)

I got new glasses after seven years with my previous pair (It just wasn’t working anymore. We were going in different directions.)

My old music obsession has been going pretty strong since my brother and I have been playing records on our uncle’s old record player (Thanks again Tim!) lately. James will play you Jefferson Starship or Bob Dylan, while the sounds of Joni Mitchell and Little Feat fill the house when I’m messing around. Aw, this has been so much fun catching up with again! I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you! We should really do this more often! What, did you say something about chocolate cupcakes and the Big Lebowski this weekend? It’s like you’re reading my mind, why of course I would love to!

That may or may not be a poster of Olympia on the right....

That may or may not be a poster of Olympia on the right….but hey look I got new glasses! #astigmastimisforwinners

Also, I’d like to extend a personal happy birthday to the pearl herself, member of the 27 club, Woodstock icon and hippie idol to all, Janis Joplin. You’re role model (minus the heroin and alcohol abuse and overdose part) for following your heart and not giving a crap about what anyone thinks. I’ll try to keep some of the quirky you in me.

JanisJoplin

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Thankful for Richmond’s Renaissance

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, I suppose it’s time to follow all other blogs, social media posts, and people in general by saying what I’m thankful for.

But since it probably goes without saying that it’s when your coffee has free refills and all of the cute boys in my history class, let’s change things up a bit. What is Richmond, VA, the 804, thankful for?

We’re thankful and excited we were chosen for Stone Brewery’s next home, opening 2016 near Rockett’s Landing. Beating out many other cities up and down the East Coast, Richmond continues to prove herself as a Mecca for foodies.

Speaking of that, let’s talk restaurants. How many times have you praised the Lord that Red Eye was open til 1 or 2 am to warm you up in this chilly fall/winter that’s upon us? Doesn’t a Sugar Shack donut set your day off on the right note?Or that, thanks to the twice-a-year Richmond Restaurant Week, that lets you try out more pricier places like Comfort, The Roosevelt, and Deco for $25.14 for a three course meal? And on the topic of the Roosevelt, Southside is reeling in bliss that we now have Southbound, which officially opened Tuesday. If I had the time and energy, I would also list the 390672038503 other amazing places to go grab a bite to eat. 

To branch off of that, I don’t think there’s anything like Richmond’s coffee addiction. Thank you, Lift, The Lab by Alchemy, Blanchard’s, Capital Coffee, Black Hand, Lamplighter, Crossroads, Taza, and (soon) Perk! for keeping Richmond rolling.

Not just thankful, Richmond is also proud to be the home of University of Richmond, Virginia Union, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Even though it’s kinda unspoken that you pick one school and bleed their colors til death, as a city we’re proud to house them all.

One of Richmond’s crowning jewels is our blossoming art scene, we pride ourselves over this like parents with kids making A’s in first grade. Our premier art museum has exhibited Dale Chiluly and Picasso over the past couple of years, and currently China’s Forbidden City. 1708 Gallery holds in the Inlight Festival every year, a nighttime display of colors for a night in different parts of town. The Street Art Festival made its debut a year ago at the abandoned GRTC bus stop, drawing attention to the growing presence of murals in the city from the Richmond Mural Project. Look for its return next year in Manchester.  First Fridays art walk is the place to be every month, up on Broad Street’s Arts District. And let’s not forget Joe Seipel’s School of the Arts at VCU, the number one public arts university in the country. Richmond truly honors art and artists highly. 

Our local shops and businesses are another thankful feather in this turkey. Where else can you find a Quirk gallery and shop/future Quirk hotel, kitschy World of Mirth toystore, or Chop Suey used bookstore (with a cat?!)? These little shops are what give Richmond its Richmond culture, and not the big box, any-suburban neighborhood Targets. We’re here to support each other and each other’s businesses. 

We’re grateful for the James River and its class IV rapids that make river days hella lot more interesting with your stand-up paddle boards, canoes, and inner tubes.  There’s nooks and crannies to tan and swim in all parts of the River, from Texas Beach to Pony Pasture. With Richmond being named the best river town in the country, I mean we’re just a little proud…. 

And even though, thirty years in the making, we still cannot figure out where to put a baseball diamond, Richmond is trilled and thankful the San Francisco Giants chose to nest their double-A team, the Flying Squirrels on the Boulevard.

I saw an article floating around Facebook the other day about Richmond being one of the most prideful cities, and with all the good and fun stuff we got running around the city, I can totally believe that. Maybe it’s just me, but with all of these awards and notices Richmond has been getting lately, all the hype about our food and river, Richmond’s going through a Renaissance, and we’re in the midst of it. To be around all of this liveliness and growth is exciting, I just want to prance up and down the James eating some tres leches cake from Kuba Kuba and make my own silly RVA video. We might as well be Florence in the 1500’s. We have a Cathedral  and a statue of a naked guy, too. 

(What a time to be alive)

(By the way, I’m starting a petition to get more nationally recognized holidays dedicated to food. Not like National Cake Day, which most people sadly ignore. I’m talking multiple Thanksgivings, where school is closed for a week and people get the day off work-at least one a season. I think I need 100,000 signatures to have Congress officially look at it, so your support is greatly needed!)

It’s Gonna be a Good Month

I may or may not be extremely biased here, but November is kinda my favorite month. Okay yeah maybe you caught me, it’s right up there with May-June-July-August-Summer, but technically November is a real month and MJJAS is hybrid created approximately seven seconds ago, so November kinda wins by reality. Now I know a bunch of you are like “oh no it’s all about December and that holiday jazz” or “September and its fall transition and Pumpkin Spice Lattes” (quote/unquote all basic white girls), but here let me give you the play by play:

  • November 1st: el Dia de los Muertos: Stop thinking about sugar skulls for a few minutes and really appreciate this holiday.  Day of the Dead is the Mexican holiday that honors dead family members by bringing food and flowers to their gravesides. It’s easy to get caught up in the roses, sugar skulls, and lollipops on the outside, when this holiday needs to be appreciated for its roots. Celebrated on the Catholic church’s All Saint’s Day, Dia de los Muertos is a holiday to recognize, remember, and appreciate your lost loved ones. Maybe it’s just me, but I think American culture could use a holiday like that.
  • November 1st: Halloween candy sales begin! 
  • November 1st: For the love of all things that are good and holy, No Shave November begins today. Prepare yourself for hipster beards and facial hair. Hipster boys with beards and glasses, beanies on cold days, let’s run to Lift Coffee to grab lattes and discuss Picasso’s use of blue or different kinds of hummus. (Hey ladies, it’s turning into tight weather so if you’re interested in participating in this month-holiday, go for it. *Feminism and stuff* Disclaimer: your boyfriend probably won’t be as excited for you participating as you are for him.)
  • November 3rd: Hello, Nacho-Taco week begins! Going on until November 9th, Nacho-Taco week is another extension of the $5 plate week Style Weekly puts on during the year (Remember Burger Week, Sandwich Week, and Chicken Wing Week?). So here’s the dealio (follow these rules carefully): Go to any of the restaurants on the list here. The meal(s) on the list are $5 and only those. If you download the passport and get it stamped after dining at three restaurants, you get entered to win a Visa gift card! 
  • November 4th: Election Day. For the love of Jesus Cristo, use your political right to vote. Don’t be lazy, don’t not care, your vote is not insignificant. I know you’re proud to have this opportunity and live in a democracy, so why not use this awesome right? You could be living under totalitarian rule.

    Why don’t politicians ever participate in No Shave November?

  • November 7th: VCU basketball sorta starts with an exhibition game versus California. Get ready for another season of Havoc, Shaka, and pep band The Peppa’s antics (like their new New Zealand war chant) 
  • November 8th: The Dirty Heads are coming to The National. Ah yes, my sweet summer is coming back 
  • November 17th: A certain blogging girl’s birthday (She likes reggae, coffee, and Chop Suey book store. Just sayin’)
  • November 18th: VCU basketball’s home opener against Toledo. Game will be on TV. Be prepared, ’cause IT’S HAVOC YOU FEAR
  • November 20th: VCU v. Maryland Eastern Shore at the Siegel Center. Not the Verizon Wireless whatever they’re trying to call it. This isn’t DC, we have no Verizon Center; VCU students aren’t about to give in to your capitalism. Anyway, we’re all trying to cope with calling the Landmark the “Altria”, one big change at a time is more than enough for Richmonders. 
  • November 27th: Thanksgiving. A holiday dedicated to food. Let me reiterate this: A day where it is socially acceptable to eat yourself into a coma. In fact, this is highly encouraged. 
  • November 28th: Nope. Nope. Christmas season hasn’t started yet. Don’t listen to the TV about Macy’s Black Friday sales. Yeah, those are cancelled this year. Go watch Charlie Brown or knit a scarf.

Let’s Go, Sophomore

So, I’m just sitting here, in my little home in Bon Air, listening to punk-reggae and perusing Facebook when I see an advertisement that says Starbucks is going to be offering those pumpkin spice lattes early this year. Ew no gross why would you do such a thing it’s still summer? And then it hits me: uh hello, Claire, classes start on Thursday so to some people it is fall. 

Wait what I actually have to go to school, with real people? I registered with classes six months ago and now I don’t even remember what I’m taking. Can I just find another cute, chai tea-loving boy in Starbucks and follow him  to his nine am and pray it’s the same one I signed up for? 

With all the students returning for the fall and the new fresh babies for their first taste of college in the area, that means good ole Cary Street Gym is going to be overcrowded with those overly fit guys that intimidate me out of using the free weights, and I’m praying that I won’t have to fight to get a spot in the sunrise yoga class I love so dearly. Oh well, I guess new people means new hot guys showing off their arm muscles and tattoos to stare at as I pretend to work out. 

As if the gym wasn’t bad enough, let’s add a bunch of strange people!

Honestly here, I was feeling pretty Continue reading

Blogiversary!

So, i open up my Word Press account on Monday to a little orange trophy, which said “hip hip hooray congrats on your one year blogging queen status!” (something like that). 

I can’t believe that it’s been one year since I started posting all of my thoughts and feelings online for strangers and friends to read. I’m so happy that I decided to blog though, I think four gazillion people have run up to me saying “OMG I love your  blog!” and half the time I’m like hey cool, who are you? but 100000% I smile, my heart’s warmed, and I feel happy and fluttery that someone likes what I have to say and cares enough to read it. 

I’ll let you in on something, I felt like a fish in high school, kinda swimming by, seen but not heard, and talked over a lot. I’ve always had a lot going on in my mind, but never really had it in me to ramble on like Led Zeppelin. There a few things I just wanted to say, didn’t know how to or who to tell, finally I ended up with a blog. 

I can’t believe what this blog has done. I’ve gone from three random fellow WordPress user followers to having my pages read over 35,000 times, joined a blogging network and a Facebook page of 65 “likes”. But, I didn’t do any of this by myself (even though I think I’ve checked out the blog page 35,000 times today). And I’d like to thank some special people out there who’ve helped me out:

  • Thanks to Sarah, for encouraging me to apply to the Her Campus Blogging Network
  • Thanks to Brayden, Colin, and the Red Eye Cookie Company for supporting me and the blog (also a thank you for perfecting the red velvet and espresso cookie)
  • Thank you to WordPress for being a functioning and free blog supporting website. Without you, I would probably be on BlogSpot. 
  • Thank you, Hannah, for being one of my biggest fans, reading and supporting me from the start. 
  • Thanks Cailyn, for being the blog’s number one fan. I don’t think anyone shares posts as much as you do. I’m so grateful that you like it so much!
  • Thank you to Alison, Brad, Jasmine, Luke, Janey, Phoebe, Jenna, and Elizabeth for being such loyal and awesome readers! 
  • Thank you Sean….even though you didn’t read my blog for months, you eventually started and and encouraged me once to switch to YouTube vlogging so I could get paid. 
  • Thanks to the random guy who Facebooked me once telling me how much he liked my blog. You have no idea how much that means to me, Because people like you are exactly what keep me going. 
  • And just an overall thank you to everyone who has ever read any of my posts, smiled, laughed, shared, and simply enjoyed it. It’s you guys that keep me going. 
  • Thank you Bon Air Library, which encouraged my passion of books that fed into my passion of writing 
  • Thanks to Urban Farmhouse, who posted my blog on their Midlo location once on their Facebook page
  • Thanks to anyone and everyone who shared my “You’ve Experienced Richmond If..” post 30+ times, I’m still in shock over how much people enjoyed and connected to it. 
  • Thanks to VCU, for having such weird but extremely awesome people, places and situations to write about as well as pool of hot guys to fantasize about. 
  • Thank you Richmond, for nurturing me, being my home and my heart, giving me such amazing things to experience, write about, and showing me the beauty of a tight knit small-big city
  • Thanks to my brain, who is creative enough to enjoy writing and crazy enough to do this for a year
  • Thanks to my teachers, past and present, elementary school to middle and high school to college, who gave me the tools to be here and encourage me to keep going. (Shoutout to Mrs. Gallo, Ms Benere, and Mrs. Hoggatt!)
  • Thanks to Clare, my fairy godmother, for being an awesome fellow writer/blogger/lover of food and supportive sweetheart (with a pretty great name)
  • Thanks to my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins who constantly encourage me and send nothing but love
  • Thanks to my godfather, who bought me a laptop, my nifty little tool that a majority of my blogging has been done on
  • Thanks to my brother, whose way of showing support is saying “Your blog is awful. No one reads it and you should stop”. 
  • Thank you Daddy, Uncle Peter, Grandpa and Grandaddy for watching over me and being my guardian angels through this little journey. 
  • And a special thank you to Momma G, who has been behind this blog 100% since I first told her the big idea. Thank you for always reading, encouraging people to read, sending my posts to your friends, talking it up, pretty much being the blog’s PR. If I was getting paid for this, I would give you a portion, but since this is free, why I don’t I cook dinner?

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