Thursday, February 6, 2014

Since it's the middle of winter and my skin is a very pasty shade of white and my hair is just BEGGING for a beachy wave, I figured let's relive the very first time I brought Ratty to Nantucket.  It was July 2010 and it was awesome.  Take me bACK, plz.

Originally posted: TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2010

62. July 9th, 2010 Picture.

So when my hard drive crashed I was upset because I lost about 3 months worth of pictures.   I am crazy when it comes to backing up my computer and had just backed everything up in March, so in reality it was a small small sliver of my overall files that I lost, I could deal.  Most of the great pictures I took in that time frame ended up on my blog, so they aren't completely gone.  The only things that were on my computer that had not been blogged about were my Nantucket pictures.  I was kinda upset about this because my camera was the fun one.  Ratty had just bought a new one, so he was testing out every setting, taking real artsy photos, while I was the one that took the crazy fun pictures while we were out at night.  I was sad that most of the funny ones were lost.

I did some research and realized that it is possible to retrieve pictures that have been deleted from your memory card.  I guess nothing is totally deleted, so there was a small glimmer I could at least recover some pictures.  I read that if you took pictures after the memory card was deleted it would lessen your chances of recovery, so I stopped taking pictures with my camera on the off-chance my plan would work.  Once my laptop was returned to me and I had reinstalled software (they completely upgraded my operating system which was AWESOME, but I soon realized that iPhoto was not included anymore, so I was forced to buy the iLife package, hi $80!) I tried out the recovery program.

Well friends, my retrieval process WORKED and I was able to salvage about 40 pictures from Nantucket!  Granted I took about 200, but the ones I was able to find were real gems!  And I actually got back a few 'picture of the day' ones too!  Seriously, I am so good at this computer stuff I should work for the FBI or something as a hacker.  All in all, I lost a handful of photos, but had I not backed up my stuff on an external hard drive, something I've been doing for years, I would have lost every single picture I had from 2005 on, plus videos and so much more.  I cannot begin to explain how important it is to back your files up.  I even keep my external HD at my mom's house, on the off chance something happens to my apartment, all my stuff is S-A-F-E.  Call me paranoid, but had I not been, I would currently be devastated beyond belief.

Okay, since I took a lot of pictures, which I am going to mix with some ones that Ratty took or that I took with Ratty's awesome camera, I am just going to start posting and let the captions go where they please and explain our trip.  We had a blast, I want to move there, like now, or yesterday, or tomorrow if that works better for everyone.

We made the 9:15am ferry, which was not looking good AT ALL.  We left at 7:15am and zipped right down to the cape.  We stopped at the bridge and got Mary Lou's, seriously the best coffee ever, along with some breakfast items at McDonald's.  Yum, hashbrowns.  We made it to Hyannis with about 20 minutes before the ferry was scheduled to leave and we could not find the Steamship Authority for our lives.  We are circled the area but there were no signs and this is where I started to panic.  The next ferry wasn't until 1pm, so I was getting upset internally like, what are we going to do in Hyannis for 4 hours?!  We're supposed to get to Nantucket at 11:30am at this rate, if we miss this ferry we don't get there until 3:30pm!  This trip is off to a horrible start, it's awful!  Ratty seems to know me, because he was like, Amy it's fine!  If we make it we make it, if not, no big deal.  Apparently, he told me this later, he too was freaking out inside but knew if he said anything even remotely negative I would have pulled the car over on the side of the road and started crying.  He was right.

We finally found the Steamship Authority and there was a parking lot right across the street.  It wasn't an official parking lot, basically someone parking cars in their driveway, but I didn't care.  We didn't have time to drive around, parking in an official lot and taking a shuttle back to the boat.  I dropped Ratty off to get tickets and looped around and parked in the driveway. The guy was so nice he gave me a ride back to the ferry in his golf cart, which was terrifying because I was not buckled in and he was driving like a lunatic.  That's all I needed, to be thrown from a golf cart minutes before leaving for vacation.  Anyway, WE MADE IT!

Apparently the ferry uses the same logic we do, and they were serving beer at 10am.  Ratty went to find a bathroom and I was sitting reading my book, and he came back with 2 beers.  I still had my coffee, but it was soon traded in for beer.  There were 2 people drinking beer on the boat that morning, me and him.  Happy vacation!

Anxiously awaiting our docking in Nantucket!

So after we docked in Nantucket, we went straight to our B & B to change and drop our stuff off.  We freshened up and headed out to The Gazebo, seen above, where they have the most amazing frozen mudslide known to man.  It is truly fantastic.  Best I've ever had.  Now, I had tried to explain the Gazebo to Ratty before our trip and he just didn't get it.

Me: Ratty, it's just a big gazebo, it the middle of the wharf, and it's a bar.
Ratty: I don't get it.

The infamous frozen mudslide.  It's absolutely amazing.  I want one right this second please!  Sidebar: Isn't Ratty's camera awesome?  Look at the detail, it looks like a professional picture!  Ugh, I want it.

So after the Gazebo we grabbed sandwiches at Provisions, which is SO GOOD.  As we were waiting for our lunch, Ratty tested out his artsy side and snapped the picture of the receipt.  Like, for real, how awesome is this camera?!

To continue the pictures of inanimate objects:

This is my one and only Nantucket Nectars cap that I got on Nantucket.  LOOK AT THIS PICTURE.  I think it may be the greatest picture ever.  The colors, the white counter, like, I should enter it in a contest or something.  GET ME THAT CAMERA!  (I already asked my mom for it for Christmas.  You can buy a waterproof case too so you can take pictures underwater.  IT'S PERFECT!  I LOVE USING ALL CAPS TO SHOW MY EXCITEMENT!)

After a few mudslides at The Gazebo, Ratty and I made it to the Ropewalk, which is right at the end of the wharf.  His camera also has a cool black and white feature where it only picks one color to focus on.  Here, you see green.

While at the Ropewalk we made friends with the guys sitting next to us.  One was asking us where we live and such, and we find out that his family owns the bakery RIGHT across the street from Ratty's apartment.  Bova's.  The one that is open 24 hours.  The one I frequent all the time.  What a small world!  Then he bought us a round of drinks, without telling us, and I won a $25 bet with Ratty.  I knew he'd buy us drinks but Ratty was all like, 'NO WAY'.  I was right.

THEN, a massive boat pulls up along side the Ropewalk and docks.  It was a pretty spectacular boat, when the Bova's guy tells us that it's one of the owners of the Celtics.  Don't ask me who because I don't know, but Ratty does.  Lots happened at the Ropewalk, like lots.  Meeting people from the North End, seeing multi-billionaires, it was nuts.  I was tired.

So tired in fact, that when Ratty and I went back to our B & B to relax and have some champagne (Ratty packed his champagne flutes again, as a surprise) I fell asleep on the grass.  I had about 1 glass of champagne and was all like, I'm just gonna lay down here, I'm tired, no no keep talking, I'm awake, just resting my eyes.  Yeaaa then I passed out and Ratty was left sitting alone outside.  If you looked at his camera immediately after this cat nap, you'd see about 75 pictures of champagne glasses.  He had to keep himself busy I guess.  He took innumerable amounts of pictures of nothing, but when he told me there was a bunny I missed during my nap, he had zero pictures to show for it.  How do you miss the bunny?!  He said it was wicked cute too.

So, after my lil nap in the grass, we went back upstairs to get ready for dinner and drinks.  It was then that we both fell asleep and woke up at 9pm.  I really like to sleep, but I never nap.  So for me to nap TWICE, I must have been really tired.  I knew when I woke up and it was pitch black that I needed to get up immediately or I would be out for the night.  I tried to wake Ratty up, but he starting muttering things that made zero sense and literally fought me as I tried to shake him.  Like, if I wasn't so irritated it would have been hilarious.  He sat up, said he was up, and thought that I would totally miss him flailing himself back on the bed.  Ohh, you fooled me Ratty!  I totally didn't see you sleeping there, I thought you were in the shower!  After much prodding, he got up, we got ready, and made our way to Slip 14 for drinks.

This was the first of many shots that weekend.  I don't know why, but we were on vacation and it SEEMED like a good idea.

For anyone who has ever been to my mom's house, you'll know that she ALWAYS has Fresca in the fridge, always.  It's Steph's thing.  When I saw a Fresca at Slip 14 I, of course, had to take a picture!  SPOTTED.

Sipping on a Cougarita, which was Ruby Red vodka, grapefruit juice with a Fresca float.

Still sipping...

Like, even still...

Thumbs up for Nantucket!

And to close out the night, a formal shot.

Slip 14 was bumpin'!  The plan was to stay there for a drink or two and then make our way someplace else to grab dinner, but we ended up getting seats at the bar and just couldn't pull ourselves away.  I was starving by the time the bar closed, so I showed Ratty where to get the late night pizza downtown.  The line was out the door but we nabbed 4 slices pretty quickly.  I wanted to sit on a park bench and shove pizza in my face, but Ratty wanted to wait until we got back to our room.  Do you know how hard it is to carry pizza for 15 minutes when your starving and tipsy and NOT eat it?  I complained the whole way, like, Ratty I'm starving.  How come I can't eat it now?  I want it now!  Very Veruca Salt of me.  When we did make it back to our room we didn't even breath between bites.  The pizza was fantastic; I was so full and happy.  I ended up falling asleep fully clothed with the pizza box on my lap.  I woke up when the sun was coming up and was like, oh man, I fell asleep while eating, again.

Day one on Nantucket: Success!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

I started my first blog in 2010 as a way to document my '101 Things in 1001 Days Project'; the title is pretty self explanatory, I attempted to do 101 things in 1001 days, or about 2.7 years.  At the time I really hated my job, didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and felt like I was in a rut - I like to call this my Quarter Life Crisis (thankfully, I've moved passed this and am MUCH happier, though I still don't know what I want to do with my life, sigh).  I was looking for something to really motivate me, expand my horizons, encourage me to try new things and hopefully meet new people and expand my social circle.  I created the list and blog as a way to get myself out of that funk, and I'm pretty sure it worked.  

While I am no longer actively doing my 101 things project, I still really love all the posts I wrote during that time (487 in total!).  I thought I'd share some of my favorites here, for #ThrowbackThursdays.

To start off, here is my very first post, explaining the challenge and why I did it.  Enjoy!

Originally Posted: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2010

The Challenge and Why I'm Doing It.

The challenge is to make a list of 101 things you want to do in the next 1001 days.  It is similar to a New  Year's resolution or a Bucket List but it allows you to create specific goals that can be obtained in a more reasonable timeline.  Read more about the challenge at http://www.dayzeroproject.com/

So, for the past few years I've made a New Years resolution list.  While I try to follow it and accomplish the things I've listed, it hasn't quite worked as well as one would hope.  I really liked the idea of this challenge and blogging about it because now I am held accountable for completing these goals.  When I typically write up my little resolutions list, I don't share it with anyone, which means I am probably less likely to get anything done.

This list was REALLY hard to come up with.  Thinking of 101 things that you'd like to do is a lot tougher than I thought.  Thankfully, my friend Erin and I started this project together, so I was able to steal a few things from her list and vice versa.  (If you want to follow her journey as well, here's the link:http://www.101in1001ofe1.blogspot.com/).  I will admit that I also Googled a lot of other lists to get some creative ideas, there are lots out there.  Some people in the world are just straight up weird, so I did not take ideas from those lists.

I did my best to make my list as diverse as possible.  Some are goals that I've had in mind for a long time, like learning more about my dad's family or taking French lessons, while others are things that I already enjoy but want to expand on, like trying brunch at 25 new and different places.  I mean, who doesn't love brunch?  Coffee, champagne and bacon - my 3 favoritest things ever!

Some things have little anecdotes that go along with them, so I will do my best to explain everything in my posts.  For example, #14 Work on following my own advice, really means for me to stop being a hypocrite.   I tend to have lots of opinions, like, I hate being interrupted, which is true, but then I find myself interrupting people sometimes.  I need to not do that.  If I say that I hate when someone does this, or that I feel a certain way or offer advice to a friend, I better be able to stand behind that comment or advice, and not be a hypocrite.

Lastly, please comment!  Let me know if you like something I did, or want to know more about it.  I am hoping to inspire 5 people to want to do this challenge (I know that Erin and I have already converted Lana to our side, and Jamie is well on her way) so please let me know if you are starting your own list.  I was inspired by my sorority sister Gretchen.  She just gave birth to the sweetest twins ever, and her blog and 101 things list is so touching that I was truly brought to tears when reading it.  I doubt I'll have the same effect on people, as I am not as great of a writer as Gretchen, but I am at least going to try.  Make sure to check out her blog too!  http://www.lilbumpkin.blogspot.com/

So, let's get this party started!

Currently Obsessed With...

I am currently obsessing over Jenny Lewis' new song 'Completely Not Me'.  Apparently it was featured on Girls a few weeks ago, but I missed that because I think Girls is awful and boycotted it after the first season.  But ANYWAY, I love this song and have been listening to it on repeat for DAYS (it's pretty easy and not at all crazy considering the song is only two and a half minutes.  Plus, if you know anything about me at all, you'll know I like to absolutely overdose on songs, like that time I listened to Kelly Clarkson's 'My Life Would Suck Without You' for an entire workday via streaming on MySpace.)  This song is a collaboration between JL and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, and I think I can totally hear a little Cousins in there.

It was also just announced that Jenny Lewis is coming to the Boston Calling Festival at City Hall Plaza over Memorial Day weekend and to say that I am dying to go is an UNDERSTATEMENT.  Not sure what day she is playing or when tickets go on sale just yet, but consider me IN.  I will be swaying to the music on that concrete wasteland with a beer in my hand if it kills me.

What are you currently obsessing over? 

Happy 2014!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hello and happy 2014! Welcome to my brand new, redesigned blog, whether you are a returning reader or brand new, it's nice of you to stop by. 

I started my original blog a few years ago with the intent of completing 101 things in a 1001 days. It sounded like a pretty reasonable challenge, but somewhere along the way things fell off track, I struggled to keep up with my photo a day goal (mostly because I turned it into a daily recap, holding myself to a ridiculous standard that is almost impossible to keep up with, even for PROFESSIONAL bloggers!) I started to dread writing, mostly because I had HUNDREDS of recaps to write, and blogging just really lost its luster for me, sadly. 

With all that being said, I started to miss it. People would ask if I was still blogging, ask for updates, and tell me how much they missed my posts (mainly my mom and husband, but hey a fan is a fan). I thought about how I wanted to get back into writing, but without the pressures of completing goals and blogging every single day. I wanted to be able to chime in with updates, thoughts, photos, or one liners; to somehow create a mix of blogger, tumblr, instagram and twitter in one place. I am going to attempt to do that here, and I am going to TRY and keep it simple and relatively stress-free. I don't know, we'll see, I'm already kinda stressing about it to be honest. I built this new sight, registered amydeveau.com, and decided to start fresh. My blogspot.amydeveau.com site still exists, frozen in time with my posts on a path towards self discovery and improvement, and I'm pretty proud of it. I built that site all on my own, my first blog, and I still get readers and comments from time to time. I want to save that and be able to go back and relive some wonderful things - like my relationship with my now husband THEN boyfriend (so crazy! Time, it flies), and seeing how adorably sweet my nieces and nephew were (I mean, they still are, but they were just so wittle back then! I wanted to keep all those memories in tact, and just give myself a new start. 

 So, with that, make sure to add amydeveau.com to your feedly, reader, hard copy list of blogs you peruse regularly, whatever you use to read things on the internet now that google reader no longer exists, please and thank you. ANYWAY enough of this tangent. Since my original blog starting with goals towards self improvement, I thought an inaugural post featuring some 2014 New Years Resolutions would be a very fitting way to start.

So, without further adieu, here are my ten 2014 New Years Resolutions! 

1. Read more. I want to read more books. I go through spurts where I'll read 7 books in 7 days (mostly in the summer when I'm lounging in the sun, listening to the waves and working on a killer tan, ahhhhhhhhh summer, I miss you), but lately, I just haven't had the appetite. I need to fix that. In our apartment we used to have DEAR time, Drop Everything And Read (thank you 3rd grade for the inspiration), so I think we are going to need to introduce that again. 

2. Become more organized. Somehow manage to keep our apartment clean (mostly) all the time. Declutter. I am a self proclaimed emotional hoarder. I keep a lot of stuff and frankly, it stresses me out. I dream of a day that I can casually throw out an envelope addressed to me in my niece's handwriting, but for now, I need keep it. Also, I need to get better at hanging up my clothes. And by 'get better' I mean I need to actually START hanging up my clothes instead of carefully laying everything out across every available surface in our apartment. A chair in the bedroom stands no chance against my neatly laid out piles of clothes. RIP window ledges, tops of hampers & the top of my husbands bureau. 

3. Learn how to knit. Who DOESN'T want to learn how to knit?! Hm, maybe everyone under 80, but whatever. I know the basics, knit one, pearl two, but I am pretty sure there is more to knitting than creating one long, random scarf that no one will ever wear. I am on my way with this one, my friend and I purchased Living Social deals for an introductory knitting class in Dorchester. I WILL BE A KNITTING MACHINE! 

4. Learn more about graphic design, photoshop, creative applications. I think these are basic skills everyone should have, but I also feel as though I am a very creative person who just needs to tap into it. I think I have the capacity to do more, creatively, professionally, personally, etc., so I'd like to explore these outlets and maybe find my calling! Should a 30 year old have already found their calling? I barely even consider myself an adult, so I'm going with a no on this one. 

 5. Revive my blog. HEY, we're already there! 

 6. Get out of debt. Ha, I feel like a cat chasing their tail with this one, it's something you're always chasing, yet you just can't quite catch. I've been working on this one basically since college, but here I am still trucking away. Paying for a wedding definitely didn't help, and I racked up a little credit card debt in the process. I have zero student loans and my car will be paid off in April, I know it could be SO MUCH WORSE, but I'd like to be able to plan some major trips (domestic and abroad) in the next few years, so having a clean slate would totally help with this. I also really suck at saving, I should probably work on that too. K, this is just became work on managing my money better AND get out of debt. 

7. Become more fit. Sigh. Since getting married I've put on about 10 pounds, thank you cheese, wine and cupcakes! Let's work on getting that off, stat. I need to make more time to get to the gym, take classes and take better care of myself. 

8. Get better at meal planning. Tied directly to #7, I need to get better at budgeting, meal planning and grocery shopping. As it stands right now, we go grocery shopping about once or twice a month and mostly survive by popping into convenience stores in our neighborhoods to grab one or two things and/or eating out and getting take out/delivery. I want to REALLY plan, prep and stick to it. If other people can do it, I should probably be able to do it too, in theory. It'll be better for our wallets AND our waistlines in the long run! 

9. Buy a house! That's all I want, a house of our very own. A basement to store things, CLOSETS to hang clothes and the ability to have more than 2 people sit down and eat at the same time. Ahhh sounds lovely, doesn't it?! 

10. Basically do everything on this Buzzfeed list: 24 Invaluable Skills To Learn For Free Online This Year

Does anyone else have any goals they want to work on in 2014?