Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 91: Let's cruise, let's float, let's glide

NOT a new thing: Sneering at a CHILD in a Duke sweatshirt. Oops. But if he's going to be a fan, he needs to get used to the abuse.

Definitely a NEW thing: Receiving a free cruise! In celebration of our company's 15th anniversary next year, our CEOs are taking all staff and a guest on five-day cruise! I've never been on a cruise, so come March 9th of next year, it will be a new thing too!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Day 90: Casual Friday and Monday and Tuesday and...

For the most part, I like that my job has a casual dress code, and I can wear jeans every day. I try to still dress up nicely once a week or so, but when it requires ironing and matching and usually more painful shoes, I just grab the jeans and go.

But as I may or may not have briefly considered wearing my pajama shirt to work this week, because it was cute and really not even a pajama shirt, I decided I needed to raid the closet and try a little harder. (For the record, the shirt was the one from my cookie post, day 85. It could totally pass for an everyday shirt, as it is one, I just choose to sleep in it occasionally.)

Thus tonite I got all my nice dress pants out, and starched and ironed them all. I still can't iron a pleat to save my life, and my starch leaked on one pair, making them extra extra stiff, but at least none of them will look good with my pajama shirt.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 89: Sugar and spice and everything nice

1/2 cup sugar + several squirts of lemon juice + minuscule drop of oil = an exfoliating face scrub, right out of my kitchen!
After researching facial scrubs on Wikihow during halftime of THE TRIUMPHANT FINAL FOUR BOUND TAR HEELS game, I made and used my own facial scrub. While the oil will be left out next time, the sugar and lemon made my face nice and smooth, and quite tasty too. And it means I truly have found a way to inject sugar directly into my pores. Nice.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 88: Overkill, much?

I do believe that Shannon suggested getting a tattoo as one of my new things to do. Sadly, as the last shot I received resulted in near hyperventilation for me, and a near broken hand for Mom, I think my fear of needles will prevent that from happening. But thanks to rub-ons, and Carolina's propensity for slapping a logo on any and everything, I wore a Tar Heel (temporary) tattoo on my foot for a day.

This isn't the first time I've worn a Tar Heel tattoo, but it is the first time off my face, and the first time I wore it out in the real world, on the metro, at work, and while shopping in Alexandria.

It was quite comforting to look down throughout the door and see something so familiar and reassuring. And as soon as they make needle-free tattoos, I wouldn't mind it permanently attached.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day 87: Average Joe? Hardly.

Things that never cease to amaze me: The Internet. And that every day is a holiday. Literally. And normally, every day is more than one holiday. Today, according to various sources, is Fly a Kite Day, National Spanish Paella Day, and best of all, National Joe Day. A celebration of the name, the men (or women), and a chance for anyone to change their name to Joe for a day.

Given the plethora of Joes already in my family, I didn't change mine, but I did call two of my favorite Joes to wish them a happy them day.

Some other Joes, in honor of the day:
Of course, I have the best of all:

Click to see it less blurry. I'm tired and it won't work and THE HEELS ARE IN THE ELITE EIGHT! A truly great National Joe day indeed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 86: My Bengal of gold, I love you

I think the importance of pride and celebration of a country's day of independence can not be overstated. I love our Independence Day, but why should I only celebrate our own? There are so many countries out there that fought to be free, and tonite, I honored Bangladesh's independence day by singing the Bengali national anthem.

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't pretty and I finished singing long before the midi file finished, but my heart was in it, and I think the Bengalis would appreciate it. Now I just need to find a Bengali to celebrate with.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 85: Still Quite Mad about March

Some may say I'm letting this basketball thing get out of hand. Some may call me a dork or say that I have too much time on my hands.

I say why not combine my love of cookies with my love of Carolina basketball, and make Tar Heel shaped peanut butter cookies, complete with blue icing "tar" and a few decorations.
I think David would approve. Go Heels!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 84: Slow Southern Style

Today one of my co-workers told me that he and another were talking, and could not believe that I was "soooo Southern" in my speech.

I personally don't think I have an accent. Yes, when I'm tired or stressed or hyper, I prefer to just let it drawl, but on the day to day, I don't hear it.

But apparently, everyone up here does. And in London too, as I recall. But that's ok. I'm proud of being Southern so if I have a drawl, oh well, let it drawl.

But to test just how Southern I am, and prove to my brother I am not a Yankee, I took the test, "Are you a Yankee or a Rebel?" I now have undeniable proof that I am indeed NOT a Yankee, but 73% Dixie.

Ain't that great, ya'll? :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day 83: Can I have Prince Charming next time?

I'm not going to lie, I still get McDonald's Happy Meals. I say it's because, other than the minuscule drink, it has the perfect portions. And it does. But also, I like getting a toy.

I really like getting a toy.

Especially when it's a truly kick-ass toy like a pair of Cinderella princess gloves! And a gigantic ring!

I wore my beautiful Carolina blue princess gloves periodically throughout the car ride back, and when unpacking, and unsuccessfully when eating.

And you know, I did feel like a princess. :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 82: Those Rockefellers get around

Tonite I went here:
To celebrate the birthday of her:
And I ate one of these:
And I looked like this:

Eating an Oyster Rockefeller, my first oyster of any kind, wasn't as bad as I thought, but I'd prefer just the spinach and cheese, without a slimy animal and it's dirty house.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 81: Gone to Carolina (to dye)

Today's new thing happened to take place in my North North home.

I'm a bit excited at being home.

And what better way to welcome being home than by continuing the Easter tradition of dyeing eggs, with a twist: natural egg dyes.

I've read about them in the past, but always headed for the Paas anyway. But when Mom forgot to grab a kit, I decided to grab some spinach, paprika, cumin and celery seed, and tea instead.

Boiling paprika

Getting ready to chill in the refrigerator

The resulting color was pretty much non-existant, and a bit gross. I think I'll go back to my artificial, probably-bad-for-you dyes next year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 80: Walking on sunshine

Another thing I have just accepted that I will never be able to do: walk in high heels.

Thankfully, flats are back in style again and comprise 99% of my shoe collection. And how much do I love black ballerina flats? So much that I went through 3 pairs in the 6 months I was in London. The last pair, that I bought for 2 pounds at Primark, finally got a hole in them two weeks, a year after I bought them. Thus in need of a new favorite shoe, I bought two pairs of black flats at Nine West, which cost more than $20. I've NEVER had a pair that were more than $20, and each of these were a bit more than that. (But still on sale, of course.)

I now have two incredibly cute new pairs of flats, that will support my arches better, and given their brand and cost, last forever.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 79: Mad About March

It's that time of the year again, one of the BEST times of the year...MARCH MADNESS!

My first March Madness outside of North Carolina, where basketball is so integral to the way of life, that at only 5'8.5", I was still repeatedly asked, "You're tall, do you play basketball?" (The answer, other than that one disastrous season in sixth grade, NO!)

The good news is, the madness exists everywhere. To varying degrees of course, and it's never the same as it is when surrounded by fellow Tar Heels, but it's madness nonetheless.

Including at my work, where today I entered my first ever work pool, for anything, for the NCAA tournament brackets.

And now I'm looking at my pristine bracket, no highlights over the correct picks, no scratch-outs or bad words around the incorrect ones. Just a blank slate and the slight inkling of hope that maybe this year I won't totally and completely suck at it. Or not.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day 78: Je vois la vie en rose

Thanks to being a contributing member of society once again - i.e. receiving a steady paycheck - I can allow myself the luxury of renewing my Netflix subscription. I received my first movie, "La Vie en Rose," a few days ago, and watched it tonite. Or, read it tonite, as it was subtitled. (And the amount of words I knew without the subtitles was disgustingly low. Did I toil and trudge through three semester of it at Carolina for nothing? Apparently so.)

But as I was trying to paint my nails and read/watch at the same time, something had to give. Thus I attempted painting one of my hands whilst reading the screen. Surely after years and years of painting my nails, I'd be deft enough to do it without actually looking at the nail?

Nope. But I am very good at removing nail polish from my entire finger without looking. And very very good at admitting defeat, pausing the movie, and trying again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 77: "You have overburdened your argument with ostentatious erudition." (Abigail to John, "John Adams")

There's a reason why I kept one of my majors as History, even after deciding not to go to law school, knowing that technically I would never use it. (Technically in the practical sense that advisers and many adults couldn't get over why I would study something that I couldn't get a job in.)

It's because I love it. Because, ironically enough, it never gets old for me. It will always exist, and even when something seems set in stone, a person, event, or place, it never really is. History evolves just as much as the present does.

Anyway...enough of that. Today I watched the first two parts of the "John Adams" miniseries on HBO. While Adams is certainly no Jefferson - and the series' portrayal of him thus far is the only problem I have with it - he is still a very interesting figure. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, but I think I will be glued to my TV the next several Sundays. A shockingly accurate George Washington, funny rebels from South Carolina, and the most gruesome and disturbing tar and feathering scene, to name a few. And it's all, mostly, true.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 76: Just say junk mail

If I had a quarter for every credit card offer I got in the mail, I could afford to pay off my current credit card.

Yes, I realize that is way cheesy, but it's true. And if I didn't immediately tear them, and all junk mail, in half and toss in my shred box, I would keep track of how many trees are killed in the name of Chase and Ing.

Thus, in the same vein as my best friend, the Do Not Call registry, I signed an online petition for a Do Not Mail registry. Joining the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and...some other famous people, I only really cared about Leo.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day 75: Sat by the river and it made me complete (kind of)

Spring is thisclose to coming to Virginia. I don't normally care for Spring that much. Maybe because North Carolina tends to only have it for about a week, before sweltering kicks in. Or it's the pollen and itchy contacts and bees and my own pasty white legs. But after perpetually shivering for about five months now, I'm ready for a change.

Today was a preview, reaching mid to high 60s, I believe. In celebration of light jacket, no hat weather, I headed for Old Town Alexandria and Clarendon to do a little shopping. I worked up an appetite with all the bag carrying and debit card swiping, and I ate a hot fudge sundae on a bench along the Potomac.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day 74: 3.14159

I hate math as much as I love chocolate, Jon Stewart, and London: combined. I don't like numbers in any form. I'd rather make 4 dozen cookies than calculate how to make only 1. I'd rather just leave too much of a tip, than do all that fancy percentage work needed to calculate it correctly.

But I made an exception today and celebrated Pi day, a mathematician's favorite day of the year.

Did I do it by measuring circumferences of circles to my heart's content? Haha, like I could remember how to do that anyway. Did I pull out some trig formulas from the far corners of my brain? Of course not, they barely stuck around long enough during my actual trig class.

Nope, in honor of this great pi day, I ate pie. Thus turning a nerd's holiday, into a Bonnie holiday. Or, just any other day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 73: Saving for a rainy day

In an effort to avoid seeing my bank account balance and having a panic attack, I'm trying to be better with keeping track of what I spend and save. I've tried keeping an emergency $20 in my wallet before, but as "emergency" in my mind occasionally means purchasing British Glamour and then splurging at Starbucks...I never manage to keep it around long. Mom suggested I take some and hide it in my room somewhere instead. The principle, I suppose, being that I'll save while not constantly being reminded of its prescence. (I.e. the way Mr. Jackson would call to me from the "secret" wallet compartment when I passed Barnes and Noble.) Thus there is now a $20 bill hidden in my room. Hopefully I'll add to it every week or so and can splurge on something nice at the end of the year.

Or, if in two weeks this whole budgeting thing was just a passing fad, and I have no money for food, someone can remind me of this post, please.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 72: Confused, hug or eat?

I am never a fan of the "viral" videos and images that circulate so heavily on the internet. So I've always tried to ignore the "Lolcats" of icanhascheezburger. Primarily because I don't like cats, and I really really don't like improper grammar. Really really don't like it. But then this one just melted my heart into a puddle of goo, so I'm sharing one of the lolcats, so your heart can be melted too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 71: Jump around

Is it really weird that I like to brush my teeth? That when I'm at home and have ready access I'll brush my teeth after every meal and snack. That I used to use those creepy "brush-up" things like crazy, before they stopped carrying them. (I think they stopped, I haven't seen them in awhile.) Anyway...tonite I spiced up my brushing routing by hopping around on one foot whilst brushing. I know you're thinking, "Girl gags on toothbrush in tragic hopping incident," but it is surprisingly easy to jump and brush. Jump and spitting is another matter, however.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 70: Pretzely goodness

Things I have done in a fitting room:
1. Tried on clothes.
2. Talked on the phone.
3. Got ready for a job interview.
4. Cried. (Who hasn't had a panic attack in a dressing room? There's no shame.)
5. Ate pretzel sticks.

Yes, despite the fact that my father worked in a department store and was maniacally against food and beverage in said store, I ate a soft pretzel in a dressing room today.

I swung by the Pentagon City mall on my way home from work today (again) to grab a cheap shirt I saw, and also because I was so incredibly hungry I couldn't make it through the five more stops and line change and then bus ride back to my apartment. Really, I couldn't. So as I was in a hurry and couldn't wait to eat before I tried on the shirt, I just did both. Being ever mindful of not getting anything on the clothes, and chewing quietly. Now I have a new super-soft pajama shirt...and a full, greasy stomach.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Day 69: Oprah's not the only one with a book club

As the title shows, today I joined a book club. Actually, joined a few weeks ago, but today was our first meeting. I've always wanted to do this, and since I'm trying to get out more and create a life for myself here, and then found this one on Craigslist, I jumped at the chance.

It went really well and I had fun. I had already read the book we discussed, "The History of Love," but loved it so much I didn't mind re-reading it and then of course talking it over with others. One of the most moving books I've ever read and should be picked up by all. :-)

Really, there isn't much to say.
He was a great writer.
He fell in love.
It was his life.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Day 68: Magic brussel sprouts

First off, a big hell yes to the Tar Heels. There aren't enough words to describe the thrill of beating Duke. Or, as silly as it is, how much we needed this, this week.

But today's new thing has little to do with our resounding victory. More to do with my constant and resounding clumsiness. While leaping like a gazelle to get my drink from the kitchen during a commercial, the gazelle was ensared by a lion - i.e. my purse - and then catapulted over a ravine during the escape - i.e. the footstool. In other words, I got my foot caught in my purse and in my haste to fling it off instead of bending down to remove it, I flew over the footstool, landing solidly on both my knees.

I dragged myself to in front of the tv - so I could still watch the game - while praying they weren't I wouldn't have to miss the game.

In order to prevent a real injury, I grabbed some brussel sprouts from the freezer, and iced my knee for the remainder of the game. As clumsy as I am, and it is well-documented, I very rarely ever have to ice, and have definitely never done it will brussel sprouts. So while the green monsters may be the scourge of every 5-year-old, my knees are a fan.

And also, I now have proof that Dick van Dyke truly is a comic genius and perhaps secretly a tightrope walker. Dodging footstools ain't easy.
My sprouts, Tyler's SI, the evil tripping purse in the corner, and a mysterious bruise on my foot, not sure where that came from.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Day 67: At least it comes with something pretty

I always said that as soon as I got my first real paycheck, I would buy a Burberry scarf.

Well, considering that I really do need to be more careful with my money, and I'm not going to New York anytime soon to get one, and it's almost Spring...I decided to hold off.

Instead I bought myself a small Coach scarf that I was eyeing a few weeks ago. It's the first Coach item I've ever bought for myself, and my official welcome to the real world gift.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Day 66: Say nice things about me when I'm gone

My heart's a bit broken today. As is the case with most Tar Heels, and beyond.

Since I was gone to Carolina in my mind all day today, I bought six different versions of the song off of iTunes tonite. None compare to sweet baby James', obviously, but it made me feel slightly less far away. And definitely less alone.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Day 65: Yogini

Tonite I expanded my exercise horizons away from sit-ups in bed or frog leaps in the living room, and took a Yoga class. I've practiced it a few times by myself to a DVD, and have always wanted to take a class, so when my apartment complex announced they would be offering one, I jumped, or gracefully leaped, at the chance. I'm hoping it will help relieve some of my tension, which courses through my blood apparently as I discovered tonite. And teach me a little grace. Stop laughing, it could happen.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Day 64: What do you need to know about chip seals?

I love my job because no day is ever the same. I get to work on different projects covering a vast array of subject matter. I get to be creative and have responsibility. And it is affording me lots of new things, including my first web and teleconference. For three hours. On highways and pavements and preservation oh my. It was still kind of cool though. And quite grown-up I think.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Day 63: Crystal cool

I love letter writing. And stationery. And random acts of carditude. (Carditude: the random act of sending a card to a friend just because.) Thus I became a pen pal with one of my future nieces, M. Today I received a lovely letter from her, with her "coolest crystal," inside, for me, for luck since she thought I sounded busy in my last letter. I've never received a crystal before, and it is now sitting in my office desk drawer, for luck.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Day 62: The stars belong to a new generation

I think I've mentioned before my awe and love of the space program. And I know I've mentioned what a dork I am. Actually, I may not have explicitly mentioned it as much as it is abundantly clear in pretty much every post. So what's better than putting the two together in my most favorite 80s space dramatic adventure motion picture: Space Camp, which I watched on DVD today.
This is a new thing because I've only ever seen this mega-classic on our old, recorded-off-HBO VHS. I've never seen it with such a crisp picture, with all its special effects in such rich detail. (Ok, yes, that is dripping with sarcasm. But I do truly LOVE this movie.)

Ever since the advent of DVD, I've been able to divide my moves into a bit of a hierarchy:
1. Those you have on VHS, but replace with DVD. (Breakfast at Tiffany's, Titanic)
2. Those under-rated gems that you always loved but never owned, and buy directly on DVD. (George of the Jungle, Weekend at Bernie's.)
3. Those you will only buy on VHS, from the $3 bin, and forever deny their existence in your collection. (Dumb and Dumber, Winning London)

Now I can put "Space Camp" on the #1 list, because it is that good. Tate Donovan before "The OC." Lea Thompson after she went "Back to the Future." (And maybe before too, not sure of the dates.) Kelly Preston before the Scientologists. And, of course, Joaquin Phoenex, walking in space before he walked the line. (Oh yes, I went there.)

Get this movie. So that when I say, "Max and Jinx. Friends, for-ev-er," to you, you will back away slowly out of awe, not fear.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Day 61: After the flood all the colors came out

Bob Marley said, "when the music hits, you feel no pain." That pretty much sums up how I feel about every single note and every single lyric of every single U2 song. I want to own every cd, read every book and every article, see every TV special...and movie. Including the 3D one. Which I did. I saw my first 3D movie, a U2 one.
I was lucky enough to see the actual "Vertigo" tour that the movie was made from, and the movie didn't disappoint. It was as moving and visceral as the show was. Well, almost. Close enough. Only this time, I could have reached out and touched Bono and the Edge. But I didn't because I didn't want to be that person at the 3D movie trying to "touch" the screen.


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