Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just having a good time

Josh: This magical land in your head where everything just happens because you want it to, is it fun there?

Brent: I'm having a good time.
-Fabulous Beekman Boys

First of all, if you aren't watching "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" on Planet Green, you should start immediately. My family got me watching this show last year and I am obsessed. I just read both of Josh's memoirs and ordered my second batch of soap from their website. And speaking of their website, their recipes and how tos have me craving heirloom tomatoes. I have no idea where one finds heirloom tomatoes or why they are any different from my Giant tomatoes, but I need some desperately. My favorite of the boys is Brent. He's from North Carolina and is a bit of an OCD perfectionist. He reminds me of someone I know.

The above quote is from this week's episode. It made me laugh because I live in my head a lot. And for the most part it's not a big deal. It's well-organized and warm. Everything is Carolina blue and shiny. I never lose things and there's always a show on I want to watch.

But last week I made a mistake at work that was at least 50% my fault and it caused a bit of a freak out on my end. (Seriously, who is the OCD perfectionist I am thinking of?) I'm slowly learning that certain things that make perfect sense inside my head, quite frequently, are completely nonsensical once outside my head.

I beat myself up over this and decided I should just start voicing out loud any of my thoughts that might be crazy, just to get a second opinion. But a friend and I agreed that might not be the safest option.

So instead, I'm just going deal with it. And I'm going to stay inside my whacky head. Maybe just ease up on the perfectionism a bit. Because I'm having a good time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Cardigan: Gap
Shirt/dress: Tucker for Target
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Jeans: Paper, Denim, and Cloth
Boots: Belk
Necklace: Forever 21

This week's photos courtesy of my work friend and fellow blogger, Gloria. Location courtesy of the stairwell outside my office. Cheesy smiles and awkward arms courtesy of me. And maybe my parents. Genetics, after all.

This shirt is technically a dress. Yeah, that will never happen. Especially since I'm convinced that spring is never getting here. We had some snow on Sunday and there may be sleet tonite. Both were described as "light" or a "dusting," but a week into spring, there should not be any!

I have nothing of note to add. The past two weeks have been very busy with work, juggling projects and deadlines. Last week I spent two days at a photo and video shoot. It was exhausting and stressful but seeing words I wrote read by actors and shots I thought of being photographed is, admittedly, kind of neat.

But to counter the neat, after the first shoot I lost two SmarTrip (metro fare) cards in the span of one hour and two trains. Each with $20 on them. Two. And my UNC card holder. This is also eerily reminiscent of the week in December where I lost one card and broke another. Though the lost one did eventually turn up. But is now lost again.

And that's that.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things I Should Stop Buying: Cardigans

At the mall tonite, Banana Republic was having a nice sale and I bought a tank top and a cardigan. Once home, I realized that this makes the 13th cardigan hanging in my closet. (Not counting any spring/summer cardigans under the bed in storage. Or the two sweaters I cut up the center to make cardigans. Or the open front sweaters may also be cardigans. But don't cardigans technically need to have buttons? Should I type cardigan one more time?)

To be fair, this one was originally $60 marked down to $22 and in a pretty apple green color. It was also a petite, but still fit me. The cashier, however, also noted it was a petite and pointed it out. Just trying to be helpful, I guess? Though I really did want to scream, "This is a bulky coat! It's very cold up here and I have a little winter weight! I can be petite!"

Instead, I took my purchases, nicely wrapped in tissue, and left the store. To go down to the food court and buy some Taco Bell*. Which was the reason for having them wrap the clothes in tissue anyway: To put the taco bag in with the clothes and only have one bag. Classy, right?

*I know it's bad for me and they've proven something about the meat not being real meat, but it's so good!

Monday, March 28, 2011

This would have been me

Had I taken ballet as a child, this would be me. Ok, fine, if I were to take ballet now, this would still be me. Because, yes, I do occasionally try to stand like ballerina and I maybe occasionally/always tip over. Legs aren't meant to bend that way!

I did baton for six years as a kid and think I did quite well. My inner klutz didn't really appear until high school. Well, aside from the black eye (not my fault), the fat lip (break dancing), running into a pole (not paying attention), and two objects up nose incidents (no comment). But even with those, it was just being young, not necessarily lacking grace.

So I just want to find this girl and give her a hug. She can still have a graceful presence and personality even if she lacks the ability to gracefully stand.

At least that's what I keep telling myself after every trip, slip, or fall.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Cardigan: Banana Republic
Husband beater*: Old Navy
Jeans: Gap (still with the ripped belt loop)
Flats: Primark in London, four years ago for £4. 
Necklace: No idea.

I should have taken pictures earlier in the week because, if I do say so myself, I looked way cuter. This morning I had to get up early but was still late, got delayed watching a segment on Good Morning America, and then tried on about 10 different things before settling on my pajamas. But, since I don't think my work dress code is that casual, I threw this on.

Then there were metro and bus delays, so despite getting up an hour earlier than usual, I barely got to work a half hour sooner. And the day just kept going from there, some good, some bad. Ready for weekend, that's all I know for sure.

*I've been using the term "husband beater" to describe tank tops off and on over the years as I find the term "wife beater" terribly offensive. I've grown more adamant in recent weeks because of a friend's insistence on calling them "wife beaters." Pretty sure he's doing it just to anger me, but two can play that game. I'm also trying to make "breasty" or "she's got breasts" have the same meaning as "ballsy" or "he's got balls." I disapprove of the association of strength or intelligence, weakness or emotion, with gender-specific body parts, but as long as it's out there I'm going to counter it. (I've been really feminist-y lately. Not sure if it's the recent gender studies books I've read or following Feminist Hulk and NOW on Twitter, but I've been wanting to punch patriarchy squarely in the [fill in the blank.])

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two years

"[Patti] Smith was 29 when she recorded Horses. Joan Didion was 29 when she wrote her first novel. Tina Fey was 29 when she was named head writer of SNL. bell hooks was 29 when she published her first major work. Oprah had just turned 30 when she got her first local TV talk show.

There is a reason "boy genius" rolls off the tongue more naturally than "girl genius." By the time most of us accept the fact that we have earned this label for ourselves, we are most decidedly no longer girls."

I know I've been heavy on the quotes lately, but there have just been a lot lately that have spoke to me. And now there's this one. This one I just love so much. 

An inordinate amount of my time is spent worrying over the fact that I haven't figured out what to do with my life yet. Panic attacks because my calling hasn't been found. Anger at working myself sick in high school and college, and still somewhat now, all with the goal of being something when I grow up, and having no idea what that is. Tears because my passions can't pay the rent. 

But, it turns out, I have a little time. I'm 27 years, 2 months, and 22 days old. So I've got two years. I have two years to figure it out. No problem.

Also, must add this. I read Smith's "Just Kids" last month and it's the best book I've read thus far this year. And Tina Fey is my idol and Joan Didion is just brilliant. I read some bell hooks in college and should read more and Oprah has an empire. All are most definitely geniuses.

Monday, March 21, 2011

More (mis)adventures in cooking

Occasionally, I will get creative with my dinner options. Not often, but occasionally. Like the thrown together guacamole. Or when I'm out of everything and have to make do with some mustard, mozzarella cheese, and  bacon. That's a slight exaggeration. But only slight. 

However, something similar does happen far more often than I'd like to admit. This is primarily because of my supreme aversion to both the grocery store and to spending money on something as fleeting as food. Tonite was one of those situations. The only thing I had all the ingredients for were my patented crescent roll/pizza roll/pocket things. (Ok, patent only pending if a better name can be found.)

Now that my fear of opening pressurized breading has been conquered -- post for a later date -- my refrigerator is never without crescent rolls. And after a Pillsbury commercial showed a mom -- because it's always a mom -- making pizza pockets with the rolls (and pepperoni, sauce, and cheese) I gave it a shot.

Except I don't know how she got those perfect little triangles so mine became Mega Flaky Pizza Rolls. (Better name?)

But tonite I wasn't in the mood for Pepperoni Bonanzas! and decided to try my hand at making some rice. My mom makes fun of me, but I have trouble making rice. Which is why my rice was exceptionally chewy tonite. But it wasn't too terrible.

To spice it up I found a can of red kidney beans in my cupboard. (I know, I was shocked too.) And there was a recipe on the side for red beans and rice which, apparently, requires a few more ingredients than just the red beans and rice. But I managed to "throw" something together with some oregano, Adobo seasoning, garlic, onions, and tomato sauce.

I don't feel comfortable calling it red beans and rice; the name is just too iconic. So I'll just call mine some rice, and some red beans.

Just a bit bland, probably needed more tomato sauce and onions, but very filling and, most importantly, different.


"Adulthood is nothing but a series of choices: you can say yes or no, but you cannot avoid saying one or the other. In the end, those who are successful are those who adjust and adapt to the decisions they have made and make the best of them."

-Grant Hill in his New York Times editorial

I'm such a history dork that just about any kind of history intrigues me, including sports history. So ESPN's "30 for 30" series is fascinating to me. Though I have to admit to not yet seeing the Fab Five documentary -- though it is on my DVR -- I have been following the controversy with the remarks the Michigan players made about Duke players. Hill's letter to the editor was eloquent, well-written, and had a lot of good points that apply to far more than just basketball. This point in particular jumped out at me. As I still struggle to get the hang of this "adult" thing, it's nice to get some concrete advice, wherever it appears.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The last few days in somebody else's photos

My weekend in photos, with the assistance of Google Image search.

Explanation and image sources:
A stressful Friday that resulted in a happy hour with a little basketball, a little pool, and a little tapas, that didn't end until almost 2 a.m.

Lazy Saturday with a little help from some ibuprofen and some Tivo.

Slightly more productive Sunday with some more basketball, a little work, a Fabulous Beakman Boys marathon, and some laundry.

As you will see, the weekend didn't include a lot of getting outside my apartment, other than Friday night. Very lame? Or very smart? In preparation for the busy week and weekend I have ahead of me, I'm going with very smart.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


"The ideas were often elegantly simple and rational; it was in the execution that costs and complications ensued."

-Ada Louise Huxtable in Frank Lloyd Wright: A Life

Image: Robie House, Chicago from Essential-Architecture


This is actually a twofer post: What I Wore Tuesday and Wednesday. I wanted to document the fact that I do occasionally have to dress like a grown up, on certain special occasions. Like a client meeting.

Cardigan: Target
Blouse: The Limited
Trousers: Banana Republic
Flats: Nine West Outlet
Pearls: Christmas gift from parents via Belk

And for comparison's sake, for when I just have to be in the office all day staring at three monitors. (Yes, three: my usual laptop and second monitor setup, plus another laptop. My eyes are practically bleeding by the end of the day and I should at least be able to launch rockets or something. But, no, just get to work in Office 2003 AND 2007. Don't be jealous of my power.)

Sweater: Kohls
Dress shirt: H&M
Jeans: Abercrombie
Flats: Gap Outlet
Necklace: DIY

How is it only Wednesday? As per every year, this "spring forward" business is destroying me. And that, combined with some other stuff, has just kept me in a terrible mood this whole week.

But on the upside, to be better, I've:

  • Kept my room really clean all week
  • Finished several books
  • Went through a stack of mail
  • Turned off the Japan coverage and watched a movie (The Lake House) and only felt a little guilty (But since it's based off a Japanese film, maybe I shouldn't feel that guilty.)

I really love this movie, by the way. I remember seeing it in the theatre with Mom my senior year and then she sent me the DVD in a care package when I was in London. (Though I ended up losing it at some point and had to buy another.) It's romantic without being gushy or cheesy and the house is so beautiful.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In a rut

When will I learn that this is not a real lunch? Even though it looks, and tastes, good. There were maybe six raviolis and it took me all of a dozen bites to finish the "meal." As cheap as they are, Lean Cusines, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, etc. just do not do enough for me. I would need three of them to feel full and to have enough energy to last until dinner. But I love getting a week's worth of meals for $10 and just keep buying them. Last week I had one with just 210 calories in it; I may as well have been eating air. Maybe it's just that after nearly five years in the workforce and at least 200 of these microwaveable meals, I'm in a rut.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Turtleneck: Top Shop
Jeans: Paper, Denim, and Cloth
Shoes: Charlotte Ronson
Necklace: DIY using this tutorial from one of my favorite blogs, Maegan.

I'm sort of in love with this necklace. I've been making jewelry for a very long time now and this is one of my favorite things I've ever made. It took me a lot longer than expected, but was so worth it. (Even if it is frayed slightly more than is fashionable.)

The silk is from a vintage scarf I bought on Portobello Road in London. I bought four scarves for £1 five years ago. One scarf is a pillow on my bed, one I use as a belt, one was cut for this necklace and still has plenty left, and one I have yet to use. Not too shabby for just a pound.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Au revoir, carbonation

This year, for the second year, I am attempting to give up soft drinks for Lent. Though I've really limited my intake since college--because they make me gain weight faster than anything and I can feel the cavities forming--I definitely partake often enough that going without for more than a month is going to be difficult. (Maybe I should have given up run on sentences.)

Last year, I came really close to completing my goal, until I felt faint on a flight and had to drink ginger ale. It took me two years to successfully give up pizza, so hopefully the second year is the charm, yet again.

Keeping with the tradition of Fat Tuesday, I gorged myself on Pepsi today. At lunch I bought a 2-liter bottle, kept it under my desk, and then just refilled my glass as needed. (Can we say, classy?) By 4:00 I felt like my teeth were rotting out of my skull, had to use the bathroom every ten minutes, and had a serious case of the giggles. So while right now I never want to touch the stuff again, in a week my feelings will have changed.

Though typically the domain of Catholics, the Baptists I knew in college were frequent participants, and I started trying to participate as well. And despite my general failings at organized religion the majority of the year, I do think Lent is really important. I know that abstaining from something for 40 days doesn't erase what I do, or don't do, the other 325. And that giving up something as simple and first-world as a food item is so small compared to so much else. But it serves as a constant reminder of something greater than myself. Someone greater than myself. That's all.

So if you see me reach for a Pepsi in the next month, feel free to knock it from my hand or tackle me to the ground. Or maybe you can just drink one for me? Is that allowed?

Monday, March 07, 2011

(Mis)Adventures in Cooking

On Sunday I woke up early (for me) to a very wet and gray day. After a few episodes of "The Office" and a little bit of "This Week," it was off to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for the day's projects. Of the cooking variety.

First up was some guacamole. I've only realized in the past year my like for guacamole, so long as it's fresh and chunky. I looked up online how to cut an avocado and also several different recipes, but ended up just throwing it together. That's right, I threw something together. Mark the date. Two avocados, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a little sea salt, a little garlic powder, and a bit too much lime juice, and this is what I was left with. (I still have a bit of a hangup about how green it is, thus the addition of the tomatoes to trick my mind a little bit.)  

It was the perfect lunch and accompaniment to some DVRed "Saturday Night Live." Then, after a little relaxation and two episodes of "Gilmore Girls" on SoapNet, I started on my next dish, carrot cake muffins courtesy of a recipe in the New York Times.

I took this before picture of the batter in case they turned out so amazingly well that there were doubts as to if I actually made them.

There really was no need for the proof. 

But, even if they look like mud, the taste is all that matters. Except, they actually taste kind of blah. No idea why. They smell amazing and I followed the recipe exactly. Well, except for using the brown sugar I had instead of the "turbinado" kind. Could that have been the key? Or the nutmeg from a bottle instead of "freshly ground?" Maybe I'm just not refined enough to use recipes from the Times.

I did, however, manage to still eat three of them during the "Indiana Jones" marathon on USA. One for each movie watched.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

It's officially March

The word "winning" has been tossed about a lot this week, and in a manner that makes me question if some people actually understand what the word means. So, just to clear things up, let's look at what the word really means.

A little visual evidence.

One more, just to make it absolutely, crystal clear.

That is winning, America!

And one more thing, and on a completely selfish note.

My favorite Carolina player when I was in school was David Noel. He had so much heart and was such a strong leader, especially our senior year. I follow him and many other current and former players on Twitter. He posted something about a bad memory in regards to the 2005 Duke/UNC game clip CBS played. At that moment I was sitting on my couch, hundreds of miles and six years later, proudly wearing his jersey. And I just had to tell him that. So I did. And he replied back with "haha thanks." Which are pretty much the best two words one could ever hear. On one of the best days to be a Tar Heel.

Sources: 1, 2 my screen grabs from; 3, 4, 5 from Yahoo Sports; 6 from Yahoo Sports, with my additions; 7 my screen grab from Twitter.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Fountain Friday

Summer 2005

Fall 2006

Italian Garden Fountains
Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London

My first trip to London I spent only a few hours in Hyde Park, racing around to see the Diana memorial and the Peter Pan statue. But even in my racing I was of course able to find some fountains. Covered in green moss on a gray day, the Italian Fountains seemed like something out of another time. And they sort of are. When I moved back in 2006, I lived just a few blocks from the Park and spent a lot of September and October days there. And on a November day, with my mom and aunt in tow, we hit the fountains right as the sun was setting, casting a glow on everything. My only regret is I didn't see them covered in snow.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Holiday Rewind Part 6b: Carolina Way

Hallowed ground. The Dean Dome. We were lucky and had great seats between the player's tunnel and the press table, only a few rows from the court. The boys were up against St. Francis (PA) -- as it appeared on the ticket -- and did not disappoint.

Exiting the tunnel for the warm up. I would kill to have that carpet in my home.

Roy! Just before he did NOT throw a t-shirt anywhere near us.

Game time! Barnes and Zeller.

Henson and his crazy legs. This game made me really love Henson. Partly because he's a great player, partly because he seems like a genuinely nice guy, and partly because of the kinship I feel with him and his knobby legs.

Marshall before I realized how important he would be just a month later.

Roy getting a little angry. 

Hansbrough's jersey! Too lazy to look it up, but Joey and I don't think we had seen this yet.

Can you spot the problem with this picture?

Yep, there it is. Ball on wrong side of the basket. But my favorite part of this is later, when we were talking about the game to the parents. Mom asked if they brought the broom out and Daddy chimed in with "No, I'm sure they have some special tool for that." He was right, of course. Because seriously, my Dad knows everything.

Me and the court.

Joey and the team. And yes, he wanted it to look like his head was about to attack the team.

My favorite part of the game. They put the benchwarmers in -- aka Blue Steel -- and the rest of the team were just giddy for them. Henson stood up the entire time they were out, waved his towel around, and hugged or high-fived all of them at the end. Everyone else was also very excited for them. It just warms my heart.

Final score. Biscuits!

Thanks, boys. Thank you so much.

And that was our day in Chapel Hill. After the game we got some garlic knots and cannolis from Franklin Street Pizza and Pasta, and headed east toward home. Joey spent the drive playing me all his favorite songs and singing along. I spent the night packing and watching an "Axe Men" marathon with mom and the next day it was back to D.C.

And that was my holiday. Next time maybe I'll finally write about the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg interview I month ago. And then maybe I'll find my efficiency. But probably not.


Cardigan: JCPenney Outlet
Dress shirt: Thrifted, with a Banana Republic tag
Belt: Macy's, came with my Halloween dress
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Payless

Not pictured:
  • The belt loop I pulled off today and the subsequent hole on the side of my jeans.What are belt loops on skinny jeans for if not to help you get them on? 
  • My healing leg! It has been three weeks since The Burn and it's truly healing. I finished the antibiotics and the cream and now just apply Vitamin E oil like a fiend to prevent itching and scarring. (Note: This really works. Maybe everyone else already knew this, but my doctor told me and I'm so thankful she did.)
Sort of pictured:
  • My new hair! I got it cut tonite by a very talented British man. There are layers, though they are kind of hard to see. But it is lighter and has movement while keeping length and simplicity, which I guess is the mark of a good cut. And since I had lived in London and that's all we talked about, he knocked $20 off the price.


Related Posts with Thumbnails