Saturday, March 31, 2007
Perhaps you understand the discomfort of an ill-fitting bra. Perhaps you do not. Either way, I am sorry that you had to witness that.
You walked into the small restroom just as I was pulling my bra out of my sleeve, and I think that you thought that it was funny when my friend had to stash it in her pocket for our walk back to our table.
P.S. For the record, I had only had one glass of wine by that point.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I am so confused.
I think that it's finally time to move on to a new house, what with the:
And we wonder why the gas bill is so high.
We started searching for new accommodations a few weeks ago, and we recently found the most amazing, most lovely, most jealousy-inducing townhouse that I have ever seen. It's perfect, it's awesome, and it's got all new appliances. And we can afford it.
Annnnnnd it's on the other side of the H Street corridor in Northeast.
It's just over H street, so it's not fully enclosed by the ghetto, but I definitely got that not-so-safe feeling as I walked there in broad daylight. Then I drove by it last night, and it... wasn't great.
I wouldn't be so conflicted if the place wasn't amazingly perfect in every. other. way. The master suite - which will be mine - has gorgeous hardwood floors, a closet that I could live in, my own full bath, a GD FIREPLACE, and the whole bay window prettiness.
The kitchen is beyond my wildest dreams with the appliances and ample counter space. The dining room is bigger than my current bedroom, the living room has a huge fireplace, and the bay window lets in more light than I thought possible in a townhouse.
I seriously don't have enough furniture to fill this place.
I can picture having our fourth annual Thanksgiving Dinner there, and everyone would have ample space to sit and talk and drink and be merry. We wouldn't have to crowd around the little coffee table, because I would have a large, lovely dining set (oh, I'll get one. I'll get one for cheap).
That is - if I can get people to come over at all.
It's amazing how quickly a neighborhood can change. This house is just five blocks further from Union Station than our current house, yet one's comfort level drops dramatically with each block.
No longer will I have my cute neighborhood coffee shop on the corner and excellent restaurants within three blocks. They'll be replaced by a Foot Locker, two liquor stores, and a shuttered deli that boasts, "BREAKFAST CHICKEN FISH."
I don't know what to do.
Should I buy pepper spray, a rape whistle, and keep money on hand for cabs? Or should I keep looking?
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Giving up and letting boss have her way? Definitely easier.
I then started re-reading the emails, and I started to get angry again. The under-my-breath mutterings of "bitch" and "shut the fuck up" were soon escalating, and I knew that I had to knock it off before the whole office overheard my wrath.
So I posted my resume online.
I received an email from some company in Reston after about twenty minutes. I looked them up, quickly decided that I had negative interest, and deleted the email. About two hours later, while talking to K-10, I got a call.
"Hi this is Noelle! at Company X! I was doing a resume search on X Job Site, and your resume popped right up!"
She! Was! So! Excited!
Yeah, it was the same company that emailed me.
Noelle! then said, "We put a few key words in the search and we are really interested in bringing you in for an interview!"
O...kay. "What is the position?" I calmly asked.
"It's mainly filing and secretarial (!!!), and you'd be one of our receptionists!"
"Oh my. [pause]. I'm not interested." Perhaps I cut her off quicker than she was anticipating, because I don't think that she even heard the "I'm sorry" I had immediately offered next. CLICK!
She hadn't read my resume at all. That was painfully clear.
I know that DC is filled to the brim with overqualified people with too many degrees, but I've done the receptionist thing. I've done it to death. Most people have, right? I'm not doing it again. I'm not trying to get up on my high horse, but I have my MA. I've paid my dues. I'm SO not taking a giant leap backwards!
So, I'm sorry, Noelle!. I hope you found someone else to file those papers.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I have this now.
I do watch a few things here and there, and I'll admit to some guilty pleasures like The Soup and The Girls Next Door, but for for quality content, I have only three shows on which to rely: Gilmore Girls is built into my Merrick Tuesdays, and then I try to catch The Office and Scrubs on Thursdays. That's it. And I'm nowhere near as insane as I used to be over a certain show about six friends that shall remain nameless, when I used to have to set the VCR if I was forced FORCED to miss an episode. I don't do that anymore - if I miss an episode, life will probably go on. Also? I totally DIDN'T buy the seventh season of that show on DVD yesterday.
That said, good television is hard to come by - it takes amazing writers to create characters that make us want to care, and talented actors to translate these "people" onto the screen. Good shows get cancelled before their time (Everwood), and others stay on the air waaaaay too long (The King of Queens, Still Standing... basically any show with a hot wife and an overweight, but funny husband. Just because The Honeymooners did it doesn't mean that it translates as effectively today! Then again, what do I know? They wouldn't leave crap shows on the air for profit, would they? Would they?!?!?). I'm sure that I'm missing some very good shows by limiting my viewing, but a girl's got to make a choice.
Scrubs is one of my favorite programs for its ability to switch seamlessly between comedy and drama and yet never strays from the heart of the show. The writers have sucker-punched me on more than one occasion, and instead of being angry, I beg for more. Because seriously people - have you seen the episodes with Brendan Fraser? Or the Wizard of Oz tribute entitled, "My Way Home?" Amazing. Scrubs is what good television should be, for me anyway: quirk and heart rolled together in a delicious twenty-two minute bundle.
The Office is the same. Most episodes find me laugh-snorting from start to finish (Andy's cell phone in the ceiling? It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, it's still hilarious), but then we get a quiet revelation about a character, or a savagely embarrassing moment to break the moment of glee (mostly revelations from Michael Scott about his childhood). When it gets too "out there," the writers bring us all back to reality - the characters and the viewers alike.
We become invested in good television. We identify with the characters - we care about them and we commiserate with them. We want everything to work out for them! That's why seeing clips like this make me squee like a little girl, even if they show very little in the way of spoilers:
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I gave up the bubbly for Lent and I don't miss it at all. Except in my dreams, that is.
I woke up at 3-something the other morning infinitely disgusted with myself because I had sipped down a glass of Coke at dinner. I'm not sure, because I was alone, but I bet I looked like someone with multiple personalities, swinging my head to and fro, arguing with myself:
"How could you do that?"
"How could you break your fast?"
"But I swear, I didn't!"
"You're evil, you're going to hell, and they're going to reserve a seat on the express train for you!"
"Well, I've already got a window seat, so HA! Oh, wait..."
Right. It took some time for me to realize that I had dreamt it all.
I'm not really craving any pop, though spying the Cherry Coke dispenser at California Tortilla did make me whimper for a few seconds (my coworker, Gordon, must think that I am certifiable). I'm getting my sugar elsewhere, so why the nightmares?
OH CRAP. What if I'm sleep-CocaColaing?
Monday, March 26, 2007
I recently downloaded Mozilla Firefox at work, and I am amazed at my computer's performance. Before finally downloading a new browser, I had been hesitating due to the large number of institutional policies in place concerning downloads, etc., but skimming the 400-page document was SO WORTH IT.
Pages are loading faster, there are fewer pop-up annoyances, and there are these sweet, sweet TABS. I LOVE THE TABS!
I have Mozilla at home, but as my computer is barely alive, its features don't make much difference as my computer enjoys the freezing and the shutting down of applications for absolutely no reason. That's what I get for buying an emachine in 2002, I suppose.
"Small, the first Smithsonian secretary who was not a scientist or an academic, brought a corporate mentality to an institution that long resembled a university campus. The result was a culture clash, with Small pushing to rename facilities after wealthy donors, for example. That offended longtime Smithsonian researchers who thought he was compromising the institution's values." Washington Post, 3/27/07, page A01
I think that I just heard a massive, collective sigh across the Institution. The new Acting Secretary is very well-respected here, so that's a good sign. Hopefully the selection process will be as painless as possible.
Who gets the $4000 chairs?
Sunday, March 25, 2007
But what's the best thing about being home alone?
All the nakedness.
(I mean, I suppose that I could walk around naked when Jen's here, but between the topless pillow fights and constant experimentation, I think that we would quickly become desensitized to the nudity. Right?)
If I want to shower with the door open so I can hear my music, it's no problem!
If I wish to un-wrinkle a shirt in the dryer, there's no need to cover up!
If I want a glass of water from the kitchen, there's no need for a robe!
FREEDOM. COMPLETE FREEDOM!
It is what God intended, after all. Then the fig leaves entered the picture, the fashion industry was born, and now people are wearing leggings. Leggings! Thanks, Adam and Eve. THANKS.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Did you ever think that the lessons your mom force-fed you would actually stick? Did you ever think that you would pick up her mannerisms and habits? I sure as holy hell didn't, and yet...
...I have a fit when one of my roommates places a peanut butter-covered knife in the sink ("No one wants to have to wash a knife covered in peanut butter!"). DAMMIT, people! Just lick off the excess!
...I can't understand how we can fill a dishwasher with EVERY GLASS IN THE HOUSE in just a few days. Can NO ONE but me use a glass more than once?
...I mute the commercials because they are just TOO LOUD.
...I give stupid nicknames to places (Taco Bell? How about Baco Tell? Hmm? Hmm? Get it? Hmm?).
...I always say thank you, even when it's not deserved. Because it's the polite thing to do.
...I enjoy a nice glass of Chardonnay. At any time.
...I have to hold my tongue when someone closes a door, but doesn't close it quietly (in case you were wondering, this is accomplished by turning the knob, shutting the door, and soundlessly releasing the knob. If I slammed a door, she made me reopen it and close it quietly. This was SO INFURIATING. And it stuck).
Thing is? I love my mom. I used to think that turning into her would be the most horrible, most awful thing that could ever, ever happen to me.
But now? I hope that I become even half the woman she is today. It would be an honor.
Happy Birthday, Lady! I love you!
Friday, March 23, 2007
I do something insanely stupid. Well, food related stupid, that is. Let me illustrate this point with some examples!
Scenario 1: I enter one of the many Chinese buffet restaurants in my building where I think to myself, "My, that chicken and broccoli looks delicious. Last time it was really super spicy and fire shot out my ears and I almost died, but it probably isn't spicy this time!"
Scenario 2: I enter the Potomac Food Court and get sushi, even though it's made at 8:00 a.m. and sits there until 11:00 a.m. when the first brave soul (me) lifts the saran wrap and selects an unagi roll. Five minutes later, in my office, four of the six pieces are in the trash can, because sushi should never, ever taste that fishy. GOD.
Scenario 3: Standing in front of the smoothie place, I order a mondo gigantico smoothie, even though I know that I can only finish a small smoothie.
Scenario 4: At same smoothie place, I order a pretzel, even though I can only have a few bites before the stomach ache kicks in. It's also one of the countless times I've wondered aloud why I don't have a family-size bottle of Tums in my desk.
Scenario 5: I go to McDonald's. Ugh. I now have heartburn after reading that sentence.
I've put myself through all of these scenarios at least twice. In fact, the repeat sushi scenario happened just today! What the hell is wrong with me? I spend lots of money on food that goes to waste. I am a double-waster wastoid.
The answer? Bring my own lunch. I know. So. Who wants to pack a lunch for me every night?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Thing is? He left in such a rush that he only took the things that would fit into his Accord. But I think that you'll see that we benefited from his hastiness.
Dresser. This now serves as storage for our many blankets as well as candles and other assorted household items. Oh, and it's our bar. It's a good thing - the cabinets now have space for food.
Area rug. I love hardwood floors, but ours were never shown the love that they deserve (probably due to the fact that our landlord is a flaming bitch), and they semi-permanently become iglooish during the winter. A bit dark, but the rug is a welcome addition to our living room:
Assorted kitchenware. Excuse me if I'm mistaken, but do you leave Farberware behind? NO YOU DO NOT. What the hell was he thinking? You know what? I don't care. I love them. Mine!
Also, whatever the holy fuck this is:
Finally - and this still baffles me - a perfectly nice flat screen t.v. He seriously couldn't find room for this in his car? Whatever - Jen loves having it in her room, where it fuels her Law & Order/CSI addictions:
What you don't see pictured is a huge, six foot long desk and a twin mattress set and frame. That's because instead of donating them, or selling them on Craigslist, he left them on the curb. Rather, he left them in his room with explicit instructions to leave them on the curb. Nice going.
Ah, CreePaul. I wonder who you're creeping out now.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Let me just paint you a little picture. Here's my night, give or take an hour here and a half hour there:
9:30/10:00 - Wash face, brush teeth, extract eyes. I mean contacts. I'm not this guy.
10:30 - In bed. I work on the crossword puzzle that I've been saving for that exact moment. Sometimes I watch a little Arrested Development on my mini DVD player.
10:45/11:00 - Crossword done, lights turned out. I usually fall asleep pretty quickly. Night!
1:00 - mmmMNNEMPH! What the fuck does the clock say? Son of a bitch!
1:02 - Asleep.
3:15 - Wha...? FUCK YOU, THREE O'CLOCK.
3:16 - Asleep.
5:10 - Oh, you've GOT to be kidding me. Hellfuck!
6:20 - Alarm. Snooze.
6:25 - Alarm. Snooze.
6:30 - Alarm. Snooze.
6:35 - Alarm. Snooze.
6:40 - GAH! MUST GET UP! NOW SHOWER NEED CLEAN! FFFFFFF!
Yeah. It's great.
So... solutions? Names of therapists?
I know that I should probably stop watching the DVDs, but is doing the crossword puzzle a bad idea? I never had a problem before, but maybe I'm not allowing my brain ample time to slow down.
I don't know. I'm grasping at straws here.
Was cutting out caffeine a bad idea? I'm pretty impressed that I can now look at a can of Coke and say, "Meh. I'd rather have some water," because even though I LOVE IT, I know how bad it was for me. So my cutting pop from my diet is doing a good thing for my body. It is, is it not?
The answer probably has nothing to do with these things and it's actually because I've got too much on my mind or something. Right. I've been out of school for three years now and my job is numbingly dull. I don't think that I even use my brain anymore.
A useless, stupid brain that wakes me up and makes me scream obscenities at my clock.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I just didn't want it all to end.
I've seen the films, people, so I knew what was to happen. And I don't think that I would ever have been emotionally stable enough to finish the book because I already knew that they all get on the big, shiny ship and "bye!" and Sam is sad and big fat tears are suddenly rolling down my face and SON OF A BITCH who brought me to see this movie??!?!
Complete. Emotional. Wreck.
I knew that these books were going to be good, but I really wasn't prepared for the writing. Tolkien was something, indeed. I love being invested in a book - or in this case, a trilogy - because a good author can draw the reader into the tale effortlessly, and I found myself completely mesmerized.
I would review the trilogy here, but... no. Just read them.
I finished the last few pages on the metro, and I didn't care that my fellow riders saw my tears. I was upset that they were getting on that ship. I was upset that I was on the penultimate page. I was upset with the realization that I had to say goodbye to these characters. I accepted the bittersweet ending, closed the cover quietly, and placed it in my bag.
What will I read next?
Monday, March 19, 2007
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breasts, thighs, or a mixture of both), cut into bite-sized chunks
6 cloves garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, cut into eighths and separated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, removed from stems
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, removed from stems and coarsely chopped
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (or coarse salt and coarse black pepper)
1/2 cup dry white wine
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Add all ingredients except wine and toss with hands until everything is thoroughly mixed. Arrange chicken so that it is in a single layer, and place in oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove from the oven. Add wine and mix with pan juices. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand in oven for 5 minutes before removing.
Serve with a steamed green vegetable (asparagus, sugar snap peas, or broccoli) spritzed with fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with coarse salt and orzo salad (see below for recipe).
Heather's Orzo Salad
Orzo is a small, rice-sized pasta - perfect for a salad. This one works year-round and is perfect for a picnic because it doesn't have any mayonnaise. Enjoy!
1 1/4 cups orzo pasta, uncooked
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 handfuls fresh spinach, cut into strips
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
cilantro, to taste
1 slice lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cook orzo according to package instructions.
In small pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat. Keep a close eye on them - they'll brown quickly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut spinach leaves into strips, and cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise.
Place spinach in bottom of serving bowl and pour cooked, drained orzo atop leaves to make them wilt. Drizzle olive oil over pasta, add all remaining ingredients, and mix well. Squeeze juice from lemon slice over salad.
Can be served warm or cold.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chambon
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova*
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Lamb by Christopher Moore*
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro*
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
A Painted House by John Grisham
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon*
I've read each and every one of these, and while this list could have been much longer, I chose to include only those that positively affected the way in which I view the world and for that matter, the way I view myself. A few are devastatingly sad and one in particular is completely bizarre, but they have all stuck with me whether I read them a week ago or years ago. Can you guess which one I read for a comparative literature course in college?
Looking for some history, or historical philosophy?
Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault
The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz
Sex With Kings by Eleanor Herman
Silencing the Past by Michel-Rolph Trouillot
War Without Mercy by John W. Dower
Okay, I'll confess: I was forced to read all but one of these (yay! grad school!), but when it comes to writing history, some authors have it, and some don't have a clue. I think that one of the main reasons that kids hate history is because they're taught to believe that it's all dates and names. History is so much more than that - I would argue that dates and names are almost trivial when considering how things happened and why. With this list, because their authors really know how to write, these books read like novels. Some are a little more demanding, but they are all definitely worth the effort.
Most of these can be found used on Amazon for very low prices, or you might frequent a local used bookstore. Try one on for size today!
*Reviewed on this blog.
And in the bathroom, the toilet paper roll must hang OVER. I hate it when the roll is under. I had a constant war going with an old roommate: we both took turns flipping it after each visit to the bathroom. We drove each other MAD and we were both completely aware of our collective insanity. And it continued for months.
I've never flipped the roll at someone else's house, but if I finish a roll and have to replace it, you'd better be sure that the new roll will be set to OVER.
Not that it really matters, anyway:
Let's take a closer look at that, shall we?
Yes, that is a box of tissues. Resting atop the toilet paper holder. How ghetto are we, really?
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
I am so hungover.
(Also? I'm so blah that I thought that I posted this early this morning. And I didn't. Lord.)
Freaking AMANDA decided that we should go to Ella's because yay! it's so good and sangria and free pizza and no smoke and AWESOME!!! Wait... it might have been my idea. I can't remember. Oh well, I'm blaming it on her anyway.
(Oh, and people? P.S. I don't care how many times you send me the link to your myspace page, I'm not joining. I don't care if it's super sweet and all the cool kids are doing it, I'm just NOT. Okay, okay, I know that you joined for a promotional reason or something, and The Battlesnake joined so that he could get free tickets to see Borat a month early, but if I wanted something else to be addicted to at work, I would join facebook. GOD.)
I hadn't planned on being hungover on my day off! We were only going to get two carafes of sangria and that. was. it. But then my old roommate Jenny and her friend Laurie showed up and we were all so cute and hilarious that people started buying us more carafes. Apparently. Ugh.
This resulted in me leaving my credit card at the bar - something I have never, ever done! I must have been TOAST last night. Let me email my roommate to see what she thinks ("Yeah, you were messed up"). Great.
And I lost my watch. Boo.
But at least I didn't buy a Coach fanny pack! Hahahaha!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I left the house early this morning, people. EARLY. I would have been fifteen minutes early to work! It should have been a banner day. But NO. Instead, there were massive delays on the red line. I waited at Union Station for twenty minutes before a train came. As I wasn't up for squeezing myself into the ever-growing human blob on the train, I waited for the next. It was due in a mere minute, and I was glad of my choice. It was practically empty, and I scored my favorite spot by the door.
You see, I have a fairly simple, easily envied four-stop commute. It's grand! I take the red line two stops to Chinatown, and then I switch to either the green or yellow line to travel two stops to L'Enfant Plaza (and let me tell you - if one of those motherfucking "new" green line trains pulls into the station, I love that I have the choice to wait for the yellow line. There is NOWHERE to hold on in those green rail travesties, because I am petite and George Bush doesn't care about short people!).
As I chilled by the door, we arrived at Judiciary Square. "Doors opening!" And then I swore I heard... "Doors never, EVER closing! MWUH HA HA!"
Oh my God, I was on the death train!
I had a book, so I busied myself with that and tried to ignore the delay. But... after about ten minutes of idling at Judiciary Square, the very frustrated conductor announces that, "This train is out of service!" Oh, AWESOME. I didn't stand on the platform long before realizing that I could just walk to the Archives stop from there. And that's what I did. I hopped on a green line train (one of the older ones, thank the FSM), and finally arrived at work at 8:30.
I was still the FIRST ONE HERE.
I'm not really annoyed. I was proud of my fellow commuters this morning. There was very little grumbling, very little swearing and yelling into space about the incompetence of the metro system, and absolutely no kicking and punching of the train itself (trust me, I've seen it). I got to work, got some lovely fruit from the salad bar downstairs, and I just remembered that tomorrow is my Friday off. Sweet!
So... see? It's not so bad.
Lorelai and Rory took the night off that night, so we grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the theater to see the chickiest chick flick that we could find: Music and Lyrics.
The last chick flick we saw was The Holiday, a film that surprised me. I liked it. Don't get me wrong, I would never drag a man to see it (or any chick flick for that matter), but it wasn't what I expected. The fact that K-10 lived in the town where some scenes were filmed made it very exciting. Cameron Diaz's acting actually didn't drive me to drink and she didn't look like a deranged muppet (plus, her wardrobe was fab-u-lous!). Jack Black's antics were low key and enjoyable. Kate Winslet was fantastic - as she is in everything - and her side storylines were inspired.
Plus... Jude Law. Sigh.
Music and Lyrics, now.
Well, it satisfied every item on the click flick list:
-Boy and girl meet.
-Boy and girl hate each other.
-Something happens to bring boy and girl closer together.
-The sex happens.
-Boy screws up.
-Boy wins girl back.
-Happily ever after.
AHHHHHHHH! It was so GD predictable! Not that I expected something different -- well, maybe I did. The Holiday threw me for a loop on several occasions, and that was nice. I appreciated those moments. So I guess that the main difference between the two is that one was 100% completely predictable and the other only ranked about 80% on the predictability scale.
Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is an aging eighties pop star, once a member of the prominent band, Pop - a blatantly obvious mimic of Wham! Unfortunately, his was the Andrew Ridgeley role, and his singing partner followed the George Michael route. Alex now performs at county fairs and high school reunions, earning a decent living. His manager, Chris Riley (Brad Garrett, with a muted, but excellent performance) is soon ecstatic to announce that Cora Corman (Haley Bennett), a Britney/Christina mix, has chosen Alex to write her new hit song!
Enter Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore). She's filling in for a friend when she arrives to water Alex's plants. Somehow she is tapped to write the lyrics for Alex's new song. Oh, and she's got baggage. Of course.
There are strong performances by both leads, as well as by Brad Garrett, as mentioned. Kristen Johnston appears as Sophie's sister and has a few memorable scenes. (I know that Johnston is a beautiful, big-boned woman, but GOOD LORD does she make Barrymore look like a small hobbit child). Bennett, as Cora, delivers a hilarious performance as a young starlet with lofty aspirations: "I've got Shakira breathing down my NECK!" It's Bennett's first role, and she'll only improve.
The storyline is cute, but contrived. Alex and Sophie's big "fight" is completely predictable and the outcome was obvious from the beginning. I wouldn't advise spending big bucks at the theater, but it might be a Netflix option. It'll most likely be on dvd soon. I enjoyed it, but The Holiday left me expecting a little bit more.
But it was perfect for our chickiest chick flick night.
One of the best parts of the film were video flashbacks to Alex's days in Pop. Here's the song I've had in my head since seeing Music and Lyrics. Enjoy:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Every GD year, the weather pulls a 180 and everyone freaks the fuck out. It's been warm here for the past two days. Unseasonably warm. Like, 77 degrees with actual sunniness, unseasonably warm. This has created many humorous people-watching situations, like the lily-white bare legs of girls wearing flip flops... with their peacoats and scarves. They looked like they had mental breakdowns while dressing themselves.
Ladies, if you're going to "go-all-the-way" with the flops this early in the year, please refrain from looking like you've escaped from an asylum. Plus, it's March. It absolutely will not kill you to wear nylons. (Or thigh highs! Try those! You'll love them!)
Predictably - and I know this because it happens each and every year - it's going to cool off again. This will happen this Friday. Temperatures were in the 70s today, but the high on Friday is set to be 42 degrees with some rain thrown in - just for fun! And I can guarantee that there will be waaaaay more than one woman wearing flip flops. There will also be a plethora of men without coats (haha, I used my most hated word to illustrate a point. I'm such a hypocrite!). And there will be lots and lots of people caught outside without umbrellas.
Do people not watch the weather channel? I love the weather channel!
But more than anything, people freak out about the cherry blossoms. There's worry that the early warm weather will screw up the "peak" blooming dates. News anchors will discuss the blossoms in total seriousness, it will be front page news on the local newspapers, and then suddenly it's, "Oh my GOD, the cherry blossoms! Won't somebody think of the cherry blossoms!!!!"
In all fairness, the beloved cherry blossoms (and the impending festival) are a big deal around town. It reminds us of a simpler time, when the Japanese liked us -- you know, in the early twentieth century. They gave us these pretty friendship trees and all was well and good for about thirty years or so. Then there was that pesky "sneak attack," and we started bombing the shit out of each other. And we didn't like each other so much anymore. It took some time and heavy counseling, but we're totally BFF again, except that now we covet their technological know-how and their uniformed schoolgirls.
God, the title of this post just took on a whole new meaning. And I didn't even mean to go there.
Not that it matters - the tourists will still descend in droves, bolstering our economy and visiting our museums. They'll visit our finest chain restaurants, like ESPN Zone and Ruby Tuesday's, and they'll flood the metro with their fanny packs and leashed children. Everything's going to be okay.
Anyway, to recap, a haiku:
Then hilarity ensues
Think of the blossoms!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Heather's Body: "HEY! Where's my daily intake of superfluous sugar? Give me SUGAR!!!!!"
Heather: "Cool out, body. We're being healthy and drinking delicious water with an occasional Vitamin Water thrown in the mix."
Heather's Body: "NOT ENOUGH SUGAR. NEED SUGAR. MAAARRRRHHHHWWW!"
Heather: "Oh. My God. Seriously, you need to CHILL. *cough**jackass**cough*."
Heather's Body: "What did you say?"
Heather: "Huh? What? Nothing."
Heather's Body: "Whatever. Here's what we're going to do. Are you listening? STOP DRINKING THAT WATER! Listen. We're going to go down to the CVS and buy the most giantest, most insanely sized Nestle's Crunch candy bar that we can FIND. And then we're going to eat it in under ninety seconds. Now, PAY ATTENTION and get your wallet."
Heather: "Right, but doesn't that completely negate this healthy thing we've got going on right now?"
Heather's Body: "Ha! Of course not. Next thing you're going to say is that everyone at Trader Joe's is conspiring against you and hiding all of the edamame when they see you coming. Which is just... silly. C'mon! Let's go to CVS! You need saline solution anyway..."
Heather: "Okay, but no candy bars."
Heather's Body: "*cough**that's what you think**mwah ha ha**cough*."
Heather's Body: "Nothing."
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can corn
1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes, Italian style
2 packages Ramen noodles, beef flavor
1 cup water
fresh basil, if desired
Brown beef in a deep pot. Drain all fat. Add chopped onions. Mix well, reduce heat to low, and cover for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. When onions are translucent, add the tomatoes, water, and entire can of corn (do not drain). Add the beef seasoning packet from one package of Ramen noodles (retain the other for future recipes). Once incorporated, add both packages of Ramen noodles, breaking them up as you mix.
Combine all ingredients and let simmer for ten minutes. Serve with roughly torn basil leaves sprinkled on top.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Though her work was great, one of our interns was unhappy, mostly because her supervisor was the one of Satan's minions <shudder>, and she ended up leaving the internship prematurely. She graduated from American University and soon went on to a very lucrative position in her field (financial something or other...). After some time there, she realized that it just wasn't for her, and started anew at the Aveda Institute.
I ran into her last November, and she was so happy. She had been trying to get me to make an appointment for a cut for weeks, and I finally made it in.
People. Let me just tell you. Amazing.
You are led to your stylist's work area, offered tea, and after describing your preferred style, she then takes your picture (for her portfolio) and sketches your styling desires onto a worksheet. Her supervisor then appears (as if from nowhere!), and either approves or vetoes the proposed cut.
You then experience a scalp massage with soothing oils. After a few minutes, your hair looks like Lindsay Lohan's (or, insert name of any overexposed starlet) after a six day bender, but it's wonderful. Then a neck and shoulder massage before the shampoo.
Before your cut is final, the supervisor returns to make any necessary alterations, and you're good to go. The whole process takes about two hours, so you have to make sure that you have the time. But really, for $18, it's more than worth your time. They're also usually booked a few weeks in advance, so plan accordingly.
Aveda Institute DC
713 7th Street, NW (Chinatown)
Sunday, March 11, 2007
This film was wrong on so many levels, and as long as you enter the theater aware of the fact that you will not be seeing a classic, then you'll enjoy the film. Scratch that. If you love the show and you know it won't be a classic, you'll enjoy the film.
Okay, if you have the sense of humor of a teenage boy, then you'll enjoy the film.
Luckily, that's where my humor lies. I absolutely loved The State and Wet Hot American Summer, so when Reno 911 debuted on Comedy Central, I knew that it would find its following. And a place in my heart forever.
But seriously, WHEN are they going to release The State on dvd?
Barry: Now I know what you're thinkin'
LeVon: Barry and Le Von, where did you get two-hundred and forty dollars?
Barry: [shakes head and puts finger to mouth] Shhhhhh.
LeVon: Aw yeah.
Barry: Don't worry your pretty little head about it, baby
LeVon: It ain't your concern.
Reno 911: Miami was disgusting, sophmoric, and borderline retarded. And I laughed my ass off. The Reno police department heading to Miami to attend the National Police Convention! (I would have called bullshit on that - who's at home watching the shop? - but such a group convened here in DC about a year ago. Coincidentally, that's the weekend I saw hookers lining L street during a drive home from Adams Morgan. Huh.)
Things are shot to hell upon their arrival, and they are sooned called upon to save the day. Hijinks ensue, obviously. They're over-the-top and overblown and somehow, it's completely appropriate.
There are cameos upon cameos in this film from big name actors to former cast members from The State. Also watch for guest stars from the show, including my favorite, Nick Swardson. Oh and check this out when you get a chance. It's... well, don't watch it at work unless the volume is low:
Right, so if you enjoyed that video, you'll enjoy Reno 911: Miami. It will only hurt a little.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday morning, Laurel and boarded a bus in downtown DC. For $35 round-trip, it's a pretty sweet deal. That is, if you don't mind riding with some of the most obnoxious people on the planet. Do phones no longer have "vibrate" as a alert option? Because sweet JESUS, the annoying ring tones did. not. stop. during the entire trip and instead of talking quietly, I learned about a woman attempting to get her professor to reschedule her exam, because she was "busy" today, a guy going to Hoboken for the early St. Patrick's Day festivities and a sample sale at Barney's ("I need to get work shirts, but not to wear to work. You know, work shirts, but for clubbing."), and each and every item of clothing that one girl packed for the weekend, including the "lacy thing you love." Ugh.
Also? Bach and Beethoven hate your ring tone.
I dozed off at one point, and Laurel informed me that I missed a rather spirited sing-along of "The Ants Go Marching On." Bummer.
We arrived at Penn Station and cabbed to Betsy's apartment in Gramercy Park, where she had left her keys with the bartender downstairs. That's right - she lives above an Irish Pub. How jealous are you? We walked around Union Square and grabbed some smoothies before heading back to meet Betsy and Sarah.
Betsy lives above a pub!
(Side rant: The leggings have GOT to stop. I know that it's the big thing right now, but they are not flattering, even on the sticks we saw walking. Leggings on men? I don't care how gay you are, it is not okay. My eyes. My EYES.)
Friday night, we took the subway to Greenwich Village where we ate lovely sandwiches at The Grey Dog. As a surprise, Betsy and Sarah then took us to The Magnolia Bakery.
Two, no six, no twelve... BAKER'S DOZEN!
The subway? Not as scary as I anticipated. It was drippy and old, but each station had elaborate tile mosaics and quaint wooden benches and whisked me away to a time before electronic arrival displays. The age of the stations was apparent only until the trains arrived: Sure, they were a little dirty, but nothing compared to the horror stories I'd heard. We finished out the night at the White Horse Tavern. It was wall-to-wall frat boys in there, and I felt like I was in Clarendon. Yikes.
Sarah's stairwell. Fifth. Floor. Walk-up.
Saturday morning, we met at Sarah's place in the East Village and headed to brunch at 7A Cafe. I don't know if I can find the words to describe this meal... wait, I can: it was scrumtrulescent. Blueberry pancakes with strawberry butter + mimosas = Total Brilliance. I've since dreamt of that meal. Twice.
Betsy and Sarah planned our entire weekend in advance, because who wants to waste time deciding what to do and where to go? It was an inspired decision, really. We hopped on the subway to midtown, mainly to gawk at the stores in which we couldn't afford to breathe, but also to serve my manic desire to see Tiffany's and pretend that I am Holly Golightly. Despite the obvious lack of classic black dress. And minus the whole call-girl thing.
Ever get the mean reds?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Trump Tower is, indeed, the gaudiest, shiniest, most ridiculous thing that I have ever experienced. That man does not understand the meaning of the word "class" or "moderation." Sigh.
We took a long stroll through Central Park, and even though it was still winter, the gorgeous weather made even the barren trees lovely. I can't wait to see the Park in the spring. As we were ambling along, we caught a quick snippet of a heated conversation between two middle-aged, male bicyclists:
"Well, I think that Larry Birkhead is the father."
And here we thought that women were the gossips.
We next journeyed to the Upper West Side to see the pretty brownstones and properties that we'll never afford, and I found shoes. In my size. Okay, they were at a children's shoe store. Yeah. But look how cute!
We grabbed tea from a small cafe before heading to Times Square. It was... lively:
Heather and Laurel love excess!
Instead of going to the top of the Empire State Building, we did Top of the Rock instead: Rockefeller Center. It was slightly cheaper and less crowded, and the photos I captured were glorious. Well, I think so.
We breezed through Grand Central Station before heading home to change before dinner: Sushi Park and then Detour, a jazz club, both in the East Village. Though when the musicians show up with their instruments but refrain from playing and sit at the bar instead, it's more of a "bartender plays music from his laptop" club. But he played The Shins, so he rocked. And, when asked about any nightly specials, he offered us the Happy Hour deal of $3.00 rail drinks. Betsy: "This is the cheapest drink I've had since I moved here!" Excellent.
Sunday morning, we brunched at Cafe Gitane in Nolita - wonderful - and then walked to the West Village. We made another stop at Magnolia to grab some souvenir cupcakes and then I found another pair of shoes at a place called Magic Shoes. Hee.
Lunch at Peanut Butter & Co. in Greenwich Village was a nostalgic jaunt - they specialize in peanut butter sandwiches. Served with chips and carrot sticks, it's meant to remind you of your childhood. You know, if your parents loved you. Finally, we walked through Washington Square Park and then headed back to pack our things.
We cabbed to Penn Station and made it to the bus just in time. It's a good thing that we made reservations in advance, because we got the last two seats. I got the window seat in the very back row. The ride was pretty bad, what with the couple next to me making out the ENTIRE TIME, but thanks be to iPod for drowning out the slurping noises.
New York was absolutely amazing and I was pleasantly surprised that my preconceived notions were shattered (too big, too scary, too urban). I could live there. Someday, maybe I will!
But it'll have to be near 7A Cafe.
Thanks, Bets and Sarah!
(All pictures can be found here.)
Friday, March 09, 2007
I cut my hair, bitches. Well, the stylist-lady cut my hair, but still - it was my [asinine] idea. It's... pretty short, and I doubt it will help in the whole "making me look my age" department, but after she finished cutting it to the length I desired, I realized that she was right: you couldn't notice a difference. So I gave her full rein to cut it to the length she thought best.
Heather's self-portrait of her new teenage hairdo - before grabbing hold of the straightening iron.
(If the smell of products doesn't phase you, then I highly, highly recommend Aveda. Check out the Aveda Institute in DC where you can get a great haircut for dirt cheap. Well... as long as you don't mind signing a waiver acknowledging that you understand that students will be cutting your hair and that you might be injured by brushes, curling irons, and the like. Really. Actually, my experience at Aveda warrants a whole post. I'll have to get on that eventually...)
With the cut finished and with my head all styled like I was ready to go to my Eight Grade Send-Off dance (she curled it under, y'all), she beckoned me over to the Wall O' Products. She says, "Here's the shampoo we used today." I replied that I wasn't interested, but I lived very close to the salon, so I could always scurry up there and grab some. Such bullshit. Like I would ever do that. She then went on the defensive, "It's the same price as the shampoo you use already!" I glanced at the price tag and silently noted to myself that it cost three times as much as my beloved Dove products.
And then it hit me. It was brilliant. It would silence her immediately. It just had to:
"I don't like the smell of that shampoo. It would bother me all day."
It worked! She backed off, I paid, and I booted-scooted out of there. Success!
Yeah, I think that I like it. Though... check back with me in a week.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Heart-shaped suckers. I absolutely LOVE these, even though they are nothing more than sugar... dyed red. On a stick. My favorite Valentine's Day treat.
My dentist hates me.
Caramel Hersey kisses. Yum! I don't have these very often, but there are those days at work when they are completely necessary.
Ah, Coke. My nemesis and my friend. I love it and it loves me right back. It cures my headaches, my hangovers, and my bad moods.
And yet, I have given it up (along with all pop) for Lent. I have a feeling that I won't be crawling back to it come Easter, mostly because the last few weeks since Ash Wednesday have been good: I feel better, my skin looks great, and the headaches have subsided. I've substituted green tea for my caffeine fix, and sweet drinks are too much for me now. And that's good.
I have other food and drink vices, of course: I love a good baked potato soup, even though it's cream and carbs, homemade buttered popcorn on the stove completely makes a movie night, and a root beer float always cures a bad day.
Anything in moderation, right?
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
It makes me cringe when I hear it, usually fresh from the mouth of a fresh-faced co-ed, laden with purchases from Pentagon City or the shops of Georgetown:
"Those jeans from fcuk are soooo perfect for you, Missy!"
"I know, right?"
It's even more painful coming from an obviously intelligent, well-bred woman:
"That film was just brilliant. The theme was risky, but powerful."
"I know, right?"
I hear it in stores, in bars, waiting in line at the movies, and on the metro. It's everywhere! How did this assault on the English language originate, anyway? On Laguna Beach or some shit? I don't watch that drivel, but I imagine it came from MTV or some "reality" show. Anyone know for sure?
Hearing it immediately forces me to my happy place, just so I don't have to hear anything more of what is destined to be an inane conversation. It is definitely one of my biggest pet peeves (along with names of stores being spelled incorrectly for kitsch value: Kelly's Korner? STUPID. It's unfortunately a shop in my hometown, which should tell you something. Way to go, Downriver!).
This horrifying phrase is pretty much a cop-out: it immediately truncates the flow of a conversation by forcing the burden of conversation to the other, more gifted individual. Using this "phrase" gives the impression that one is uneducated and crass.
So just stop it. STOP IT. Use proper English and carefully-chosen words. When someone compliments your haircut or your penmanship, respond appropriately, "Thank you very much," or compliment him/her in kind.
Monday, March 05, 2007
It sounds as if Metro is attempting to save money - isn't that nice of them? Maybe Lucifer's lights will save enough money to keep fares where they are... semi-affordable.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Yeah, it came and went several times, but do you think that we ever went? Okay, I guess my dad did take me to see this at the Fisher, front row, center, with Colm Wilkinson, so I will kindly shut up now.
That probably means absolutely nothing to the majority of you. I'm boring you. I can sense it.
ANYWAY, Merrick, Laurel, and I are heading up to the Big Apply City this weekend for some apply times with Bets. She escaped DC this past summer and is now living it up on the lower east side (I just made that up. I have no idea where she lives or what it's called. She's in the bottom half of Manhattan, though - I do know that). It's going to be super fly.
We're taking the bus, so that's going to be an adventure in itself. I will take notes.
Oh, and also? Still peeling. GD sunburn.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
And I got my first check in the mail yesterday. Sweet! Thank you, DC government, for my $58.00. If you think that that's a ridiculously small amount, just wait until I get my federal refund.
I know, I know - better than having to pay. It's still silly that they mailed me a check for such a small amount. I almost filed online this year, and I would have, too. But the fee for filing my state tax was more than half of my refund. No thanks, H&R Block! Nice job with the whole, "Free E-file" crap. Dirty, dirty liars!
So I used their system, figured it all out, and then filled out the form my own damn self and mailed it in. I spent the $58.00 today - what's up, bikini wax! You were like, free!
Now what am I going to do with that $8.00?
I was at the food court downstairs, and a security guard asked me why I wasn't in school. Yeah. So I laughed, and he just stared at me. Ooookay.
"Um, I'm 26."
(Oh, boo hoo, wee Heather is upset that people think she's young. Big damn deal.)
It's not like I haven't been getting this throughout my entire young life, so it really wasn't a surprise, but he didn't believe me.
So he starts telling everyone around us how old I am. "She's 26, can you believe it? Twenty-SIX!" My face was so red, I could feel the heat emanating off. I bet the security guard felt it, too. "What kind of water are you drinking, seriously? Fountain of youth water?"
Yeah, it's in the parking lot behind my house, right next to the FlexCar parking space. Tastes like antifreeze! "Oh, nothing out of the ordinary."
I then fixed a smile and waited for the cashier to ring up my fruit from the salad bar (strawberries and pineapple and kiwi, oh my!). He repeats my age to her ("I would have sworn she was 16 or 17!"), and she just smiled and said, "Well, just look at what she's eating."