Sunday, March 29, 2009

Visions of a random Saturday night.

It was such a night that I went to bed without washing my face for the first time since I don't know when.
Sometimes you just need to let go like that.

{There is always someone's day of birth on the marquee of Rocky's.}

{Here's hoping we really will be saved, Lord knows we need it.}

{Lionshead number ????}

{Fuzzy jacket linings are always irresistible.}

{Artistic shot of a merch table, or just drunken camera angle? I'll never tell ...}

{First of two car bombs, before ...}

{ ... First of two car bombs, after.}

{In a diner that has diner wallpaper. Bizarro world!}

{If the walls of this diner could talk, clearly they'd sing.}

{That would eventually go on my cheeseburger and fries at 3 a.m.-ish.}


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Conquering my Everest.

Last night, I took a walk in the gorgeous weather.
Instead of doing the loop around the school like usual, I decided to do my two mile loop through my 'hood.

Said loop includes starting off with a massive hill at the end of my street (the very reason for the regularity of trekking around the nice flat school/track area).
This hill has always been a vicious foe, thanks to its veritable steepness.

What would ensue was shortness of breath, sparks flashing in my eyes and some off-putting wheezing and dizziness.
My legs would shake as I descended down the hilly street that intersects with it, and it would take me quite a while to breathe normally.

Not so last night.
I made Delaware Ave. my bitch.

I stalked up that hill like a mountain goat and held a slight conversation with my co-walker.

When I got to the top, I felt a sense of accomplishment, probably much like Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay must have felt as the first to ever ascent Mount Everest.

OK, clearly ascending my little hill isn't as monumental as that, however, for me, it sure as hell was.

Just like seeing myself in a full-length mirror last week made me realize I really did lose weight these last few months, getting to the top of that hill as fast as we did made me see that I am at last getting in shape.

My months of getting up early and miserably doing my Air Climber before the sun came up and my walks around the school/track have definitely paid off.

Watch out hills, you are no longer bigger than my determination.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guinness, I hardly knew ye.

So I've finally been able to appreciate - and fall in love with - the taste of Guinness.

It happened recently and it will be fleeting.
I have since discovered I can't drink it.


I must be allergic to one of its many delicious ingredients or something, but last night, I had a tasty can of Guinness (because one of my favorite bars for some reason didn't have it on tap, uh OK?), and my nose immediately got stuffed up.

Of all the things for a girl to be allergic to, this feels like some cruel joke.
Does this happen to anyone else??
guinness Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Edna, or fashion-forward?

I am wearing a hot pink sweater with teal earrings.
I love the way they play off each other, but am I like your colorblind great Aunt Edna?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Accomplishment, but not without tantrum.

Just spent the last two hours scouring my closet.
It started with organizing the sweaters that were falling this way and that, then moved to the crumpled up jeans on the opposite shelf, then turned into a full-blown purge.

One huge garbage bag later, the metal rods are still bowing precariously in the middle, but darned if the closet doesn't look so exquisite I can't stop going in and peeking at it.

(I would give a photo but there's no way to capture the closet in its entirety, so sadly, you won't get to see the glorious essence of its organization. Boo.)

With a closet purging naturally comes an influx of clothes-less hangers.
I have decided said hangers belong to some sort of evil empire.
In trying to untangle them, I hadn't seen myself have a tantrum of that magnitude since driving on Interstate 81 Monday.
mommie dearest Pictures, Images and Photos

Don't think I've ever written the word 'fount' before.

I don't know if it is because I've been addicted to working out every day or what, but I have been a fount of happy energy this week.

It's borderline annoying actually.
I can't imagine what it's like for other people ...

... Wait. Yes I can.
I bet it's adorable. And all sorts of fabulous.
Just like moi. ;D

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some things I love, in random order.

I love the rainbow array of my stilettos.
(introducing my newest addition: canary!)
I'm sure my back will hate me 20 years (or less) down the line, but damned if my legs don't love me right now.
What is more powerful than a sassy pair of leopard pumps? Or patent black? Or or or?
Nothing, my friend.
N o t h i n g!

I love that I can totally dress down on production day Tuesdays, since I am chained to my desk until the cows come home. I was so uber comfy today that I had to take a photo of my outfit this morn:
It consisted of:
- Jeans that are getting too big on me (yay!).
- A gray thermal shirt.
- My fabulously soft red cardigan cable-knit sweater.
- My Uggs which I know now I cannot live without, and consider them probably the most worth-it Christmas gift ever.
- A fleece leopard-print scarf since it was chilly in the morn.
- And natch, my bookish spectacles.
I love blue PaperMate pens and the pewter pen box I got as a gift from a friend. It's inscribed with a quote from one Ernest Hemingway:
"The writer must write what he has to say. Not speak it."
And I especially love Mint ChapStick. I have one at work, on my desk at home, on my nightstand, in the bathroom and in my purse. It's safe to say, since I am always within at least five feet of the green stick of minty goodness,
"Hello. My name is Nikki and I'm addicted to Mint ChapStick."

And I super, duper love when it's time for bed.

Nikki Jemima Buttersworth.

I ate straight maple syrup this evening.

Let me explain:
I was craving something sweet and only had one rice pudding left but a TON of chocolate pudding cups, which I gave up as I do every year for Lent, so my desperation was palpable ... and excusable.

It's so tough being a good Catholic who goes not to church.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009.

Had a pretty decent day today {knock wood!}.
I am going to give a run down, mostly because I want to give myself the run down to refer to should a crappy day follow ...

- Day started with an an intense 20-minutes of Windsor Pilates. Oh Mari Windsor, let's test that concept again Wednesday, kay?

- Jetted in the Bitch pod (my Ford Focus hatchback) to Scranton in the a.m. for a photo shoot. Blasted Poison and sang along at the top of my lungs entire way. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to my "happy place" band, think after spending a delightful day with Mom yesterday and part of Saturday, I'm regressing back to that carefree kid ... and it's everything I knew it would be.
(For however long it lasts.)

- On same ride, however, nearly had an aneurysm because I am FOREVER perturbed by those people who drive from Wilkes-Barre to Scranton in the passing lane going 30 mph. If I'm lucky. Why didn't the Pod come with some sort of taser device to take care of this blemish on society???? Good Lord.

- Wrote most of the day and got lots done for production day tomorrow, but naturally, 'tis never enough for me. Am such a work horse.

- Came home and did 20 hardcore minutes on Air Climber whilst watching end of "No Reservations" in Tuscany and part of Andrew Zimmern eating various internal animal bits in gross manner. Still, I'd love to hang out with the dirty mouthed (because of his food choices, duh) fella.

- Followed up my nice hot Italian sausage with pasta, broccoli and salad with a nice sugar free rice pudding with cinnamon. I cannot wait for Lent to be over to go back to chocolate. This is longest Lenten season EVER.

- Am now sitting with freezing feet because my apartment likes to rival the Arctic Circle. It's part of its charm.

Well, I'm sick of blogging such boring monotony and my desk is in dire need of organization that it's starting to distract me, but I'd rather watch Mr. Bourdain so off I go, weeeeeeeeee!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

eHarmony, you and your poster couples get under my skin.

It's not that I hate happy people.
Or that I'm jealous.

I just plain can't stand eHarmony commercials.

I loathe Tanyalee and Joshua - they met through the dating service, and after nine days - nine days - got engaged, and the rest as they say, is history.


But even more annoying than that couple (side note: Tanyalee annoyingly wears a filmy tank top over a long-sleeved shirt in the commercial) is the other eHarmony poster couple: Anne Marie and Lee.

These two are one of those couples you want to throw darts at. And they look like brother and sister.

There, I feel better.
At least these two couples aren't founder Neil Clark Warren, who makes you want to put on white sneakers and take a big gulp of the Kool Aid he's holding for you.
Neil Clark Warren Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Following my stars.

Two of my several horoscope e-mails are dead on today.

Exhibit A:
If you were offered the opportunity to take off on a trip around the world, where you would see wonderful palaces and experience a timeless love affair, would you take it? The total freedom would tempt you, without a doubt. But would it make you entirely happy, dear Gemini? Have you considered the possibility that you can create an environment right here at home that gives you that same sense of freedom?

Exhibit B:
Daily Tarot Reading
There is too much soul-searching going on today for your own good, dear Nikki. The Lovers lead you to cast doubt on everything. If you're single, you're not at all sure that it's an enviable state to be in, and if you're in a couple, you ask yourself if this is really for you. And even worst, the High Priestess does not encourage you to have an open discussion about it. Instead, your lips are sealed and your questions buried inside you - it's no wonder that you feel somewhat under the weather... At work, you're not functioning at full power today. Whatever you're trying to do, the High Priestess and the Hermit slow you down and encourage you to take a break from your relentless onward course. Why? So that you can move forward all the more quickly tomorrow! You need to think hard about your approach and reflect on your working methods and relationships. Don't worry - in the long run you'll gain from this slowing of the pace...

I don't want to read every Gemini I come across, it just happens. I don't really believe in it, but I think it's interesting when some things just align ... along with the stars, as they say.
gemini symbol Pictures, Images and Photos

Let's talk about Exhibit A, shall we?
I know that leaving ala that train like a vagabond (see two nights ago blog) won't change anything unless I myself change deep, deep inside. I'd just be the same Nikki, just different surroundings.

Exhibit B
I feel like I am exploding internally with all I have going on inside my head, heart. I've been wanting to expunge it, but don't have the correct words to say, so I've been bottling it up. I tend to run at a highly agitated state most of the time and the sore throat and chest/cough I am battling is making me vulnerable. This is not Nikki, no, no, no.

I'm such a textbook Gemini it's sickening.
I can't help but wonder if people are real full-blown Gems, it isn't just just a non-scientific/kinder way of saying "Bi-polar.?"
Bite your tongue - wait, that would mean bite my tongue.
No, let's not do that.

Hope your stars align just so today!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last words.

My quote of the day e-mail included this nugget today:
"Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored."
~~ George Saunders, last words

Gasp. That's just grand.
(PS - The short story writer isn't still alive and kicking, which is even more grand!)

Another last word morsel I've always been fond of is
"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
~~ Pancho Villa (1923)
pancho Pictures, Images and Photos

But getting Saunders' "last words" made me delve into morbidity for a moment.
What would my tombstone (God forbid) say?
1. For one think, it would definitely have pepperoni on it.
2. Nothing, because I fully intend to be cremated.
3. Hopefully the memorial stone would have something quippy like the quote from writer/historian Hilaire Belloc:
"When I am dead I hope it may be said: 'His sins were scarlet but his books were read.'"

Or perhaps something along the lines of what my favorite poet said before cashing in:
dylan thomas Pictures, Images and Photos
"I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record ..."
~~ Dylan Thomas (1953)

Either way, I'm not ready to have my words be ... final. I haven't even gotten them all down yet!

I'm nearly 32, but I don't even know who the hell I am yet. I know that what I do is, in some capacity, what I am on this planet for, but there much more I want to, and need to, do. Novels. Poetry. More writing, more, more, more!

As I read more of the fantastic last words at , there was some romanticism, even at death's door, and I'm a sucker for romanticism.

Such as:
"I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you."
~~ President James K. Polk to his wife (1849)

"Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy."
~~ Charlotte Bronte to her husband (1855)
Charlotte Bronte Quote Pictures, Images and Photos

I fell in love with the sweetest blog this evening and it made me feel kind of bad about how much romanticism isn't in my life. Which is a bit ironic, considering how much I love love and all its trappings.

Even that diminutive jerk* Napoleon had romance as the Reaper waited sickle poised for him when he said "Josephine..." before up and dying (1821.)

Bah. That, and all the morbid thoughts, are enough to keep this unfinished writer up tonight. At least I'll be able to keep trying to be quippy ...

"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."
~~ Humphrey Bogart (1957)
Martini Pictures, Images and Photos

* Nikki M. Mascali didn't know Monsieur Bonaparte personally, of course, but whilst researching for this blog, she kept picturing the Napoleon character in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" hogging all the water slides at Waterloo.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thoughts from a wannabe-vagabond.

Just at the end of my street, beyond the overgrown weeds and gravel that line them, are train tracks.
I've lived here four and a half years now, and I'll never get tired of hearing the trains go by.

It's such a darkly romantic sound to me, especially when it's raining.
It conjures up a foggy image of a deserted depot in the middle of nowhere.
She sits restlessly on the bench having a cigarette to pass the time until his train arrives. He'll step down onto the platform, definitely wearing a chapeau and they'll stand there gazing at each other for a moment before embracing. The months and pain will fall away, and the train will chugga-chugga on to the next depot, the next ...

There's a loneliness to trains too. I always feel wistful when I hear that whistle blowing, like I'm missing out on where ever it's going. Like I want to be a vagabond stealing away in one of the freight cars, seeing the world, nature and America whiz by.

Tonight I was walking the track when the 6:45ish went by, just on the other side of the chain link fence. It was only a few cars, maybe 20, but as it whizzed by, I fought the urge to hop that fence and have a Dylan-esque journey of my own. But instead, I pensively formed this blog in my head and await the next train, the next yearning.

Will I be able to silence that one? I don't think I can forever ...


I haven't written
in days, but mind is racing
can't put fingers to
keys just yet, inspiration
still swirls like exhaled smoke.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Brand-new day.

Whoo hoo!

Did a kick-ass 20 minutes on Air Climber this morn!

Didn't want to get up, but I did.
And now I feel like I got a better start to the day, and can [hopefully] handle anything that comes my way today, this Friday the 13th ...
... as long as I don't see anyone wearing a hockey mask!!

Having said that, doesn't someone need to get ready for work??

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Step in the right direction?

Have been quite the slacker with exercising since Tuesday morn.
My shins hurt so bad that I just didn't have the oomph to push through it and buck up.

So today, after a deliciously naughty cheese dog from Abe's, I came home and did 20 minutes on the Air Climber.
As inspiration, I watched the "World's Best Caribbean Resorts" or whatever on the Travel Channel. It definitely did the trick of pushing me a little harder, what with beach season right around the proverbial corner.

As dessert for the Air Climber, I did a few Windsor Pilates moves for the first time in ages.

I have to say, I wanted to pat myself on the back.
What a jerk I am! I should be doing it every day - not when I feel like it!

Hopefully I can get my head and mind together and continue tomorrow and every day until I am where I want to be.

But I can't help but wonder:

Will hoisting a beer to my mouth every five minutes on Parade Day count????

[there was supposed to be a pic of green beer here, but Photobucket is being a big jerk, so just use your imagination].

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Everyone loves a parade.

Not true.
My mom loathes parades - and "parks and picnics" too.

I follow suit.
- While I love food on the grill, I'm not a fan of eating outside. Too many bugs, too hot, etc.
- I like to hike, but only when it's cool, like in the fall or this time of year, and definitely before the snakes wake up.
- And I certainly do not like parades, for several reasons:
---- They congest traffic.
---- There is just way too many people and I'm not one for mobs.
---- You just end up waiting forever, especially if you are part of said parade waiting for your moment to march.

However, one parade is just too much fun: St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Parade Weekend starts this Saturday morning in Scranton well before a normal workday starts ... like 6 a.m. I kid you not.
It's so much fun, even with the mobs in the bars and on the streets. It's mayhem, Mardi Gras and Carnival but more fun.

I don't care what your nationality is (mine is mostly Sicilian/Italian BTW), it's the one day that everyone is - or wants to be - Irish.
See exhibit A below:
It's just a damn fun day.

On Sunday, it happens again in Wilkes-Barre.
Now, this parade isn't comparable to Scranton's parade day, but you know what?
This is definitely the year that could take W-B to the next level - there's so many more places downtown open, it's refreshing.

Over the past four years, I've seen W-B grow so much, from hundreds of spectators, to thousands. From nothing, to some things open on parade route.
This year is going to be pretty exciting for W-B and if you believe in hair of the dog as they say, make sure to slainte both days!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Someone kickstart my heart!

Spent weekend in Hershey, where I met up with my brother and "sister" for a Motley Crue concert.
Had a blast as we oft do on the rare occasions we are all together - drank too much, ate too much ... and it twas just what the doctor ordered.

Until I woke up mucho early this morning and high-tailed it from The Sweetest Place on Earth to my desk - in less than two hours.

Was fired up that my trip home was smooth sailing (read: not too many jerks on 81 for once), and set about my day. Petered out at about 2 p.m. and here I am - ready for bed at 6:23 p.m. WIMP!

Better change the "Kickstart" lyric from "When I get high I get high on speed" to "when I get high, I get high on sleep!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

To Twitter or not to Twitter: A conundrum.

I make no qualms about being three months shy of my 32nd birthday.
I embrace it, actually, because I am in a place in my life I never thought I'd be, or be lucky enough to be.
But enough about that for right now ...

I get so much flack for not having a Facebook. Just the word Facebook makes me want to yell and/or break something.

Isn't it enough that I, in addition to my work blog (shameless plug No. 1:, have this blog, my beloved MySpace page (shameless plug No. 2: and my new LinkedIn page (shameless plug No. 3:

Isn't it enough that I do those four things to be in contact with the outside world and work a job that relies on me having contact with said outside world an a daily - and sometimes hourly - basis?

I've been able to outrun the Facebook hounds (read: friends and coworkers), but then a little something called Twitter came along.

I really don't need it. I really don't want it. But that doesn't mean I'm not just a little tiny bit interested in it. It just seems so easy. And a little irreverent. And I really like its "Partridge Family"-esque bird logo.

I've heard people complain that Facebook is information overload, that people know what you are doing at every hour of the day.

But don't people know that info because ... that's ... what ... you ... tell ... them??

Part of me kind of feels like I am way to old for this stuff - all of it. But if people in the media didn't sway with the breeze, where would we be? I'll tell you: I'd be blogging on tree bark about that dang Gutenberg and his new-fangled movable type! Trees that don't bend in the wind, break.
tree branches Pictures, Images and Photos

It seems like Twitter is exactly the same way as Facebook - way too TMI - yet here I am creating an account.
My inquisitive nature got the best of me - there's the rub I guess.
Here's shameless plug No. 4:

But don't you dare try to strong-arm me onto Facebook because that branch just ain't budging.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ode to the wind ...

... that kept waking me up last night:

Ferocious, the wind
howls - nothing like Ginsberg -
awakening me
from my insomniac rest
and batters against the hatch.