Thursday, December 3, 2009

december will be magic

we have reached the end of the year! sort of!

december is upon us, folks. i know this because my little corner of east cambridge is suddenly a-glow with christmas lights. this makes me happy. i'm a sucker for tacky holiday decorations.

what a wacky year it has been! i know there are still technically 28 days left in 2009, but i can't help but look back at where i was 11 months ago.

let's bust out the Completely Achievable Goals for 2009 list, shall we?

1. Wear eyeliner every day
not sure i fulfilled my eyeliner obligations. there were definitely some lazy days where i didn't even brush my hair. does wearing yesterday's eye make-up count?

2. Read a book
yes! for evidence of my ability to read, check out my Goodreads page.

3. Gain 100 pounds and apply to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser . . or, just stop dieting
oh man. my weird eating issues were all over the map this year. i did, for awhile, stop dieting . . . and then i got laid off and packed on some shame-eating pounds. not quite biggest loser proportions, though. i continue to try to be less neurotic about my weight . . . but this monkey on my back is just so damn cute! until it tries to tear my face off, that is.

4. Do dishes with some semblance of regularity
eh. like eyeliner -- there were lazy /busy days where the dishes sat in the sink overnite. there are no dishes in my sink right now though -- so lets call it victory! sort of.

5. Reach "Expert" level drumming for at least one Rock Band song
i've reached "Medium" level on a few Rock Band songs. laaaaame. but i fully intend to start a real Rock Band in the coming year, drumming skillz or not. so get ready.

6. Stay up later
check! now that i have no job, u will find me up all nite!

7. Shop more
lol -- i was doin' damn good with this until -- oh right! -- i got laid off. i'm beginning to see a theme here . . .

8. Be unapologetically proud of my tv watching and pop-culture obsessions
was this ever *not* true? obviously i'm a pop-culture whore. loud and proud!

9. Go to the beach


it's funny to review where my mind was in january, as compared to now. i was so focused on the minutiae of my day to day existence, because so much of my time was eaten away by work. being banished from the cube has definitely given me perspective. i don't think i ever would have had the time / motivation to apply to graduate school if i'd still been locked away in my Corporate Dungeon. i think i've figured out a very big part of what i'm looking to do with my life, career-wise. 2010 will be all about putting the plans into action . . . assuming i get accepted to Librarian School. fingers crossed!

but we've still got all of December to go before tackling a whole new decade! i plan to live out the rest of this year just enjoying every moment as it comes. no dwelling on the events of the past 11 months, no freaking about what lies ahead. its the holiday season, goddamnit! and for the first time in a very long time, i feel like i have the opportunity to breathe and actually enjoy the festiveness.

so let's try for a Merry December, people!

Monday, November 23, 2009


so this has obviously been Slacker month here at One Girl, 12 Ways.

matt said to me, "tea! you almost made it through the whole year!"

i don't think i've ever managed a year-long commitment to anything, so that'd truly be an accomplishment. i hang my head.

BUT -- i can always hope to redeem myself come December, yes? a chirstmas miracle! stay tuned!

until then, enjoy this video of paula deen eating a "burger", which i would argue is more shameful than my blog-lapse this month:

Monday, October 19, 2009

all dressed up, nowhere to go . . .

Scared yet?

Halloween is nearly upon us, people! Dispite my attempts to be on top of shit this year, I am once again clutching at costume straws. My most excellent Roller Derby Girl outfit is proving more challenging than I anticipated -- and that's ignoring the minor detail of my not knowing how to skate. So now it's time to come up with a Plan B -- but I'll be damned if I'm going to the Garment District this week. I'm a weird girl, I must have some wacky, costume-worthy shit around the house, right? Let's see . . .

Ok, this is what I managed to gather from my "dressing table":

Hmmm . . . how about a "fuzzy beast" costume?

(I actually bought this wolf hat to wear this winter. It's really warm. Also, I don't have to go into an office anymore . . . so I am a little out of touch with how "normal" people dress. Don't judge.)

Or maybe "Flapper of the Night"?

(This headdress was my great-grandma's from the 1930's, the fan was a gift from Julia's travels.)

"Washed Up Devil"? or "The Octomom's Oldest Child"?

(Yawn, I know. Horns came from Canobie Lake - they also light up. Badass!)

"Grizzly Sea Captain":

With Mermaid:

(Captain's Hat was picked up in Florida, the paper-mache mermaid was inherited from Mama G. Yarrrr!)

"Everyone's Favorite Revolutionary War Hero, Sam Adams":

Or, I could throw a sheet over my head and go as "The Spirit of the Revolution":

I'd have to be a taupe colored ghost, though.
(Tri-corn hat was a 4th of July accessory. Because I need hats for every holiday.)

Along the same vein, I could also be "The Spirit of New Orleans":

(Mask was a NOLA souvenir from Papa G, voodoo doll was also a NOLA gift from Julia.)

I seem to have small collection of these hats of the 1940's/1950's . . . perhaps I could be "Jackie O's Personal Secretary" or "An Extra on Mad Men" . . . or "Grandma, 1952":

(Both hats were, in fact, inherited from my grandma.)

Oh man . . . so many choices! Any further suggestions of stuff I can make with this rag-tag pile of weird hats?

No wonder I love Halloween. If this accessory collection is any indication, every freakin' day is like Halloween over here! It's true - I don't like to take myself or my fashion too seriously. Life's too short, people. Put on a wacky hat and go to the grocery store.

Actually . . . maybe I could wear one of these hats, some slippers, and a stained velour sweatsuit and go as "Crazy Woman in the Canned Food Aisle of Shaw's".

I like it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

down the rabbit hole

tap, tap. is this thing on?

is there anyone left out there?

many of you have been "reminding" me to blog for weeks now -- sorry it has taken me this long! i'm not dead - i'm not even suffering from the swine flu. i've simply been poking around inside my head for the past month. i am happy to report that things are starting to get sorted.

so . . . where were we?

when i last left ya'll it was Back to School month. while my plans to blog about all things educational failed miserably, i *did* manage to set in motion a true Back to School plan. i'm officially applying to grad school at Simmons for my Master of Library Science degree. every parent's dream, right? a librarian in the family!

i've been taking stock of all the things i truly enjoy doing: reading. sometimes writing. looking up crazy crap on the internet. entertainment. snarkiness. stand up comedy. i weighed these against the things i hated about my last job: a cubicle. suits. kissing the asses of my corporate overlords. working a gazillion hours a week to improve the company's bottom line and not my own.

based on my calculations, being a Young Adult librarian will allow me to focus on the things i love -- books, information, youth culture -- in an environment that is refreshingly far from corporate america. everybody wins!

so the past couple weeks have found me slowly pulling together all my application information, which has been slightly stressful. its been a long time since i've filled out a FAFSA form, or written an essay about my Career Goals. the ball is in motion, though -- and with any luck, i'll be polishing off the last few pieces of the application this week. then comes the financial part. anyone need a kidney? i'll sell ya one for $27,000.

i'm really excited about this new vision of my future! excited, and nervous. commitments of any sort freak me out -- perhaps that's why i've waited this long to seriously consider any sort of "long term" life plan. but now that i've set my cap on librarianship, i'm in love with the idea. i'll feel a lot better once the application process is complete, though. paperwork fills me with anxiety. and rage.

anyway -- we have now reached the month of October! insanity! where has the time gone?! the trees outside my window are all bare and brown, the Garment District is packed full of obnoxious college students. i need to get a jump on my costume plans, so i'm not frantically tearing through the leftovers three days before Halloween, like last year.

have i mentioned how much i love Halloween? i love it. a lot.

a few weeks ago, Miss A and i took a trip out to Wilmington to see the roller derby. which was amazing. while we were strolling the desolate streets from the train station to our dinner destination, Miss A took a good long look at the thoroughfare of car washes and crumbling strip malls and asked, "so, what did you do for fun here?"

i replied, "oh, you know . . . we'd walk to the library. or go hang out in the cemetery."

i didn't think of myself as one of those "goth" kids in high school -- i didn't wear black lipstick or eyeliner or listen to excessive amounts of the cure or anything -- but there has always been a whiff of the macabre about me. i was armed with a ouija board at age 9. i was the kid that other mothers would politely ask to stop scaring the rest of the sleepover guests. i looooved being scared. i loved blurring the line of reality and the unknown -- i dreamed of having some sort of supernatural experience. i wanted the ghost stories to come to life. thus, my passion for halloween.

also, there was free candy. so yeh -- ultimate holiday for spooky, chubby kids.

while i like to think that i've matured slightly over the years -- i no longer move the ouija board to make it spell the names of my friends' deceased pets -- my love of all things creepy remains strong. i still enjoy cemeteries and ghost stories. i still own a ouija board. i watched the episode of Ghost Hunters where they take Meat Loaf to a supposedly haunted island:

so October is going to be Gothic Month here at One Girl, 12 Ways. that doesn't mean i'm out to rob a Hot Topic or anything -- its just the time of year to curl up with a good ghost story or go shuffle through the leaves in a big ol' new england cemetery. and before this month is over, i vow to do both.

and i vow to keep you better informed of my movements, blog-readers! i realize the end of the year is fast approaching, and i wanna keep the blog momentum rolling all the way into 2010!

anything is possible, right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

tea and archaeology

Weekdays can get a little maddening when you're unemployed. Friends are working. Oprah is still in summer reruns. And I refuse to allow myself to get hooked on the soaps. If I start talking about how Brad thinks Sage is totally his, but she's actually been sleeping with Dylan while Madison is in a coma -- come over here and slap me.

It shouldn't be that hard to find interesting things to do with my time that don't involve TV or alcohol. After all, this is a fairly bustling metropolitan area. Plus, I live within walking distance of two of the most geek-chic-elite universities in country! Surely there must be something more intellectually stimulating to do besides camping out in the cafe of Borders, reading all the British tabloids.

A Yelp search of "Cambridge arts & entertainment" opened a whole new, touristy world of activity to me. Boston/C-bridge is chock full of museums and galleries, historical monuments and trails. I have seen almost none of these things, because I spend all my free time in karaoke bars. Or my apartment.

So what better activity for "back-to-school" month than to learn more about my hometown, and take advantage of its uber-intellectual resources?

Sure, I may not be smart enough or rich enough to attend Harvard. But on Wednesdays and Sundays any shmuck with a Massachusetts license can check out the University's "collection of artifacts we begged/borrowed/stole from native peoples" -- for free!

You all know how I love free shit.

So, come with me on a magical mystery tour of Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology!

See -- it's appropriately brick-ish and museum-like from the outside:

A brief note about Tea and museums -- I effing love them. Truth. Every since Miz Linda and I did our "backpackers tour of London" back in September '07, I've learned to appreciate the weird and wonderful world of display cases, dioramas, and ancient-dust-covered shit. I enjoy crappy museums and world-class, state-of-the-art museums with equal measure.

For the record, the Peabody Museum is neither.

But let me start from the beginning.

Wednesday, 3pm. I wandered into the lobby of the Peabody Museum, which reminds me a bit of a Victorian-era high school. Or library. Actually -- remember that '80's movie, The Neverending Story? When the kid hides in the attic of his creepy school or whatever, reading the magic book? It's kinda like that:

Attic from Neverending Story . . .

Attic of Peabody Museum.

Point made?

Anyway - the woman at the reception desk appeared genuinely surprised to see me. I suspect the museum is not exactly a happening place most weekday afternoons. In fact, I seemed to be one of only 4 people wandering the halls of the place, which added to the overall creepy-haunted-museum vibe. Excellent.

So after showing her this:

. . . I was given one of these:

I love these little museum lapel clips. I usually lose them about 5 minutes into my museum visit . . . but there must be some sort of fun craft I could do with 'em . . .

Back to the Peabody:

As the name suggests, the Peabody Museum is full of artifacts "recovered" from various indigenous peoples. The entire first floor is a homage to Native Americans. Complete with piped in sounds of tribal drums and chanting. This was a little disconcerting, as I was wandering the floor alone. In some places, the exhibit rooms were completely dark until I tiptoed in and set off the light sensors. The overall "you're-about-to-be-scalped!" vibe was way more exciting than most of the exhibits, which were limited to 1950's-era dioramas of tribal huts and displays of old baskets, blankets, and sliver jewelry / belt buckles that could have come from straight Urban Outfitters.

Clearly, I need to foster a greater appreciation for the arts of our native peoples.

Anyway -- there were a few highlights, including this totally random modern graffiti piece:

And this sign, explaining how Native Americans kinda hate Harvard University . . . and the rest of America:

There was also a small installation on "Excavating Harvard Yard". Digging in the Yard unearthed a whole load of broken pottery, animal bones, and bits of old pipes -- giving us a unique window into the life and times of Ye Olde Harvard Students. For example -- did you know that back in the day, the food at Harvard was really, really bad? We're talking rancid butter bad. Also, your socio-economic status determined whether or not you were allowed to eat with a fork:

Bored with the dusty old crap of the USA, I wandered up to the South American floor, where I found the best display in the whole museum:

. . . also, the most hot-pink display in the whole museum!
That, my friends, is a Dia de los Muertos shrine. I wish my cell-phone camera was less crappy, because it was the most ornate, detailed, fabulously cool thing ever. I could have stared at it for an hour. Sadly, some obnxious lady and her super-bored children wandered in and interrupted my private gawking session. But I would seriously go back to the Peabody just to visit this shine again . . . which maybe makes me a loser. Whatever - I stand by that statement! It was cool, people!

Moving up to the attic-like 3rd floor, I found the Pacific-Islander Artifacts. This crap was actually pretty cool:

I have no idea what this little dude represents. I probably could have read the accompanying explanatory placards . . . but who has time for that?

There was a brief moment on the 3rd floor where I actually did get spooked. I was the only person on the entire level, and most of the floor was still shrouded in darkness, since all the lights are on occupancy sensors. Suddenly, there was a tremendously loud creaking noise behind me, and I jumped about a foot in the air. Total Ghost Hunters moment. Then I realized the noise was actually coming from the floor below me, where that annoying family was still hogging my Day of the Dead shrine.

Any museum that can so fully capture that spooky, Hollywood-esque haunted house vibe gets two thumbs up from me! The whole place is like a little portal back in time . Maybe not to ancient times, but perhaps a Victorian Harvard where students still wore caps and gown to class and stealing from the "Indians" was not considered a crime. Bottom line -- I would love love love to spend the night in this building. And not so I can read up on gods of the Pacific Islanders.

After about 45 minutes, I'd had my fill of the Peabody Museum. Since it was free, I didn't feel like I needed to linger and read all the boring signs to get my money's worth. As I skipped back down the steps and up the street towards home, I was mildly impressed that a) I'd just gone to a museum all by myself in the middle of the day, and b) all this crazy ancient crap was tucked away in an unassuming brick building just up the road from my house. This "learning about my city" thing is a-ok! Next up -- the MIT Museum? The Somerville Museum? The Lars Anderson Auto Museum? How many of these bad boys can I hit before the end of September?

Only one way to find out!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

trapperkeepers unite!

Wait -- it's September?!

Seriously, where did the summer go? A whole season gone -- poof! Just like that. One minute it was May, and I was sitting in a lonely cube, contemplating taking my own life with an staple remover . . . now suddenly, autumn is here and I'm living off Uncle Sam while trying to stay sober long enough to come up with a life plan.

Fortunately, fall has always been my favorite time of year. Perfect weather, perfect sunlight, an abundance of apples and pumpkins. Halloween! Seriously, what's not to love?

And obviously -- it's back-to-school season.

Now, when I was actually enrolled in a school of some sort, I was perpetually bitching and moaning about something . . . the loss of free time, the homework, the early bedtime. The uniform. The B Line. There was no end to my educational complaints.

I stand before you today a reformed girl. I, Tea Guarie, miss going back to school. I miss the smell of the floor polish, the shopping for Lisa Frank folders, new backpacks and booklists, the syllabi, the after school activities, the day planner dutifully filled in until the second week of October.

I was pretty good at school. Not an Einstein or anything -- as the grammar and spelling of this blog can attest. But I loved that feeling of a fresh start every September, with new teachers and subjects and challenges. I love learning things. I don't retain most of what I learn -- but I have always found the process of learning enjoyable. In school, your job is to simply be open to knowledge -- have an opinion or an idea, and defend it. Express yourself. Think beyond the borders of your own world.

God, why wasn't I so hot n' bothered about learning when it actually counted? Probably because they were making me learn Geometry and Chemistry.

But, yes. This year more than ever, I wish I was going back to school.

Which brings us to September's One Girl, 12 Ways theme. While I may not be currently enrolled in any formal educational institution, I vow to make this a month of mind-expansion. Clear the cobwebs out of the ol' brain and learn a little, goddamn it!

And unlike my half-assed summer posting schedule -- this month I vow to be on the ball! In fact -- I already have the topic and research for my next September post all ready to go! That's right -- I'm doin' the assignments ahead of schedule! How do ya like them apples??

Don't worry -- just like every other school year, my motivation/enthusiasm will have all but disappeared by October. Just in time for Halloween.

Monday, August 17, 2009

and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden

I'm sick of the concrete jungle this week, kids. It's so hot. And yes, I know it's hot everywhere . . . but there's something extra oppressive about summer in the city. Every surface seems to absorb as much heat as possible and then radiate it back like a giant convection oven.

I'm pretty sure I'm sizzlin' at medium-rare right now.

In my 'hood, people go to the dog-park for relief. It's the closest expanse of green space available -- and even that little mecca of grass looks out on the shopping plaza and a McDonalds.

As Kermit the Frog once said: "Green can be cool and friendly-like." Unfortunately, our green space is more: "humid and full of homeless drunk people."

I digress.

So tonite, whilst making sweet love to my air conditioner, I stumbled upon a documentary on the History Channel called Woodstock: Now & Then. Which reminded me . . . oh yeh, it's hippie month!

I've always had a thing for Woodstock. I went thru a hippie-lust phase in high school, around the time most of my friends were enjoying N'SYNC and shopping at Abercrombie. I kept my unruly curly hair long (mistake!) and wore a lot of baggy shirts. And I had a lot of crap from The Body Shop. Not much of a counter-culture statement.

I think what has always captivated me about true-blue flower children is their uninhibited approach to living. Hippies were free. On a lot of drugs, yes -- but free to do those drugs, make love and art, dance naked in the mud, start communes, start movements. They lived in the moment, and in that moment their lives had meaning. Just by simply existing, they were part of something much bigger than themselves.

Look at the music that came out of that era. People had shit to say -- they expressed themselves through art in hopes that they could change the effed up world around them.

We're living in effed-up times too, people. And so I sit and watch America's Best Dance Crew and Toddlers and Tiaras. I freak out about my weight and tell myself that once I lose 15 pounds -- then I can go take on the world.

God, I'm a terrible hippie.

But I'm trying. I'm recgonizing the things that keep me from being as free as I want to be.

This weekend I went to a Healthy Living Summit sponsored by some of the darlings of the food/healthy lifestyle blogging community. It was inspirational in a few different ways. I've started thinking a lot about what I want my ideal "lifestyle" to be . . . and I smell a new blogging project on the horizon. As if don't have enough blogs going at the moment -- but this is an exciting one, kids! I'll say no more now. Stay tuned.

So anyway, one of the speakers at the Summit was a woman who runs an organic dairy farm in Vermont. She gave a talk on organic farming and agriculture, and showed pictures of her farm -- green rolling pastures, happy cows heading out to graze, her super adorable family. They all work together on the the farm. They know each of their cows and their distinct personalities. They work super hard -- but their work is tangible, it has meaning.

I don't know if my work has ever had meaning.

But Tea -- surely you aren't suggesting you're going to go become an organic dairy farmer, are you? You can't even commit to taking care of an effing hamster!

That's a fair point, readers. And while the likelihood of me becoming a farmer of any sort in the forseeable future is slim to nil . . . my next career move needs to be a more meaningful one. I want my life to have some substance -- I want to get up in the morning and have a purpose, to do something I actually care about. The trick is figuring out what that is. And once I do that, maybe then I'll get a little taste of that hippie-freedom.

Or do I have it backwards? Do I need to just let go and be free in order to discover what it is that makes my heart happy? Isn't that what this month was supposed to be about?

Luckily, life is a journey, not a race. I've got more than the 31 days of August to set free my inner flower-child and head out on the road. This right here? This is me just trying to figure out which way I'm holding the map.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I won't lie, I've been feeling a little "Grey Gardens" the past few days. I'm choosing to believe it's the time of the month and not the beginnings of my slow descent into madness.

Flower powers, activate!

Today the sun is shining, the workmen outside my apartment are laughing and yelling in Portuguese, the nut factory's a-roastin' . . . it's gonna be a good day! I'm going to take a stroll through my fair city, run some errands and generally enjoy the outdoors. Just because the world out there is mostly concrete and exhaust fumes doesn't mean I can't appreciate the mood-boosting benefits of sunlight. And also -- the river. Have I mentioned there's a river near my house?

Gotta love bodies of water.

Anyway . . . yeh, this is basically a post about nothing. But with any luck, I will have much more exciting topics to tackle in the very near future.

Now . . . time to shake off the lethargy and go interact with the world. Peace out, Little Edie!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

peace, love & august

When I started this blog waaaay back in January, I wanted to change my attitude, try new things, and just generally expand my horizons.

Most of these monthly goals fizzled out pretty quickly. I blamed Corporate America. It was simply too hard to focus on becoming a more loving / badass / optimistic / funny person when I woke up every morning ready to stick my head in the oven.

Sad but true. I was on oven-watch there for awhile.

But last Friday morning, I woke up to sunshine and a light summer breeze blowing through my curtains. I'd just had some goofy-ass dream where Tina Fey had hired me to work for her, and Rachel Dratch was my new work BFF. I lay there for a few minutes, staring at the ceiling, letting my mind wander and wondering why I felt so weird. And then it hit me.

I was happy.

I'd forgotten what it felt like to wake up in the morning without a feeling of dread. Recovery from my Corporate Nightmare didn't happen overnight. It took three weeks for my stomach to unclench and my disordered stress-eating to subside . . . but it looks like I'm finally gettin' there.

These days, I wake up every morning with a feel of excitement and anticipation. Anything is possible. My life is my own now, and I can make of it what I will.

I almost wish I could go back and redo all my monthly themes now with this new "can do!" attitude. So, in keeping with the feeling of new cosmic energy and love of livin', I'm gonna totally ride the karma wave and make this a month all about making peace and lovin' myself & my life.

Welcome to hippie month, people!

As usual, I'm using the term "hippie" loosely here. This is basically all about cultivating these happy thoughts and gettin' back in touch with my "inner Tea" . . . the one who felt so trapped for so long. Time to unleash her back into society and see what happens!

In keeping with hippie month, I have consulted the stars to find out what I should expect in the month ahead. My August horoscope reads:

This is your big month! The full moon lunar eclipse in Aquarius at 14 degrees will arrive on August 5. This looks to be a red-letter day for you. Because it is in your sign, it will affect you with double strength, and will have the power to change the way you see yourself and present yourself to others.

You have been so busy growing, maturing, and evolving that you may have been hanging on to an outdated self-image and not giving yourself enough credit. If so, this eclipse will allow you to revise how you see yourself and also make at least one important announcement. Your lifestyle may change, or you may meet someone who will become very important to you. Eclipses also bring endings, so you may see a woman say goodbye too, and in that departure, you may feel the passage of time.

Years that hold an eclipse in our sign often are highly eventful, memorable years. You have been seeing eclipses in Aquarius and Leo since February 2008, arriving in pairs every six months. This month's eclipse is the last, and after this you can rest. Admittedly, eclipses in one's own sign can demand quite a bit of adjustment to a whole new reality.

Not all eclipses deliver their news immediately, although many do. If you don't notice anything changing, don't assume you won't hear something later. You might because eclipses have an area of influence for up to a year. If you don't seen any shifts and especially if you were born near February 3, then you may one month to the day later, so note September 5, plus or minus five days - you may hear something then in regard to a very personal matter. Also, when Mars opposes the degrees of the eclipse, you may have news about a partner. That will happen three times, on November 18, 2009, and on January 18 and May 4, 2010.

Your ruler, Uranus, is still retrograde, and so is Jupiter in Aquarius, and when these two big planets will go forward, you'll notice that good things are suddenly happening near October 13 when Jupiter starts working harder for you, and again later, on and near December 1, when Uranus turns on the juice. As you see, you are moving into a very important and very upbeat phase.

For now, events from the outside will begin to come in and change your world in ways you could not have anticipated. That's what eclipses do, and that's why their news always seems so random and sudden. You are fortunate in that this eclipse is very friendly, especially to Mars, which is now circulating in your house of true love. Mars will be working hard to boost your social life, and if you're single, you're in luck, for this eclipse could bring an introduction. Because this is a full moon, you will be noticed and in the spotlight, so this could be a tender and quite exciting time for your love life.

Your creativity will be very high at the time of this lunar eclipse, August 5, and you may get a freelance job that will use your talents well. You may be ready to show your work to the world at this eclipse, and if so, you certainly will be seen and buzzed about, and others will likely be lauding your work. If you are self-employed, you may now pick up an important new client or be told you have the support of someone highly influential. Whether you work for yourself or others, you may get some very important publicity - the kind you can't quite believe is happening!

One of your very best days will be August 12 and 13, when love and happiness will be yours. These days are yours to indulge yourself in any way you please.

On August 17, you'll have a way to show off your creativity in a big way - don't miss that opportunity!

Two difficult days are due after that, August 18 and 21, when first Mars will challenge your ruler, Uranus, and then Mercury will do the same to Uranus on Friday. These are due to be nerve-wracking days, when financial worries could interfere with your concentration on anything else in your life. Be prepared.

If single, keep your eye on August 22, a day when Venus will be beautifully oriented toward your ruler, Uranus. This day will brim with surprises, and with the moon in sublimely compatible Libra, you should find this weekend one of your best of the month.

Um, yeh. This Astrology site is pretty effing rad . . . I literally squeaked with freaked-out surprise at how spookily this applies to my current life / attitude.

The planets are aligned, man!!! Uranus and Mercury and . . . total eclipses of the heart, or whatever . . . but yeh -- this is my moment in time and space. I've always believed everything happens for a reason, and there is a reason that I am here in this place at this moment.

I'm ready, world! Bring it on!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

one final freebie

Nothin' says summertime like listening to kickass music outdoors. For free.

Miz A and I hit up the FNX Best Music Poll free concert in City Hall Plaza. We got to check out Passion Pit and Metric, live and in person. It was awesome. Also awesome? The fact that is was seasonably warm and unseasonably not-muggy today.

Oh yeh -- and it was FREE.

So I think this has been my most successful month to date, in terms of adhering to the "blog theme". I have discovered that there are plenty of wacky, wonderful things to see / do / experience that don't involve $$ at all.

This is a vital lesson, as the first unemployment check has still not arrived.

And now -- on to August! Let's see if I can continue riding this wave of success.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

i'm on a BOAT

No, fo' reals:

That's me on a boat. A free boat, no less! My month of thrift is turning out to be a huge success, people! Who knew?!

My friend Chelsee's pal, Sara, is an intern for Yelp. I've met her a couple times and helped out at a past Yelp event -- so when Yelp sponsored this Boston Harbor Booze Cruise for Elite Yelpers, I managed to weasel my way onto the list! I seriously need to up my yelp review quota, because these free events for elite yelpers are rockin!

The night featured free cocktails from Maker's Mark and Malibu Rum, free beer (Miller 64), a full buffet and chocolate fountain for dessert, and this dude:

I've lived in Boston my entire life, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been out in the harbor. Twice. Yes, that's right. Once as a girl scout, when we took the ferry to George's Island for the day. TAnd once, a couple of months ago, when I chaperoned a Harbor Cruise for some patients at the rehab facility where my friend Julie works.

So I was like a total tourist on this cruise. It's amazing the parts of your city that you don't even realize exist:

Even more exciting than the free booze and food was rockin' out on the top deck, under the stars, while planes headed for Logan airport swooped dangerously close:

I wonder why there isn't a budget version of the Harbor Cruise where people can just go out, drink and dance on the open sea. Like a floating nightclub. Why has no one thought of this? I know you can charter these boats for private functions, or book a ticket for the regular evening dinner cruise -- which I'm sure is a much more sedate affair. Grandparents and anniversary couples and tourists, etc. But it would be great if, for like a $20 cover, you could go our for 3 or 4 hours, sail around the harbor, and just dance the night away. People pay good money to ride those party buses all around town -- wouldn't a party boat be a thousand times cooler?!

Sigh. If I had the capital, I'd launch my own "booze cruise line". It'd have a sexy pirate wench logo. And the boat would be really cool looking. And it'd be awesome.

Any wealthy investor types out there? Who wants in on this? You provide the boat -- I'll provide the off-the-wall business scheme! We'll be rich, I tell ya! Rich!

But for now -- back to my regularly scheduled life of poverty.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

free bird

So my entertainment budget has become a bit tighter since being cut loose from the shackles of the working world. This seems to be the catch-22 of unemployment -- loads of free time, and no $$ to go anywhere or do anything. Capitalism, you win again!

So my goal has been to try to find budget-friendly fun to occupy my time. My pal Chelsee helped me kick this off with an invite to a free screening of the movie Paper Heart, sponsored by the Boston Independent Film Festival. There's a reason my name is Tea "Free Movie Screenings" Guarie. Hell, I'll watch the free Scientology video they con you into viewing after you take the free "stress test".

So yeh, this event was totally up my alley. The movie stars Charlene Yi and Michael Cera, who are two of my comedy crush/heroes. It's a quirky cross between a documentary and a fictional romance, with lots of hilarious awkwardness, guitar playing, and puppets. In short, the type of movie I would pay good money to see.

And as if a free movie wasn't awesome enough -- following the screening, Charlene Yi and Jake Johnson actually came out and did an audience Q&A! Because it was a packed house, we ended up sitting in the front row, so I was literally 5 feet away from the actors while they fielded the typically lame-ass questions from the crowd. They were both equally hilarious in real life, and I wanted them to be my friend and take me back to their hotel to drink beer and play Wii. But alas, they did not.

I would like to make an offbeat indie comedy that takes Sundance by storm. And writing a screenplay is a fun, free thing I could do with all this extra time I have. Maybe I could make a faux-documentary about a girl who gets laid off and decides to write a screenplay while wandering around her city, looking for shit to do.

Clearly, my imagination has grown rusty during my time in the cube farm.

In the meantime, I recommend Paper Heart. It's totally the type of movie I would make, if somebody else hadn't made it already. It will be opening soon in a city near you -- very soon, if you live in a "real" city. Go see! It's worth the $10.50 -- I promise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

lest i be accused of blog neglect . . .

i will have some penny-pinching adventures to share soon, kids! in the meantime, allow me to direct your attention to my other two blog projects, updated daily for your time-wasting pleasure! Government Cheeze, chronicling my adventures in the world of unemployment, is now up and running. Also, my Cheerios Project is chugging along nicely -- although my waistline might not agree.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

where thrift goes to die

Where does a soon-to-be-unemployed girl like to spend her Tuesday nites? Why, the Taj Boston, obviously!

Visiting an out-of-town friend at his swank hotel address offered me one final peek at how the other half lives. Apparently, the other half is willing to pay five times the reasonable price for toast or bath products, if said goods / services are listed in a leather-bound menu printed in script-y font. Observe:

The Breakfast Menu. The "Arlington" is basically your standard continental breakfast: toast, jam, coffee, oj, fruit . . . all for the low, low price of $18!

Travelling with pets? No need to pack the Alpo. The Taj has its very own Pet Selections room service menu, where one can ordef Fluffy such delicacies as "pureed seared scallops and shrimp" . . . for $38. Please note that the $22 "warm milk and biscuits" are served in "appropriate petwear".

Cost of a "Make Way For Ducklings Bubble Bath" at the Taj Boston? $35.

Shutting up your little "Muffy" or "Snooks" for 20 minutes in the tub while you phone the concierge and check your portfolio? Still $35.

Naturally I was afraid to touch anything in the room for fear of being charged for it. Even the little chocolates left on the pillow . .. I pretty sure there's a gratuity tacked on to them, too.

Of course I had to give the Taj a little of my hard-earned cash. Behold, my $7.50 Sam Light. No worries, though -- I loaded my pockets with complimentary bar nuts and snack mix before hopping on the T and heading back to my sweet slum.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


What I Won't Miss About This Job . . .

. . . having to leave this note on my computer screen when I'd go to lunch. Fo' serious.

My Greatest Accomplishment At This Job . . .

. . . my desk collage, 3 years in the making. Featuring Tina Fey, a pirate with low self esteem, and the cover of a proposal that I almost died trying to deliver. Sigh -- memories!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Hey yo, world!

As ya'll might have noticed, this blog has been awfully quiet lately. I've been wrapping my head around some big ol' life changes over the past few weeks. At times, I was not feeling quite so optomistic. Or blogger-y.

But now, it is the sparkly new month of July. Not that you would know it by looking out the window. Boston seems to be stuck in a perpetual state of November.

Anyway -- July is gonna be a very different month in the life of Tea Guarie. I have been officially cut free from the shackles of Corporate America (read, "laid off"). I am about to embark on a magical unemployment adventure -- and of course, you will all be able to follow along via the interwebs. Because I have no shame. And also -- a lot of free time.

A blog devoted exclusively to my "Life of Alternative Employment" is going to be launched soon. I'm not sure if this blog will eventually be combined with that one to create one superblog. As my friend Chelsee says, "seriously, how many blogs do you have?"

Lots. In fact, please to enjoy my latest internet-voyeur experiment, "The Cheerios Project", now listed in the handy link bar on your right!

In keeping with the theme -- July is going to be Thrifty Month here at One Girl, 12 Ways. Watch Tea attempt to formulate a budget, and devise clever cost-cutting measures and get-rich-quick schemes! It'll be pov-tastic!

See you in the soup line!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

tea's best friend

I think the time has come for me to welcome a fuzzy / scaly / spiney / feathered companion into my life.

And no, I'm not talking about dating.

While TV has been doing its best to warm my long, lonely weeknights, I could really use a comrade with a pulse. My apartment technically has a "no pets" policy, but I'm assuming this means no pets of the canine / feline variety. A furry friend who dwells in their own, self-contained habitat should be a-ok, right? After all, they aren't technically a resident of "the apartment" - they reside in a cage that just happens to be located in the apartment. Zing!

Now for the big question: what kind of pet is right for me? I'm sure there's a Facebook quiz for this, but I'd rather do some old-school brainstorming, using my very own brain. Computers will be making all our decisions for us soon enough.

So let's start with the most obvious domesticated cage-dwellers:


Ah, the noble hamster. It's not a mouse, not yet a guinea pig. As a kid, I was obsessed with hamsters . . . and cats, and dogs, and bottle-nosed dolphins . . . and briefly, during the 4th grade, capybaras -- which are essentially giant, mutant African hamsters.

--So easy to care for, even 10-year-old Tea could do it!
--Fuzzy and cute - like Japanese cartoon creatures come to life.
--Tons of fun accessories - hamster-ball races could become the new Primetime if I'm forced to cancel the cable.

-- They look like mice, which are the scourge of all apartment-dwellers.
-- Easy to lose / squish.
-- Lack of "street-cred". Although this could be an opportunity to rebrand hamsters as the "recessionista's pocketbook dog".


Admittedly, I don't know much about ferrets. I think there might have been a giant flying one in the Neverending Story movie. Or maybe that was a "luck dragon". Well, whatever . . . it lives in a cage, yes?

-- It's got fur and a cute face. And really, isn't that all ya need to make it in this great big world?
-- You can walk them on leashes. Can we say 'making new friends at the dog-park'?!
-- They kill snakes! Right? Or are those weasels?

-- They've got teeth.
-- They look cunning. Almost too cunning. I don't want a pet that can outsmart me / steal my soul.
-- I'm pretty sure they are loud and nocturnal? And eat meat? And suck the breath out of people while they sleep?
--I clearly know nothing about ferrets.

Rabbits (plinkity-plinkity-plink)

(Amy Sedaris' rabbit, Dusty)

Ah-ha! A house-rabbit would be the cleverest way for me to thwart the "no-pets" clause. Because while rabbits are technically cage-dwellers, you can also house-train them and let them hop free! Like a cat with longer ears.

-- They're totally furry and lap-friendly.
-- Amy Sedaris has one!
-- They deliver chocolate eggs.

-- A free-range rabbit + my apartment full of extension cords = imminent electrical fire.
-- I have a hard time imagining a rabbit being happy living in an apartment. Anyone who has read Watership Down can probably see why. Rabbits are meant to live underground and steal carrots from Mr. McGregor's garden.


Not fuzzy or cuddly, I know . . . but have you seen a gecko? There was a tank full of them at Petco, and I stopped dead in my tracks and grinned at them for about 10 minutes. They've got these giant, moist, understanding eyes . . . like a cage full of tiny therapists.

-- They've got British accents.
-- Will give the apartment a more tropical feel . . . "blimey, you've got geckos in here, mate!"
-- Also, you can apparently dress them in tiny sweaters?

-- Like living in a tropical climate, which mama won't be able to afford come winter. Unless gecko wants to go out and shill some auto insurance to help pay the heating bill.
-- Not fun to pat.


Don't knock 'em, people -- do you see how cute these little bastards can be?

-- British!
-- Requires virtually no grooming.
-- I will never have to buy toothpicks again.

-- Shows it love by piercing you with tiny spikes.
-- Pretty sure these little dudes are nocturnal, which means I'd never see him.
-- Eats bugs. Which means he'd also be needing his own separate refrigerator, because I'm not keeping his effing mealworms in with my people food!

Sugar Gliders

AKA -- flying squirrel. Yes, these animals are real -- and yes you can keep them as pets. My dad actually knows someone who has one. It is a marsupial that like to sleep in a pouch -- or your pocket. I'm sold!

Sugar Glider-Pros
-- Pocket-friendly!
-- It lives for like 12 years or something like that -- so it's like all the fun of having a dog or a kid without having to walk it or send it to college.

Sugar Glider-Cons
-- Also nocturnal. His party will be just starting when mama is ready to hit the hay.
-- Lives in a giant cage suitable for climbing / "gliding". I currently don't have enough space for a floor lamp, never mind a small zoo enclosure.

So that's my shortlist thus far. Consider the voting lines open, people -- what pet should tea get? If I've left an amazing creature off the list, feel free to write one in.