Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Conversation with a Child

Today was not a good day. So not a good day that I ended up on the phone crying with my Mom while sitting on the steps outside a hotel in downtown D.C. Nothing bad, just the combination of the stress of jury duty, being away from work, allergies, and lack of sleep.

After a brief and frustrating trip to Forever 21, I went to the library to pick up a book. While at the counter, a girl of about 8 or 9 started talking to me.

Girl: Hi.
Me: Hi.
Girl: What's your name?
Me: Bonnie
Girl: I'm Olivia.
Me: That's pretty.
Girl: What does your name mean?
Me: means pretty. Sorry thanks bye.

Then I left and went to the bathroom. Which I needed to do anyway but probably could have made a smoother exit.

Now, let's back up. I love my name, I do. I love that I'm named after my mom's mom. However, I have to be honest, I don't love that it means "beautiful."

The meaning of my name immediately takes me back to a day in the 8th grade when we had to present the meaning of our name to the class. I had to stand in all my pre-pubescent glory -- stringy bangs, buck teeth, micro boobs, knobby knees -- and explain that my name meant "beautiful." Um, no. So I went with "fair."

I'm generally fine with the way I look, in large part due to the presence of confidence and the absence of the stringy bangs, buck teeth, and knobby knees. (No comment on the boobs.) But I still usually default to explaining my name as meaning "fair." Except today, for some reason, I thought this child wouldn't know what that meant so I went with "pretty." And then apologized. Because I:
  • Felt guilty for the fact that I was so not pretty today? 
  • Had red eyes, runny mascara, messy hair, and a glowing pimple? 
  • Wasn't in the best state of mind and needed to acknowledge it before bailing?
  • Was just an awkward and crazy mess?

Ding ding we have a winner! But apparently it didn't phase Olivia too much because as I left she waved goodbye and said, "Bye, Bonnie!"

And I smiled all the way home. So thanks, "peaceful" Olivia, for giving me some peace at the end of a crappy day.

Wednesday Words

"It's 120 degrees out with 200% humidity because 
this is a stupid swamp town!"
-Leslie Knope re: Washington, D.C., Parks and Recreation

Monday, September 24, 2012

5 Years

Saturday marked the 5 year anniversary of my moving to D.C. I wrote about the 4 year anniversary last year.

I didn't like it here for a long time. So I gave myself 2 years to start liking it. Though, honestly, it took longer than that. And I'm not quite sure when I stopped counting the days. Yet somewhere along the way, I did stop counting the days. Somewhere along the way, I created a life for myself that includes a good job, a happy apartment, favorite haunts, fun hobbies, and out-of-this-world friendships.

I'm very stingy with the word "home" and I don't use it lightly. It takes a lot to make a home, most of it intangible, most of it based on feelings, most of it difficult to put into words. And since I prefer thought to feeling, until I figure out a way to define the word using more words, I'll continue using it sparingly.

So I'm not calling D.C. home. Yet. Because when I close my eyes and say the word all I see is North Carolina and my hometown and my family and my twin bed with the bad mattress. But when I open my eyes and see D.C. and my apartment and my friends and my queen bed, it is close to being home. And that's enough for now.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Things I Learned This Weekend

Dogs are good for the soul.
Yes, I've known this for years. But since Wednesday I've been dog sitting for a friend and I was reminded of it.

Some dogs like to get up early.
Specifically, 6 a.m. on a Sunday.

And some dogs don't understand what "5 more minutes" means. 
But I did get him to wait until 7:20 this morning.

Poop is gross.
And I don't like picking it up.

If you have to get up a lot in the middle of the night to pee and/or blow your allergy-riddled nose, the dog will think it's time to go out.
No, Bugsy, I'm not taking you out at 3 a.m.

Columbia Heights has lots of hidden gems that are fun to explore with a friend.
Lauren came to visit and we ate, shopped, and walked Bugsy. Hidden gems included this statue and a little-pricey-but-still-fun-to-explore consignment shop.

Just because a bakery won "Cupcake Wars," twice, doesn't mean it's very good.
But Lauren and I had fun trying the PB&J and the s'mores ones anyway.

I officially am never going to love Eleven as much as I love Ten.
Talking about Doctor Who, of course. I want my Doctor back.

You're never too old for the Halloween section at Target.
As Brandie the witch, Karey the spider hat, and Bonnie the hatchet victim proved.

I can go to Target every day and never get bored.
I'm staying at my friend's place, which is only a 5 minute walk to Target. I may or may not have been  every day. But I've only spent about $30. Whew.

The Emmys are even more enjoyable when one of your best friends is at them.
My friend, Jan, works for a network and is in the audience at the Emmys this year. From helping her pick a dress to reading her tweets and texts, it's been really exciting and I'm excited for her.

Things I Learned Last Weekend

I was too busy last week at work to get this up, so here is last weekend's recap, the majority of it spent in Myrtle Beach for Michelle's (brother's fiancee) bachelorette party.

Sleeping in a teenager's room covered in One Direction paraphernalia is better than sleeping in a teenager's room full of Jonas Brothers paraphernalia.
Because they're all legal? Not sure, though I did still feel a little creepy. But since I ended up hiding my niece's alarm clock to smother the ticking, and then forget to tell her that, I guess we're even.

Working from home with two other people is more fun than working from home alone.
I worked from my sister and brother-in-law's house on Friday, and so did they. Best of all, my sister picked me up lunch and tissues.

There is a town in North Carolina called Tar Heel.
How did I not know this? It makes me happy.

If I can't be with my best friends all the time, at least I can drive through their hometown.
Two of my best friends from college are from the same small town in Eastern North Carolina. We drove through it on the way to Myrtle Beach and it made me smile.

There is a part of Myrtle Beach that looks like the bayou.
On Friday night we took a casino boat cruise. But when we first pulled up, we couldn't see the water or the boat. It looked like we were just in a bayou or like we might just die. Luckily, we weren't and we didn't.

Matching t-shirts are fun.
I kind of want to make custom t-shirts for my girlfriends and I, just because.

Slot machines are more fun when there's a lever.
Not that too many of the machines actually had levers. I'm not a gambler at all, but I don't mind playing slot machines for a bit, and I only lost $10, so not too bad.

The captain's bridge is completely dark.
And kind of creepy. Especially when the captain invites your group up and then lets you do all the talking. (Picture not of bridge, but just because we look cute.)

Allergies+sea sickness+indoor smoking=pain
It was fun to hang out with the sister, future sister-in-law, and other bridesmaids, and nice to try something new, but the combination of the three things above meant I spent a good portion of the cruise in pain. 

Murphy beds are more secure than I thought.
The sis and I shared a Murphy bed at the hotel. I always thought I'd be afraid of flipping up in one, but that didn't happen.

Bachelorettes get special perks.
On the ship we got invited to the bridge and were given VIP status for exiting the boat. The next night, we got free shots and the bachelorette got free admission.

The best way to recover from allergies and a 3 a.m. bedtime is to lie by the pool.
And float in the lazy river. But only if the river is actually lazy, and not completely stagnant like one of them was.

The best way to start a night of bachelorette fun is with a crazy waiter.
Our waiter helped Michelle cross off several items on her scavenger list by giving us free shots, serenading her, dancing with her, and all sorts of other fun.

Balloon hats aren't just for kids.
Thank goodness. 

Dueling piano bars are way fun.
I want to go again.

If you play "Yeah," by Usher, I have to dance.
I'm not a dancer, but when at a club with other ladies, I'll make do. Especially when playing this song, not sure why, it just makes me want to very nu-rhythmically move.

Taking your shoes off whilst resting outside a club in Myrtle Beach is an invitation for a foot massage.
A man saw that my heels were off, bent down, touched my foot, and asked if I wanted a massage. Given that I don't hold hands or really like to be touch by people I know, I went with a NO. 

Allergies+indoor smoke+loud music=pain
The sis and I ended our party a little after midnight because we weren't feeling well. But we had so much fun, despite the fact that we're apparently just getting old.

It's no North Carolina beach, but Myrtle Beach can be pretty.
View from our hotel:

A weekend of terrible allergies and little sleep will result in a 2-hour nap in the car.
And what a good nap it was.

If you're a good patient when receiving a band-aid, your sister will give you a sticker.
Her first aid kit had stickers. How cute is that?

I just love shopping with my mom and sister.
Mom met us in Raleigh to spend a few hours before I had to leave. I was tired and still feeling yucky, but casual hanging out with the family always makes me better.

Garden Ridge sells a variety of British telephone booths
And I want one.

The more places travelled to in the shortest amount of time, the more tired and stressed I am after it stops.
From Thursday to Sunday: DC to ALX to RMT to Raleigh to Myrtle Beach to RDU to BWI to DC via metro, train, car, boat, plane, and van. Whew. But oh well, it was fun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Words

"My only tragedy was that I loved words more than I loved the woman that inspired them."
-Old Man, The Words

Ahoy, mateys!

Thanks to the roommate, Black Mary Kidd, for sharing this quiz. I LOVE Talk Like a Pirate day. (Even though the only phrases I know are walk the plank, arrrggghhh, scalawag, and shiver me timbers.)


    My pirate name is:


    Captain Anne Flint   


    Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky.    Arr!

  Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Words

"In the end, it is my belief, words are the only things that can construct a world that makes sense." 
-Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Thoughts I've Thought and Things I've Done This Week

  • Allergies are just the worst and I'm tired of a runny nose, sore throat, and itchy eyes. But the nose isn't runny enough, the throat sore enough, or the eyes itchy enough to justify staying home, sleeping more, or taking allergy medicine. Especially since all allergy medicine makes me crazy. 
  • If I get selected for a jury when I have jury duty in 2 weeks, I'm going to cry. It's just going to mess everything up.
  • Nothing improves a yucky Monday like printing and hanging the UNC b-ball schedule:
  • Apparently I'm the only one in the city who is always late and always trying to get somewhere. I'm so tired of people, especially in the metro, walking so slow that sometimes I doubt they're even moving. Not to mention the people too busy reading their phones to walk and the people just standing in the middle of any location doing nothing.
  • This kind of creeped me out when I looked at my phone yesterday:
  • I feel slightly better about Mitt Romney's various displays of idiocy if I refer to him as "Mittens." I know this is disrespectful, but it's not nearly as bad as the sundry Republicans that refer to PRESIDENT Obama simply as OBAMA, no matter the setting. Over and over again. You may not respect the man, but respect the position. And respect the fact that the people spoke and voted him into office. (He didn't have to have the Supreme Court hand it to him. No, I'm not still bitter.) 
  • If I don't get a good, full night of sleep soon, I'm going to go crazy. 
  • I'm glad I'm going "home" to NC tomorrow, but I'm sad that it's the second trip in the past month that won't involve me actually going home home. 
  • In keeping with my all or nothing personality, I've scheduled 4 doctor's appointments in the next 3 weeks. Adulthood=blah.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I Learned This Weekend

Note: This post is too long given how non-eventful my weekend was. Photos include paper towels and an ironing board cover. Woah, I know, easy with the craziness.

A busted watch makes for an annoying start to the weekend.
Somehow I broke the crystal on my watch. I constantly bang it on doorjambs and tables but I'm not sure what finally busted it. I do know that it should make perfect sense as last week I also had to have high heels re-heeled, a zipper fixed in my purse, and a dress dry cleaned because it had barbecue sauce on it.

Thrift shopping is an ok Friday activity.
After working like a mad woman all week, I was ahead of schedule on Friday and decided to leave early. As I've said before, there are so few thrift stores in D.C. proper so I decided to try a Goodwill in Arlington. (That ended up being comically close to where I used to live.) It wasn't organized as nice as I like, but I did get 3 tops, 1 skirt, and 1 glass for $19. That includes a cashmere turtleneck for $5 and a Chapel Hill glass for 96 cents. I may have gasped when I saw this cute thing. There's a whole line of these sold at A Southern Season and I already have 1 trivet and 2 larger glasses that match.

My mother purchased me the "single spinster* lady" paper towel pack.
Every time my mom visits she brings me big packs of toilet paper and paper towels from Sam's. The last few rolls have been interesting. First, there were cats. Now, there are teapots and teacups. These lead me to the conclusion that she bought me the old maid* pack. If the next roll has shriveled ovaries on it I'm going to scream. (*Note: I HATE both of these terms. Men are still considered bachelors even when they're 90, why do women have to be spinsters or maids? I'm still deciding on what I want to be called. I've narrowed it down to Goddess of the Single Life or No, Really, I'm Happy This Way.)

You need an advanced degree to put on an ironing board cover.
A few weeks ago at Ikea, I bought a new ironing board cover for my non-standard Ikea ironing board. It's been sitting on my floor, intimidating me with its size and parts and string and instruction sheet. It turns out I was right to be intimidated because it was like wrestling an alligator** to get it on. But at least it's pretty! (**Note: I've never actually wrestled an alligator.)

Darts may change my life.
The skirt I bought at Goodwill was too big, but because it was such a beautiful shade of blue and it was Vineyard Vines, which meant good quality, I bought it anyway for $6 with the hope that I'd finally be brave enough to try darts. Which I did. They were much easier than I thought and took in the waistband the perfect amount. However, I didn't get them perfect enough so there's a bit of a weird pooch. 

Lemonade bought from little girls at a lemonade stand is the best kind of lemonade.
Out in my neighborhood on Saturday, I came across two girls selling cups of homemade lemonade for 50 cents. It was perfect, not too sweet or sour. And while I was tempted to ask them their political views given the frequent references to lemonade stands in this election cycle, I refrained.

I'm a slightly better person than I thought.
For more than a year, I’ve been looking for a ceramic or wooden whale to spray paint and use as a decoration. Even at the beach I couldn’t find one because all they had were dolphins. Well, on Saturday, on another thrift store run, this time to my favorite, there was a wooden whale that my eyes just completely missed. I became aware of it when I heard a mom exclaim, "It's a whale! Jonah, you have to get it!” Yes, the kid named Jonah got the whale. (Like he probably doesn’t already have a dozen whales.) Since it was a thrift store attached to a church and it was a child named after a Biblical character, I refrained from knocking him down, grabbing the whale, and running for it.

Watching a good movie at an old theatre is a good Sunday afternoon activity.
There are two small theatres on Connecticut Avenue close to my apartment. I'd never been to the two-screen one within walking distance of my place, and since they were showing "The Words," I finally was able to make it. Not only did I really enjoy the movie, despite all the bad reviews, I loved the theatre. It was built in 1923 and after abruptly closing in 2003, was saved and re-opened by the community in 2005. I'll be writing more about this later. 

Some crafts are better than others.
I had the strongest urge to use my sewing machine this weekend so I picked a few projects from my Pinterest board and got to work. Out of the four things I worked on, I only like two of them. But maybe with some tweaking the "nays" will become "yays."

Yay: Pin cushion thread catcher and a necklace

Nay: Pin and headband

Cheese can't save everything.
Since I was already on my Pinterest page, I decided to try a new quick and easy recipe. It was only alright. I don't know if it was the meat choice or if there was too much dressing. Or it could have been the Parmesan cheese I added, which is odd, because in my experience cheese makes everything better. 

I really miss the pool.
But at least I got some stuff done.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wednesday Words

"I said to someone I'm close to, 'I don't understand why this hurts so much.' And she said, 'It hurts because it mattered.' And that was a huge thing for me to realize, that there are things in life that hurt, and they hurt because they were important." 
-John, Soul Pancake

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Things I Learned This (Long) Weekend

Some days you just need new towels.
Ok, technically the new towels weren't a need. But I was feeling down on Friday and ended up at T.J. Maxx, which is a terrible idea, and a few leopard towels made their way home with me They're just so fancy!

French brunch with girlfriends is a good start to a holiday weekend.
I had a great brunch, including nutella crepe for desert, with the ladies at a place near mine and K's apartment. I just love brunch.

Football games are really boring when the score is 48-0.
After the brunch we went back to the apartment to watch the not-so-scintillating UNC v. Elon game. We changed it after about half a quarter because it was just a little sad to watch.

A 2.5 hour nap can lead to not falling asleep until 3 a.m.
To be honest, it may have been a 3 hour nap. I fell in and out of sleep to the sounds of "Bring it On" and "Sweet Home Alabama" in the background. I've seen both so many times, I'm not sure how much I actually watched and how much just played in my head from memory.

I have a soft spot for recent college grads new to D.C.
I sold my old living room to a few recent Maryland (ugh) grads. They got it for less than I wanted because they were new to town and on a budget. And because they didn't bring exact change, which is annoying, but at least the rug is gone.

Jan and Bonnie's Crafty Facetime is one of my new favorite things.
Since I got the new iPhone and Jan got an iPad, we've had several cross-country Facetime sessions. Neither of us are big phone talkers, but we're great at talking when we can see each other. Since we both love crafts, Jan had the brilliant idea that we combine Facetime with Craftime, which we did on Sunday. (Except we used our web cams on our laptops and Google Hangouts.) She worked on prettying an organization basket while I worked on a few jewelry pieces. I just love that though we're on opposite sides of the country, we can spend a Sunday afternoon hanging out.

There's something exhilarating about going out on a Sunday night when you don't have to work on Monday.
I met some friends for a drink and appetizers in Georgetown on Sunday night. It was relaxing and fun.

Georgetown at night is pretty.
I'm rarely in G'town at night, since I barely tolerate it during the day, but it is quite pretty.

Hot tea and the September issue of Vogue make for good holiday Monday reading.
I've had this massive issue for a week and am finally almost done with it. Whew.

Some times you just need a lazy Monday.
That includes a little Parks and Rec, a little Doctor Who, a little TLC, and a little Friday Night Lights. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it was nice.


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