Hello, and welcome to the Urban Rice Ball!  (To get the full experience, please use the voice from “Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!” when reading that previous sentence.  Better right?)

I’m Erika (aka the Urban Rice Ball aka the URB)…and I’m not really sure where I live right now.  We are currently in the process of moving from our NYC studio where we’ve been for the past six years to an old but cozy ranch home in the New Jersey suburbs.  “We” includes myself, my studly husband Mr. S, and our ever-lovable if only a bit arrogant pit bull, Chunk.  (Some of you might recognize me from my stint as Mrs. Squid at Weddingbee.)

The Urban Rice Ball is a collection of my life stories – a niche-less blog because I lead a niche-less life.  Sometimes the stories commemorate monumental milestone events, sometimes they’re just a way to appreciate life’s simpler pleasures, but hopefully they’re always a little bit humorous.  Because I truly believe that life, no matter how mundane, is funny.  You just have to laugh.

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

I’ve been working on this list of “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” a la US Weekly for longer than I’d like to admit (for all my Type A tendencies, I still know how to procrastinate like a boss).  The first few points are indicative of how long ago I started this – we now have a dog, we will soon be leaving NYC for the NJ suburbs, and Loehmann’s is no longer in business (I’m still not over that loss).  The list is chopped up into pieces on the blog, but this seems like a good home for the whole thing.  Plus, perhaps the lingering empty slots will make my eyes twitchy enough to actually finish it one day.  One day, one day…

  1. I’m allergic to dogs  This is problematic because I really like them and want one really badly.  I scour petfinder.com frequently for my future pup.  Last month I fell in love with Tommy the Brown Pitbull, but he was recently adopted (still bittersweet for me).  During my searches, I always forget that I am allergic to dogs.
  2. I only like big dogs.  Small dogs just don’t do it for me.  I’d rather have no dog than a small dog.  When I am on petfinder.com, I always pretend I live in a 2,000 square foot loft penthouse apartment.  I rarely pretend that I am not allergic because I forget that I am allergic.
  3. I really live in a”2-room studio.”  This is a NYC real estate/Craigslist marketing ploy.  We (Mr. S and I) live in a studio, period (definitely < 500 sq. ft).  Granted, it has a sort of archway delineating the bedroom area from the living room area, but no actual door separating the two “rooms”.  Despite this, I love our studio.  Except for it’s “No Pets” policy.  Bah humbug.
  4. By day, I am an accountant.  BO-RING.
  5. By night, I am a zumba freak, or
  6. By night, I am a artiste (oil paints are the current medium of choice), or
  7. By night, I am a couch potato
  8. This goes without saying — I love living in NYC.  Sometimes when I’m walking down the street I think “I can’t believe I really live here it’s so amazing and fun and exciting and perfect and alkdjfaoeijafskdlf!!.”  When people say, “NYC’s fun, but I can never see myself living here,” I re-evaluate our current/future friendship.
  9. I get high off of bargain shopping. I despise buying full price.  Loehmann’s is my mecca.
  10. I truly believe in “the more you buy, the more you save.”  Case in point — during a trip to SYMS (rest in peace), I found a coat that retailed for $1,000; SYMS price $400.  If I buy the coat, I save $600, but if I do not buy the coat I only save $400.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.
  11. I like ramen, all kinds of ramen — cheap, expensive, and anything in between.  Exception: for cheap ramen, I only like beef flavor.  The color of chicken flavor is too radioactive for my liking.
  12. I have a tattoo. I got it 2 years ago, although I knew that I wanted a tattoo long before then.  It took me about 10 years to figure out what I wanted — turns out I wanted the sun and stars from the Filipino flag.  Placement was an issue since I have to be boring professional-looking at work.  So I chose the left side rib cage area which is only visible when wearing a bathing suit.  I would get more tattoos except I can’t think of another secret place to put them.  Just in case I have an epiphany, I save my tattoo ideas to Pinterest.
  13. My first job was at a hockey pro shop when I was a senior in high school.  I knew nothing about hockey, and I still don’t.  I was told that the pro shop would grow to include soccer accessories, but it never did. It grew to include swim accessories since we were located in the YMCA which had a pool.  Our best sellers were hockey tape and waterproof diapers.
  14. My favorite candy is Raisinets.  Not chocolate covered raisins — Raisinets.  And don’t try to fool me, I can always tell an impostor.
  15. My favorite color is metallic (i.e., gold, silver, bronze, copper, etc.)  Mr. S maintains that metallic is not a color.  Pshh, what does he know.
  16. If I had to participate in an “All You Can Eat” contest, I would have the greatest chance of winning with clementines.  Or maybe dill pickles.
  17. I am 4’11” and three-quarters.  I was going to throw myself a party when I reached 5′, but it never happened.  I looked into getting a handicap sticker for my car but found out that I had to be under 5′ and have a disproportionate build.  Darn…but wait!
  18. I have freakishly small hands.  I have not met another adult with hands smaller than mine.  I avoid having my hands in pictures because the camera makes them look smaller.

Items 19-25 are pending…