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Loose Ends – August Edition

August 4, 2011

It seems I have a problem with this blog.

Oh, I mean a problem besides the fact that I recently realized that companies fondly referred to as site scrapers have been stealing my content and selling it to other websites – without attributing or linking back to me at all.

You know, basically, plagiarizing me. Now I totally get why all those artists were pissed at Napster. But I’m not upset or anything. Just smarter after reading this and this and this.

I have a problem updating you all on the things that are going on in my life. Because I usually write just one blog post a week (in addition to the Simply Solo Spotlights), I try to make each post substantial. I like them to be stand-alone pieces that are more than just a “This is what I’m doing this weekend and have you tried the Ben & Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk ice cream? It’s amazing.”

Although, this weekend I am having my first ever blogger meet up with Katie from Domestiphobia! She and her husband are coming to my family’s place at Lake Gaston. We had a really fun phone conversation the other night, and I’m super excited to meet her! Oh, and have you tried Ben & Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk ice cream? It really is amazing.

What ends up happening is that I only update you on a few select big things, and little things often fall through the cracks. And since the last time I tied up loose ends on the blog was February, I figured an update is probably about due.

First of all, and really, most importantly, Tabbie hasn’t turned up yet. I know you guys have been canvassing Chester in search of her, and I really appreciate your efforts. I guess it’s better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all …

I’m still somewhat angry about my ex fiancé and his new girlfriend. Not gonna lie. But I’m working on it. I unfriended him on Facebook, which was a really big step for me. I even asked my friends to unfriend him too so that I couldn’t, in some weak moment, try to find out what he’s been up to. [I should note, these weren’t his close friends that I asked. They were primarily my friends that became his friends (in real life and on Facebook) when we were together. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m trying to make our mutual friends choose between us.)]

I mentioned before that I’m having a hard time letting go of the tangible pieces of our relationship. Well this past month, my hard drive crashed. I mean crashed crashed. Lose everything, including all your pictures, files, hopes, dreams, will to live … crashed.

I was like Carrie in Sex and the City.

Computer repair man: “When’s the last time you backed up your work?”

Carrie: “Um, I don’t do that.”

It became pretty clear that I had lost everything. Work files, pre-drafted blog posts and about seven years of pictures. Gone. Not backed up.

Gone were the files I used to plan my wedding, including invitation lists, inspiration boards, receipts, contracts, etc. My entire dream wedding, gone.

Also gone was pretty much every picture I’ve ever taken with my digital camera. Including every picture I took when I was with my ex fiancé.

At first I cried. Okay, I cried a lot. Then I started to feel very Zen-like about the whole situation. Maybe this was for the best. A fresh start. This was like ripping the Band-Aid off and starting completely over.

The minute I came to terms with my loss, the hard-working IT guys at my company were able to save a few key folders. One of the folders they happened to save was my wedding folder. Figures. The one folder that I have no earthly idea why I hold onto, the one folder I was happy to see go, is now back on my computer, under my control.

I have all these reasons for not deleting the folder. “I could use these files to help my friends as they are planning their weddings!” True – I did use some of them for Teya’s recent wedding. But is that a good enough reason to let a cancer like this stay on my computer?

Do I really need a picture of my wedding dress and dream bouquet? Or pictures of me and my ex registering at Macy’s?

You think that you have come so far and then you can’t delete a folder. I’m trying, and getting better. But it hasn’t all disappeared overnight.

I also realized that I tend to only tell you about Chef when I’m breaking up with him or fighting with him. I don’t tell you how hard he makes me laugh; or how he’s still the best kisser ever; or how he loves me, respects me, and buys me my favorite flowers; and tolerates my baggage and fear of commitment. That stuff isn’t nearly as interesting … but it’s happening.

White peony flowers

White peonies Chef bought me. Peonies are my all time favorite flower

I never told you that my Dad has completed all of his treatments, and he’s doing great. He’s even shown me that people can surprise you … which I’ll talk about in a future post.

And lastly, I haven’t updated you on my quarter life crisis, or informed you that I finally bit the bullet and signed a new 18-month lease for my apartment in Chester. I’m going to forgo buying a condo for now.

I waited until the very last minute to sign the new lease. I was really struggling with the decision, because this wasn’t where I expected to be in a year. When I first rented my apartment, it was supposed to be a temporary solution.

In a year, I’d planned to be in an amazingly better position. I’m not sure what I thought that position was; maybe it was a new guy I was living with, maybe it was a condo I purchased, maybe it was living in a tent in Costa Rica. I don’t know. I just didn’t picture a year later, a year older, resigning a lease for the same one-bedroom apartment.

Once I decided the smartest decision was for me to stay in my apartment, I realized that I need to focus on the things I love about it a little more:

  • Ample parking – My dreams of moving to Richmond didn’t really include ample parking. Even though I’m proud of my newfound parallel parking skills.
  • Apple Bees, Cracker Barrel, Panera, oh my – Easily assessable chain restaurants nearby.  They are so successful because they are good, people.
  • The pool – My beautiful apartment complex pool, perfect for lounging.

    apartment pool

    Cell phone picture doesn't do my wonderful pool justice.

  • Not one, but two Bruster’s Ice Cream locations nearby.
  • An easy way to test friendships – Think someone’s your friend? Ask them to visit you in Chester.
  • Never run into coworkers – Love my coworkers, really do, but when I go to Kroger in my pajama pants, I’m happy to know that the odds of me running into one of them is slim to none.
  • Don Pepe and Steel Horse – Two restaurants within walking distance of my apartment. And they both sell adult beverages. Who needs to live in the Fan?
  • Best friend that lives upstairs – What would I have done this past year without this support system?
  • Actual apartment amenities – It really is a nice apartment, with hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a huge walk in closet, a fireplace, etc. There’s plenty to love.
  • It’s mine – This apartment is mine. All mine. And just because I rent and not own doesn’t change that. I buy whatever girly bedding I want. I clean when (and if) I want. I buy whatever artwork inspires me. I participate in wonderful “secret single behavior,” like plucking my eyebrows an inordinate amount, blasting CNN in the morning because I simply must hear it from the bathroom, eating ice cream for dinner, taking 30-minute showers, watching the same movie three times in a week, etc. What’s not to love about that?

    Flower Pottery Barn bedding

    Girly bedding I bought for myself a few months ago

Oh – I almost forgot! My real last update is that I wrote a guest blog post titled “Love Conquers All” on Musings on Life and Love last week. Please check it out if you have a second!

Whew, I think that’s about it. See ya’ll again in another six months for another “Loose Ends” update.

What’s new in your life? Any “secret single behavior” to which you’d like to admit?

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.


34 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2011 10:43 am

    Is that bedding from Pottery Barn? I love it! That’s one that I am considering buying!

    • August 4, 2011 11:22 am

      It is!! I love it 🙂 The names of the colors of the flowers are pretty cool too.

  2. August 4, 2011 12:40 pm

    Love that “girly” bedding. There are definitely a few things that I miss about living alone. like not having to let someone know every time you’re going to be 5 min late home from work!!

    Just remember that you can’t do everything all at once. You are moving forward…even if you live in the same location (or don’t own your home) Focus on a few things at a time and make long term goals to keep those dreams in sight!

    • August 4, 2011 3:47 pm

      Melissa,
      That’s a great one! It’s so nice not to have to update anyone on my whereabouts. It’s funny, my best friend who lives upstairs’ boyfriend always notices when I’m home or not. Sometimes he’s been like, “Wow, you were home late last night.” Or “Seems like you’ve been heading to work really early lately!” Love him – really do – but it drives me nuts. One of my favorite parts of living by myself is that I come and go as I please. I won’t be in this situation forever. So part of me doesn’t like that he’s sort of keeping tabs on me… but then, I think, I could get kidnapped someday, and I’ll really appreciate his concern over my whereabouts 🙂

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement, Melissa!

  3. August 4, 2011 1:28 pm

    First, incredibly jealous you three are getting to meet up (finally). Wish I could be there. Maybe some day there will be an unofficial bloggers convention.

    Oh! Idea. I’m going to get on how that would work. It’ll be as big as Comic-Con!

    How did you find out your content was being stolen? Not that I write ‘true gems of literature’ but I suppose I should cover my butt a bit since I intend on sharing self shot pictures and video too.

    And thanks for the re-cap. Sometimes the little things are the items we find easiest to actual write about and oddly hold substance we never thought they did.

    • August 4, 2011 3:52 pm

      Hi Matthew! Just got excited to hear from you – for some reason I feel like we haven’t chatted…or commented??… in a while. Totally my fault, I’m sure 🙂

      As far as my content being stolen, it was a total fluke that I found out. They stole the guest post that Darcy Dates wrote, and that post had some internal links back to her site. I’m finding that they have stripped internal links on a lot of the content they stole, but for this one, they left it. Anyway, I guess she saw some traffic back to her blog, and she brought it to my attention as just an FYI. At that point I didn’t realize the extent of it. I’m still not sure I understand the extent of it. It’s hard to find this content online – considering they don’t attribute me, it’s not as easy as searching for “Simply Solo.” I’d have to search for certain passages of each of my blog posts. So frustrating. So, I added the copyright on the side, I’m adding a copyright to all future blog posts (and eventually I’ll go into my old posts and do it too). I still have a ton to learn about how to protect myself – but I would definitely look into it if I were you, especially since you are posting video/photos.

      Oh, and we’ll really miss you this weekend. I’m in for a blogger convention 🙂 Can we make it somewhere beautiful – like Jamaica or something? 🙂

      • August 4, 2011 9:18 pm

        Hate to break it to you kids, but they already have bloggers conventions! All the time. Though I’m thinking you’re on to something about creating one for our connections. It’s like when I wrote about “people pods” — we have blogger pods. 🙂

  4. August 4, 2011 1:30 pm

    I don’t know if you have to get rid of the wedding folder. I deleted all of the wedding pictures that included my husband from Facebook. It’s really weird now. You go to my Facebook wedding photos and not a single one includes a groom. 🙂

    I still have all of our wedding and family photos on my computer though, and I’m not getting rid of them. That was a part of my life, and your wedding folder was a significant part of your life. You’ll get rid of select pieces of it when you’re ready, or maybe you’ll keep it forever. (If you back up your files.) The point is, it’s part of your life, and you get to edit it when and if you choose.

    • August 4, 2011 3:56 pm

      mydatingprescription,
      LOL – that’s pretty funny. People are probably like – well, it looks like she got married, but to who?? LOL.
      I totally understand why you wouldn’t delete the wedding photos. I mean, your wedding happened. It is a part of your life. Since mine didn’t, I really do feel like I need to get rid of these files. It’s not like I’m going to wear the same dress or have the same color scheme again. And while I know that wedding will never happen, sometimes I still have a hard time letting go. I know that I need to delete the folder …. I really do believe it. But I’m just not ready. I can’t make myself pull the trigger. But I suppose it’ll happen in its own time, just the way that I finally was able to unfriend him on Facebook. But damn it, I’m impatient!

      I like the “Maybe you’ll keep it forever (if you back up your files.” LOL. Everyone – learn from my mistake!! Back up your files!!

  5. August 4, 2011 1:54 pm

    I’m glad your Dad is doing better!

    Panera is sooooo good. I wish there was one next door to me.

    • August 4, 2011 3:53 pm

      Thanks, me too 🙂
      Panera is the best. I’m currently craving one of their m&m cookies by the way… hmmm…maybe a stop on the way home? 🙂

  6. 2blu2btru permalink
    August 4, 2011 2:39 pm

    *Please wait while I obsessively back up everything on my computer…OK*

    Wow, this is a lot! I’m currently still working on blogging world domination (and still failing miserably), which means I’m begging for guest posting spots on well-read and well-written blogs. I’m also working on publishing world domination (and, again, failing miserably), which means I’m writing more and trying to get excited about submitting to magazines and agents (and all the form letters that will come). I’ve been trying not to slip back into full on quarter life crisis mode and follow the whole :bloom where you’re planted”/”good morning to infinite possibility lifestyle (which hasn’t really started working yet).

    Glad to see so many things have been resolved for the better for you, hun! 😀

    • August 4, 2011 4:00 pm

      2blu2btru,
      I hope you back up your computer! I’m not kidding, friend. The loss of these files was devastating to me. I wish I’d planned better. I mean, pictures from my 21st birthday party, my college graduation…. all gone. Not just those of my ex. I’ll get over it, but it does suck.

      You know, you can always guest post here 🙂 Send me an email at simplysoloblog@gmail.com with any ideas! I have openings in late August/Sept. (Although, I can’t claim to be necessarily well-read or well-written, LOL!)

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed regarding your publishing world domination! Because then you can help me. LOL. Because all I’m doing is writing this blog… when I really should be working on reaching out to magazines and writing a manuscript 🙂

  7. Just Saying permalink
    August 4, 2011 5:46 pm

    Love it! All of it!
    Change is good. Embrace it.
    (said while ducking from whatever object you’ve hucked at me)
    😉

    • August 4, 2011 6:36 pm

      Hehe 🙂 Damn it… I know you are right…
      (good thing you ducked though)

  8. August 4, 2011 5:48 pm

    Love these updates!

    “You think that you have come so far and then you can’t delete a folder.” So true. Ugh ugh ugh.

    I love peonies too- and I love a man who knows his lady’s favorite flower! Points!

    Congrats on the guest post too, I’m gonna go read it now. =)

    • August 4, 2011 6:37 pm

      Larissa,
      You are so right – serious points on that. It means a lot when a guy knows – and remembers – a girl’s favorite flower. Doesn’t count it if it’s roses. 🙂 Peonies are just the most beautiful flower ever, aren’t they? I mean they look so different through different stages of bloom – I wish they were available all the time.

      Thanks for checking out my guest post 🙂 I hope you enjoy it! It’s a lot of what I’ve written here, just all in one post.

      And I’m working on that damn folder…

  9. August 4, 2011 6:52 pm

    I know what you mean about how you’re feeling about not wanting to delete the files. I have an entire box of stuff from our wedding– our invitations, guest plate (instead of a book), our tied-knot, etc.– that I can’t seem to throw away. It’s collecting dust, and it’s not like I’m keeping them because we might get back together or feel overly sentimental about it… but I just can’t seem to make myself take them out to the dumpster. But I think what mydatingprescription said is true– it was a part of my life, so it’s okay to hold on just to remember.
    Also, changing my apartment around was one of the best parts of living alone after my ex moved out! Glad you’re embracing the new single life and are making your house your own! Love the comforter!
    And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten popcorn and ice cream as dinner. I had to cut it out when I moved in with my roommate because she’s into “healthy” things and said something about “not being a sufficient dinner” or something…

    • August 9, 2011 8:11 pm

      Kate,
      Sounds like I need to move in with someone like your roommate. My unhealthy eating can be a little out of control without anyone around to judge me, lol.

      “It’s not like I’m keeping them because we might get back together or feel overly sentimental about it… but I just can’t seem to make myself take them out to the dumpster.” I can’t tell you how much this is spot on. I don’t have any of these kinds of reasons either to keep it. Yet I just can’t seem to let go. It’s hard to explain the whys or hows….it just is.

      Thanks for reading and the comment 🙂

  10. August 4, 2011 9:21 pm

    Umm… i’m pretty sure you could’ve just left this whole post with your weekend plans, because those sound pretty awesome. 😉

    Also, for your hard drive, you need this: http://domestiphobia.net/2010/11/16/tuscan-soup-for-the-soul/. And lots of wine.

    P.S. Delete the folder. And then empty the recycle bin. You will feel bad at first. But then? So, so much better. We can do it this weekend if you need moral support. 🙂

    • August 9, 2011 8:05 pm

      Damn it! I forgot to bring my computer for this weekend. I do need some moral support for the deleting. Next time we get together 🙂

  11. annie permalink
    August 5, 2011 2:47 am

    At least you just have a picture of the dress, I still have the actual dress. “sell wedding dress” has been on my list of things to do for a year now! I know I won’t ever wear it, but yet I keep avoiding selling it. I’m getting closer tho, I actually took pictures of it to use in the ad to sell it, I guess that’s progress (unless my hard drive crashes and then I’m back to square one) It will be nice to cross that off the list one of these days!

    So, I read that article on life and love that you wrote, as I was reading it I was thinking, I should forward this to Catherine, it sounds like something she would appreciate. Then I saw the byline, too funny.

    I love peonies too, my absolute favorite, My favorite are the pale pink ones.

    Have a good weekend!

    • August 9, 2011 8:03 pm

      Annie,
      I’m proud of you for making those steps to get rid of your dress. I may have told you before, but I’ve been mostly lucky because my ex kept all the wedding stuff. Not sure he had a chance to get rid of all of it yet, but at least it’s not on my plate. Good luck taking the final steps…. I’m working on deleting my folder.
      Haha – thanks for thinking of me! That’s funny 🙂

  12. August 5, 2011 4:28 pm

    A hard drive crash almost killed my career as a writer. i was a good 2 thirds into a book I started writing and In Carrie Bradshaw fashion I looked belligerently at the Circuit City guy as I told him “I don’t back nothing up ‘cept my car…oh well…We live and learn right?

    My secret single behavior not showering on Saturdays OR combing my hair AND..(brace yourself this may be TMI) not brushing my teeth (I know its gross don’t judge me), as I lazily lounge around in my sweats doing whatever comes to mind like reading, watching crappy reality tv, sleeping, and cooking stuff I have no intention on making a part of my regular menu, because their ingredients are too exotic or too expensive for me to afford every week.

    • August 9, 2011 7:57 pm

      Libert8edsoul,
      Wow, I can’t imagine losing that much personal work – especially a book! How devastating! You must back up like daily now, huh 🙂

      I think your secret single behavior sounds amazing! And as far as no brushing of the teeth – I think more people are guilty of that than admit. Sometimes, I’m so lazy before I go to bed that I don’t brush,and I sort of relish the fact that there’s no one I have to impress (well, except my dentist for my next check up…)

      Sleeping — I also do my fair share of that. If I’ve had a rough day, there’s nothing better than dozing off on the couch at night. It doesn’t make me lazy. Maybe old… haha

  13. August 6, 2011 7:20 am

    Sounds like things are going well, keep it up!

  14. August 7, 2011 12:22 am

    1. WTF i should be there with you two.

    2. i can barely finish this i’m so jealous.

    3. glad your dad is doing well =)

    4. i hate the day to day posts. i’m with you girl. i appreciate the substantialness

    • August 9, 2011 7:52 pm

      Blunt Delivery,
      I’m sure it would have been even more fun if you were there – let me just tell you, Katie’s a blast! And as far as substantialness… glad I’m not the only one. And there’s not much more substantial than your hilarious videos. Those are my fave 🙂

  15. ACommenttoMake permalink
    August 18, 2011 12:34 am

    I think Ive been a bad blog follower because I didn’t realize you lived in Virginia! Which made me further appreciate your “chester”/”good friend” comment.

    I don’t know why, but I always have a desire to comment on what you write- and quite honestly, you inspire me to write…which is something I love, but have stopped doing so often.

    I appreciated you addressing not writing often, and I loved the brief reference to Chef and all the good things he does. I like him. I like him because I’m dating the first person since my broken engagement, and it’s such a hilly road! Im sure chef has many flaws, and who knows if the on and off will turn into a permanent “on.” But I appreciate the fact that he is a major part of your healing process…and that he loves you, and does little things. I felt like that brief statement about him doing good things too (not just the inbetweens or “bad” that you might blog about) probably mirrored the (protective)barriers/or lack-there-of that co-exists when you’re healing….I can’t articulate exactly what I read into it, and I may be completely off, but thats the beauty of your blog—it speaks differently to different people.

    My heart also sank about your computer crashing (for a bajillion reasons including it being most people’s worse nightmare—Im a Carrie on this one, too). But, recently, I acidently deleted the text thread between me and my ex. It went as far back as I’ve had my phone. It chronicled the last awful bit of our relationship—down to lies in text—and to our last few texts leading to and following our break up…and it included lame apology texts…and a bunch of other stupif texts and content I should not care about…but Liked to have access too…In my mind it was good for me because it helped me keep track of events I shouldnt care about anymore….

    Whoa, sorry for the long comment.

    Thanks, again, for sharing your journey!

    • August 18, 2011 10:33 pm

      ACommenttoMake,
      Thanks so much for your comment – and don’t apologize for the length! I just appreciate you taking the time.

      I’m so glad that I inspire you to write. If it weren’t for this blog and the support of regular readers like you, I may get lazy and give up the blog all together. I need the encouragement, the responsiblity to write here. It keeps me focused and thinking. I’m very lucky for this blog.

      I agree with your assessment of the Chef situation, actually 🙂 I believe it’s a positive force. He’s a wonderful person and treats me great – who could ask for more?

      I feel you on deleting the text message history – I have a bit of a similar story. I just got a new phone about a week before my ex and I broke up. Remember, my breakup came absolutely out of the blue. When I got the new phone, I lost all the wonderful text messages with my ex. The “I love yous” or “X # of days to the wedding day!” Then we broke up. And all my new phone ever knew was the sad times. The depressing text messages. Many times the past year I’ve wished I had the old messages. I know it’s not healthy, but I sort of wanted a reminder of what we had and that I wasn’t crazy – it wasn’t always this bad. But alas, someone out there was looking out for me. Maybe they are looking out for you too.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  16. August 19, 2011 12:08 pm

    Delete that folder. You figured you wouldn’t be getting it back anyway. I know it’s hard to do but it’s part of letting go. You don’t need it. It probably just makes you upset to look at it. Gather your courage and do it.

  17. Maria permalink
    April 29, 2012 11:11 am

    question – did you ever in the time you have gone thru all this feel like there was unfinished business? i feel like i have unfinished business with my former manfriend as i refer to him. it’s a long story what happened, but i do feel like there is unfinished business and that is what is holding me back from moving on.

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