Thursday, August 31, 2006

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

I arrived at work this morning, happy that it was the last day of the work week for me (gotta love the flex schedule!), and ready to make the hours pass as quickly as possible. If that meant doing real, actual work, then I was up for it. All I needed was something to eat.

I bought a sesame seed bagel (
yum-o) from Au Bon Pain on the way to work yesterday, fully intending to eat it, and just never did. I left it on my desk last night, wrapped up and taped closed -- to secure the freshest taste possible in a day-old bagel -- and placed it in front of my monitor. It wasn't smack dab in the middle of my desk, or on my chair, or on the keyboard... just slightly hidden away.

I got to work at 8:00, as usual, but forgot about the bagel until after my first cup of green tea. I reached for it...

I know what you're thinking: It was gone! Someone took The Donut's bagel! The nerve! The audacity! The asshattery!


Someone took HALF of my bagel. HALF.

And then? He/she/they wrapped it back up, retaped it, and replaced it to its original location. What. The. Fuck.

My best guess is that it was a member of the cleaning crew, but who knows! I considered leaving a note, but decided against it. It started out, "To Whomever Ate My Bagel: Did you think that I wouldn't notice?"

Am I going to have to lock my bagel in my desk next time? Argh.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Camera!

When the UPS guy dropped off my camera at work around noon today, I knew that I wasn't going to be getting much work done. I did have to wait over TWO HOURS for the battery to charge, so I got some work done then, but the second the charge light went out, I wasted a good amount of time. I'll spare you the picture of my paperclips, because frankly, you've seen it before.

Here's a shot of the carpet. And my feet. What? I was in a fight with my shoes today.

And here's a shot up Ninth Street from my office window. Crisp and clear, isn't it?


Stealth Sprinters

On my way to work this morning, I was half reading the paper (read: not paying attention), half walking down 9th street, when two runners, obviously at the end of their workout, FLEW past me. I wonder if they were like, "Okay, home stretch, time to sprint. Hey! Let's try to knock over that girl with the wake of wind from our amazing sprint!" They were like stealth sprinters - I never heard them coming. They definitely scared me enough to stop me in my tracks. Nicely done, stealth sprinters. Nicely done.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Clerks 2

I caught a late showing of Clerks 2 Friday night at the lovely Courthouse theater. You know what I love? That the Courthouse theater has a student discount. Oh, and also? That my grad school ID doesn't have an expiration date.

Clerks 2. Right. So I headed into the dungeon of the theater (seriously, how many flights of stairs did we have to descend?) and watched commericals and then previews and then finally -- the main event. CreePaul had expressed his love for the film and how he and his Jersey buddies had been quoting it for weeks, blah di blah. He and I don't discuss movies very often, but he's a Jersey boy and very loyal to Kevin Smith, so as the opening credits began to roll, I was calm and relaxed.

When I was in high school, my friends and I watched
Clerks at least once a week. Really. By the time I was a sophomore, I was pretty much addicted to Clerks, Mallrats, and Dazed and Confused ("Are you cool man?" "Like how?" "O-kay."). Needless to say, my Kevin Smith love started early. And when you've watched and discussed a movie like Clerks ad infinitum, you're more than a little nervous to see the... shudder... sequel.

But... it... was... great! I laughed harder than I had anticipated and I thought that it was a perfect conclusion to the whole franchise. Jay and Silent Bob are back, still dealing, even after a stint in rehab. And they'd discovered Jesus. Hilarious. Dante is now engaged to a woman even more annoying than Veronica and Caitlin combined. Randal is still as obnoxious as always, hating on the customers and the world. There are a few new characters, including Becky, played to perfection by Rosario Dawson, and Elias, a coworker played by Trevor Fehrman, who steals every one of his scenes. Seriously, keep your eyes out for this guy.

I honestly cannot pick my favorite part, but there is a Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings debate that practically had me shooting Cherry Coke out of my nose. And if you're worried about seeing it without the knowledge of the first, no worries. There are only a few allusions to the "plot" in the first, so you won't be lost. For fans of the first, there are some great inside jokes, especially at the end.

I think that Kevin Smith did an excellent job of tying up any loose ends and really delved into the minds of his characters -- they're still clerks after ten years? How do they feel about this? What are they going to do? I was pleasantly surprised, and I think that you will be, too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Thanksgiving in August

It was a day for giving thanks, a day of friends, a day of... oh hell. It was hot as balls ouside and I had to turn the thermostat to sixty degrees so that the sixteen people crammed into the tiny living room wouldn't melt.

There was so much food! I decided to go with a more summery menu, so that what is traditionally a very heavy meal wouldn't leave us feeling like crap in the ninety-something degree heat. Turkey and stuffing were standard fare, but I bought the turkey fresh that morning at Eastern Market. I love Eastern Market, by the way. It has this old-world feeling, but very few dead carcasses hanging about. So everyone wins, really...

We had asparagus and pea pods instead of green bean casserole, corn on the cob, instead of off, with cilantro-lime butter, apple crisp instead of apple pie, and about a million other things. Oh, and wine. There was definitely wine!

Those vultures ate everything! There were parts of a few desserts left over, but that's it! The turkey was picked clean.
The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey A La King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE! (Okay, sorry. Just channeled my inner Ralphie for a moment there...)

It was super fun, and I can't wait until November for the real deal!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bilingual Birthday

I traveled up to Rockville this afternoon to join my second cousin, Maggie, and her husband, David, as they celebrated the first birthday of their son, Nicholas. They had a massive barbeque and I'm not sure how many people were actually there, as there seemed to be someone new every time I turned around.

Maggie met David in Europe when she was studying abroad in Germany. During a weekend trip to Prague, she met David, an Australian. (Now isn't that just the epitome of the female fantasy -- meeting a dark stranger while abroad?) They moved to the DC area where Maggie has a job that, until her pregnancy, required her to travel to Russia and the Ukraine and all of those -istan countries. David is a computer programmer and is a member of the Washington Cricket League (a game that I will never understand, even after a thirty minute lecture from my British History professor in college).

So you can just imagine the amazing variety of people at this party. There were Ukrainians, Germans, Haitians, Indians, West Indians, Jamaicans, French, and more! It was absolutely fascinating.

The most amazing thing, to me, were the children of all of the guests. There were quite a few, and if they were old enough to speak, they were bilingual. There was something oddly mesmerizing about watching a four-year-old girl speak beautiful French with her mother, and witness a twelve-year-old girl move flawlessly between Russian and English. I know that children have an innate ability to pick up languages -- it's much easier for children to learn languages than adults when immersed -- but it still sort of blew my mind. It was just so...

Then there were the adults, struggling. Though he's lived here for almost ten years, David still has trouble here and there with the way things work. Maggie wanted to unwrap presents before cutting the cake (mostly because all of the kids were getting antsy), and he asked, "Oh, I dunno. Is that the custom, then?" Of course, he's never celebrated his son's birthday before, so we can't be too hard on him, can we?

I can now say that I've traveled to the end of the red line - and the Glenmont station was quite lovely. They had a "Kiss 'n' Ride" where people get dropped off. Adorable! It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Where's the Picture?

My new camera is en route. It's going to be delivered to me at work. I AM SO EXCITED.
Soooooo sexy!

Especially from behind.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mmmmmm... Flavonoids

I love tea. It's very, very good for you. Extremely flavonoid-y, apparently.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nightmares and Dreamscapes... er, Fridge-scapes

I have two great housemates, CreePaul and Jen. We live in a modest rowhouse with three bedrooms and one bathroom. I thought that we were relatively clean, but as I discovered yesterday, that is just not the case. We are gross, guys. I don't think that we mean to be this gross, but we are. Maybe that's just what happens when three very busy people share a space - none of us are overly disgusting, but added together, we have the potential to create quite a mess.

I planned a Thanksgiving in August dinner for this weekend, and we are expecting at least fifteen people. We knew that we had to start cleaning the house, so early this week, CreePaul and I actually decided that we would clean out the fridge and Jen volunteered to clean the bathroom. All day at work on Wednesday, I was actually looking forward to it. I don't know why; I guess I knew that we were going to need major space for the turkey and whatnot, and as a semi-OCD perfectionist, a clean fridge sounded like the best way to spend the night.

We had NO IDEA how gross we really are.

Growing up, if I didn't finish a meal, it was wrapped in plastic wrap or placed into tupperware, and went into the fridge. Generally, I finished it the next day. This habit has followed me into adulthood. I can't throw out anything - I wrap it up. I'm *usually* pretty good about eating it later, but that's not always the case. And that's when penicillin forms.

Our kitchen is nasty enough, what with the lovely floor, so cleaning the fridge is really only the first step in the eventual future deep clean. As we emptied out tupperware and threw out very, very old containers of Italian dressing, we were fine. Only one thing made us gag - not bad. CreePaul was a trooper and took out the garbage, and I got to work cleaning. We put all of the food that wasn't expired into the cooler (mostly beer, to be honest), and I started scrubbing the inside of that bitch. Now, there is food on only one of the three shelves, and most of that is due to the fact that Jen bought about ten trillion yogurts after work.

Cut to Jen in the bathroom. "Hey! Does this window open?" Talk about fumes - I'm surprised we weren't all asphxiated from the combination of chemicals. But it would have been worth it - she scrubbed the hell out of that place, and it now looks very bright, white, and pretty - as pretty as an old bathroom can get, that is.

Anyway, with a lovely, clean bathroom and a nearly empty fridge, Jen and I sat down to watch the most cringe-inducing Project Runway episode ever (seriously, Jeffrey is a FART BLOSSOM). CreePaul watched it in his room because he is a nerd. I love that I got my roommates hooked on this show, by the way.

I was in bed and asleep by midnight, which lately, is an amazing feat in itself. Annnnnd, I woke up about an hour later in a cold sweat and with my heart beating so fast I thought that it was going to burst out of my chest.

A nightmare? Are you kidding me?

I dreamt that I was sitting on the floor in the living room, watching tv. When I tried to get up, I couldn't - as if some force was holding me down. I eventually stood up and attempted to turn off the lamps on top of the entertainment center. As I switched off the toggle on one, the other lit up. The lamps fell and the shades ripped, and I was sad. Then I was pushed down the long hallway, sliding on my back. I couldn't see what was forcing me down the hall, but then all of a sudden, I was in my room. I tried to get read for bed, but I couldn't take off my sweatshirt. I just screamed and screamed for Jen.

And then I woke up. Yeah. No monsters, no ghosts, no nothing! But I was up, and I couldn't get back to sleep.

I haven't had a nightmare in years, and if I have, I certainly don't remember any. I've decided that it was caused by the fumes of cleaning products and the taquitos I had for dinner. Makes sense. K-10 has nightmares every time she eats curry.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Buh-Bye, My Beloved Coolpix

My poor baby Coolpix is gone, never to return. There was something wrong with the screen and resolution (or whatever), but it didn't bother me all that much. It definitely sucked when you were forced to tilt the damn thing forty-five degrees in order to see anything on the screen. But the pictures downloaded all nice-like, so I didn't think much of it. But after the Outer Banks trip and the inability to actually see any of the beach shots, I'd reached the edge of my comfort zone.

I went to Best Buy and conversed with a member of the Geek Squad. Seriously, what a geek! And they actually make them wear the white shirt and black tie. Hilarity. But the geek knew what he was doing, and they sent my camera to Cali for service. Right. Service.

I just found out that it's not coming back. They couldn't fix it, so I have to get a new one. Problem? They don't make that model anymore. So I've been trying to choose between a few in the same price range - they're pretty much exactly the same camera with a different brand name. Oh, and some are silver while others are charcoal. I couldn't care less if it was puce -- I just want a new one!

I am leaning toward the Panasonic Lumix. It's small, thin, and extremely sexy. It can fit in my back pocket. It's adorable. So on Saturday, as the turkey is roasting away, I am trekking to Bailey's Crossroads to pick one out.

I'll tell you though... it's been difficult not having a camera for almost two weeks. I got so used to having it with me, that I would get really disappointed when there was a super sweet photo-op and I couldn't capture it. I was walking to the metro one morning, and there were four baby sparrows lined up on this little fence. They were perfectly spaced and all turned the exact same way, except for one - the "slow" one, probably. As I approached, they DID NOT MOVE. They looked at me and did nothing. A perfect shot. And I didn't get it. But I see those same little birds every morning, and I just have to smile. Because they are just SO DAMN CUTE.

Maybe they'll pose for me when my new camera arrives (if I ever decide which one I want).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Red Mei

There is a small restaurant down in Old Town that I encourage everyone to try: Red Mei.

Located right on King Street, this little Asian bistro doesn't get the business it deserves. They have a great simplified menu that consists of contemporary versions of popular dishes from Thailand, China, and Vietnam. All entrees are cooked to order, right in front of your eyes (I like to watch - they are geniuses with the woks!), and very, very well priced at about$5.99 per entree.

I, unfortunately, am a creature of habit and have tried only one thing: the chicken pad thai, which is fantastic. I tend to get hooked on something and never want to try anything new. Bad attitude, I know -- but the pad thai is SO GOOD. Merrick has tried a few things, however, including the Mongolian Beef and the Chicken Fried Rice, and has never been disappointed.

Head down to King Street and try it for yourself!

Red Mei
602 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

(Next to Restoration Hardware and across from Chipotle.)

Outer Banks Pictures

Pics from the Outer Banks trip are now available HERE from my Picasa Web Album. I also posted a link on right menu bar. Enjoy!

I like your house. It's very purply.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Birthday Girl

I got to go to I Ricchi for dinner on my birthday, and it was pretty damn good - even if I was seated in what was, until an hour before the reservation, the employees' break room. (I mean, really -- if you want to turn away as few people as possible, that's great. But don't just invent dining rooms so that you can fit everyone in. The hostess warned me that we were going to walk past the kitchen... she neglected to mention that we were going to walk through the kitchen and would be able to shake hands with the busboys). It was funny though - I thought we were going to end up in the alley!

(Okay, the picture on the
left is where we ate, the private wine room, so nevermind. But we sure did take a walking tour of that place!)

Then it was off to Union Pub to meet my peeps where I drank my cranberry and Stolis and did just a few shots with the girls (this, my friends, is key. Shots from girls are lovely and sweet - Dirty Girl Scout, SoCo and lime, etc. Shots from boys are horrific - Wild Turkey and Three Wise Men).

It was a great night.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I am twenty-six years old today. 26! Craziness!

It really hasn't been that long since birthdays were anticipated events. Remember those days? For weeks and weeks before, you'd be thinking about your special day... what kind of cake would your mom make? Would you fall in front of everyone and skin your knee at Skateland? Would you be able to blow out all of your candles at once? Would someone give you a new set of Legos, or
Mall Madness (there is a sale at the chit-chen store!), or Starlite, Rainbow Brite's horse, the most magnificent horse in the universe? Birthdays were fun!

Now, it's all about getting older. Birthdays are dreaded rather than celebrated. Why? We should be happy that we've grown, that we've discovered new things about ourselves, and that every experience has transformed us into new, more interesting people.

So, I am excited to be one year older. Really! I'm starting my twenty-seventh year today (at 1:10 a.m., to be exact), and I can't wait to see how much I'll screw up and what I will learn, the new friends I will make and the experiences I will have. It's going to be a good one... I just know it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mr. Gangly-legs

I killed a spider this morning, and I feel awful about it. I don't like killing spiders, and besides... I wasn't raised that way! Spiders are our friends and they eat annoying little gnats and fruit flies that would otherwise be buzzing about our heads like the infuriating gadflies that they are.

Right. But this morning, apparently none of that mattered to me. I didn't just kill it. I ANNIHILATED it.

It was large, with veeeerrrrry long legs and perched in front of my dresser. I was fresh out of the shower and more than a little naked. There was a pronounced feeling of vulnerability, and though I know that I had a much lower score on the scale of helplessness, I moved effortlessly into attack mode.

Mr. Gangly-legs got hit with a good dose of foot spray, as it was the closest thing I had to poison in my bedroom. This turned him white, and while it most likely improved his foot odor, it did not impede his movement. Hence, the newspaper.

He's still under there, and I am pretty upset about it. He's probably the one who ate the fruit fly that was buzzing around my head the other night. Of course, on the other hand, he's probably the source of the bite on my left leg. Either way, I hope karma goes easy on me today. After only three and a half hours of sleep (through no fault of my own, but worth every lost second of REM), I am exhausted and just need the day to breeze by so I can come home and crawl back into bed.

Where Mr. Gangly-legs' family will no doubt be waiting for me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


For the longest time, my work computer and network would not allow for streaming. I would try and try and try every day, but I couldn't connect to Launchcast. I spent a long time rating music, and I had built up a pretty fly station for myself. They named it, "Heather's Station." Clever. You can rate each song, search for songs you love, and skip the songs you hate. It's an interactive listening experience!

My work entertainment was then reduced to whatever cds I remembered to bring with me and then subsequently remembered to rip to my Media Player. My predecessor had quite an impressive collection of cds ripped to the player, including: The Very Best of Liza Minelli, The Wizard of Oz, Rent, and the entire collected works of someone called Madonna. Yes, he loved his showtunes. My listening variety was therefore reduced to those and the Harry Potter 3 soundtrack.

Enter the new computer. It's pure sexy, this computer (though, as I know nothing about computers, it's probably just a boring, standard, government-issue Dell). Still, it's sweet. My old computer was crap compared to this. My old computer was so bad it held people up at gunpoint. My old computer was so bad it ate babies for lunch. My old computer was so bad [insert insult here]. Anyway, glad it's gone...

So you might have guessed by now that I finally tried to run launchcast again. You were right! I *did* run it again. And it worked! And because of the power of the internets (and cookies, whatever the hell those are), all of my old ratings were saved and remembered. My first song? "Round Here" by Counting Crows. Excitement!

One fun thing about Launchcast is that every once in a while, you get some completely random song thrown at you. How in the world do I, after listening to Counting Crows, Weezer, Snow Patrol, and Blue October, get a Bone Thugs 'N' Harmony song? How? Embarrassingly enough, I actually listened to them in High School (the suburbs of Detroit was a hardass place, don't you know). But not today. SKIP.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Sunday night was absolutely beautiful - in the 60s with almost no humidity. As I walked home, I was hit with a revelation: It's almost fall!

I love fall. It is my absolute favorite time of year. Everything is crisp and beautiful. The apple orchards are full, the colors are insane, and all of the animals are getting super fat to prepare for winter (I'm talking about YOU, squirrels and sparrows). Many people say that they don't like fall because everything "dies," but I don't see it that way. Trees go into hibernation, they don't die. Like the phoenix: The phoenix dies and is reborn from the ashes. Trees shed their leaves and are reborn from the thawing earth. It's amazing. (Okay, so I was reaching a little on that one - but still).

Of course, the high is 90-something today, but it really doesn't seem all that oppressive after the lovely weekend weather. Bring on the fall!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


This afternoon, Gabe and I headed to the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland to see one of Audrey Hepburn's best films: Charade. It is a romantic comedy/thriller set in Paris that has been described as "the best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made," and it's easy to see why. It has a quick-moving plot, witty dialogue, and great charisma from its stars, Audrey and Cary Grant.

Audrey is newly widowed Regina Lampert, surprised to discover that her late husband was not who she thought. She is soon terrorized by three men, eager to recover the money they are convinced she has hidden. Cary is Peter Joshua, a man who she is not sure she can trust, but can't help but like him.

keeps the viewer interested with fun plot twists, hidden identities, and intoxicating flirtation between its romantic leads. Audrey is absolutely lovely in Givenchy, and Cary is gorgeous in a drip-dry suit.

This is not a chick-flick by any means, and there are several very suspenseful scenes including one in a phone booth and one in the Parisian metro. The cast is incredible and the script is rock solid.
Charade is great forty years later, mostly due to the timelessness of its stars and the intelligence of the script. Check it out - I have the DVD if you'd like to borrow it :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006


It was a week for the record books, my friends. The Outer Banks welcomed us with open arms and a sandy beach (a very HOT sandy beach). Our rental house was amazing, with its own pool, hot tub, and ginormous tv. There were ten of us, but we never felt crowded. Pictures to come shortly.

Lessons learned this week:

1. You cannot ask your pharmacist for medical advice, apparently.

2. Spending hours in the pool and hot tub leave you wrinkly in places you'd never imagined.

3. Waves pack a punch. And a kick. IN THE FACE.

4. Never underestimate the power of a good bikini. Or 15.

5. Polish siblings are evil. Especially at Phase Ten.

6. Tekken 3 is stupid. Or is is Tekken 4?

7. Monopoly is most definitely a "Fuck this game!" kind of game.

8. There can never be too much pool volleyball.

9. Midnight waves are sneaky and will soak you up to your crotchal region if you are not alert.

While everyone else headed south early Saturday morning, a few of us couldn't leave until Tuesday afternoon. The drive down was fun, even with the annoying Ohio drivers and the massive traffic jam near Newport News. But from the moment we arrived, it was nothing but food, beer, games, and relaxation. And pool volleyball, of course. It was the perfect escape from the insanity of DC, and I did NOT want to leave.

Driving home on Saturday morning, we stopped at Hardees for greasy goodness. This softened the blow of leaving. Hardees rocks!

It sucks to be back, but I have my birthday to look forward to now :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Outer Banks, Beetches!

Heading south tomorrow afternoon and laying on the beach for the rest of the week. Can't wait for the sun and the sand - getting through work is going to be torture!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

August Weekend

I don't have the energy to write after this weekend. Here are some pictures instead:

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Magical Powers and Mind-Control Gas

Tuesdays are my Merrick days. She's not just penciled in - she's penned in. Oh yes. We shop, we find food, we goof around. (exhibit A:)

(Taken sometime when a jacket was necessary.
Not so much in 101 degree weather like yesterday).

It's always a good time. For a good time, call Merrick.

Today was no different, and our shenanigans were very much necessary after the day I had. My desk is messy to me (indicating "busy"), but to the normal, non-slightly-OCD person, it's probably tidy:

Mmmm, Vitamin Water. Okay, looks fine. BUT... let's take a look closer, shall we?


We have this great routine: I metro to McPherson Square and meet her at the bus stop, we take the sweet bus to Old Town, grab her car, and go! Our usual stops include Trader Joe's and the regular grocery store, but today we hit up the mother of all strip malls: Potomac Yard. Follow the link if you want to be edumacated on its history. I learned so much! Thank you, Wikipedia!

Target was the place to BE tonight, let me tell you.
I won't bore you to tears with our shopping antics, but really, does Target have magical powers? I think that it does. You enter the bullseye doors with absolutely no agenda, but after every single visit, you leave with $40 worth of STUFF. HOW does that happen? Is there subliminal advertising? Is there some kind of mind-control gas being pumped through the air conditioning vents? How did I enter Target armed with only my wallet and leave with a chapstick three-pack, Orbit gum (new flavor!), a Sudoku book, band-aids, and a tee shirt?