Friday, April 29, 2005


So a friend recently introduced me to xanga. This is a whole other, somewhat darker (for me anyway) side to the blogging world. Whereas many people I read have blogs they read listed off to the side (I would but don't know how to do involves some sort of html stuff that I am completely clueless about), these sites have people listing loads of friends. And all of these friends, mostly they write semi-diary entries about their lives. Which I guess I do too, to a certain extent, but sometimes they get really personal. Or detailed. Or whatever. But basically you can just click on one of their names from the side, and then click on one of their friend's names, and so on and so forth. After about 30 minutes you could be reading the break-up story of someone about 7 degrees of separation from you.

Does anyone really need a play-by-play of your entire day? I don't really care what you ate, and I find it difficult to believe that your friends care either. I find the relationship stories (where they describe their undying love and devotion to the significant other, especially with shout-outs along the lines of "I love you hunny!" or similar) to be particularly awful. And yet, like a train wreck, I can't. look. away.

Speaking of the above shout-out example, you should always be wary of doing such things. People are bound to mock you, and truly, you deserve it. Or perhaps, there might be someone, someone who might have been a suitemate of mine in college, and this someone might write "I love my honey!!!" as her screensaver, and the other, annoyed suitemates might change it to "I love my hiney!!!" and let it scroll along for days before that someone noticed. I'm just sayin', it might happen.

Down-home Dinner (the upcoming wedding, part one)

Last night, I got an invitation to the rehearsal dinner for my cousin's wedding this May. In typical Texas fashion, this rehearsal dinner is going to feature massive amounts of barbecue and fried catfish. Some thoughts:

I'm already so excited I can hardly stand it. The invitation was printed on paper with a red bandana pattern, so obviously it's already off to a good start.

As the *ahem* maid of honor, I wonder if I have to make a toast or something amongst the platters of ribs? I will definitely have to check my teeth first.

It's a good thing that the skirt of my bridesmaid dress has this convenient old-lady elastic waistband...expandable for the stuffing that will most certainly occur the night before.

To be continued...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

no more work!

It is perhaps lame of me to bring it up again, but here at this work place, when people are leaving, they serve everyone alcohol. In the case of today's departure (sniff...Faraz the training budding, he is leaving for greener pastures), we went to a semi-Mexican restaurant for food...and the company bought the drinks. The margaritas, more specifically.

1 pitcher of frozen margarita divided by 3 girls = 1 completely unproductive afternoon for me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

the All Staff meeting

That, my friends, was just an hour and a half of my life that I will NEVER GET BACK.

As C put it (can you tell who my favorite work friends are?), "It's like we all went to see 'Glitter' or something."

Monday, April 25, 2005

My weekend in the Big Apple*

*Some alternate title ideas included:
"Babysitting for Friends: the Real Birth Control"
"Screaming Children and Bus Trips: Oh the Horror"

So as you can see from the above, my weekend was in many ways defined by the children I was around. My best friend from high school has a one-year old (which still completely weirds me out) and we spent a lot of time watching him while she went to rehearsals, performances, etc. Her son, whose real name is Tymin but I like to shorten to Ty, is really, really well behaved and good natured. Even still, just watching him for a few hours pretty much wore me out. New York is not exactly friendly to kids in strollers. Especially kids who are just starting to be mobile and would really much rather be crawling around on the ground, even if that ground is a filthy NY sidewalk. And the mama, she just seems tired all the time. Much as I do eventually want to have children some day, the fact that that day seems very far away at this moment is more than okay with me.

I tell Misty (the mama) all the time that I still cannot believe she has a child. Maybe it's because I was always the one doing the babysitting to earn extra money, while she never even changed a diaper until it was her son's. Or maybe it's just that this girl that I used to have sleepovers with and lot of silly, stupid fun could really be doing so very, very differently with her life than mine. I have another friend from high school that has a baby, but she's the type that was always meant to have one by the ripe old age of 24 (at least in my head) so it's less weird. I should say though that watching Misty with her child is (for lack of a better word) beautiful. She loves the mess out of that kid. And of all of the things that I worry about that kids need, and the awesome responsibility that those needs entail, I feel at least she's got the most important part of it down.

Oh, and as for the bus: on my four hour bus ride home, there was this horrid three-year old who threw SHRIEKING fits roughly every 30 minutes. And then did I long for my sweet but mobile one-year old...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lunchtime conversation

For E, who told me I should put this on my blog.

Background: A few weeks ago at work we had a sort of floor get-together where wine was served. This is not unusual at my job--birthdays or going-away parties are often marked with wine or champagne. Having grown up in a town where drinking alcohol in public was the moral equivalent of shooting heroin, I am still adjusting to this.

E: "We should really do that again, I think it was good for bonding."

R: "What do you suppose their policies on liquor are? I mean, wine is okay, but could we get away with say...tequila?"

C: "Maybe we could make sangria, people tend to forget that there's other things besides wine and fruit in that. What's a good excuse for sangria?"

R: "Ooo! Cinco de Mayo!"

E: "Great idea. When's Cinco de Mayo?"

(silence...and staring)

E: "Er...nevermind. I can't believe I just said that."

Worst poker face EVER

Someone informed me today after particularly long and mostly uninteresting staff meeting that they love to watch my reactions to things that are said. I realize that I am a bit of an expressive person, at least in that my emotions or thoughts can be very evident on my face. But this is not necessarily the best thing considering that I sat across from a VP and the CFO at said meeting. Oops. This has also happened before: in grad school, a particularly obnoxious classmate complained to someone we each hung out with (separately, I might add) that I always made really horrible faces when he was talking. I certainly didn't mean to do this, but then the guy was a complete idiot and I feel no shame in expressing my feelings, even as I did it unintentionally. Another time I was at a coffee shop watching a friend perform, and part of the show was this sort of awkward story with music thing. I was apparently so uncomfortable with the whole thing that a friend leaned over to ask if it was "really that bad." Clearly this is a sign that I should never try my luck at Texas Hold 'Em.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Today has been a "Running to Stand Still" sort of day.

I don't know if Ginger reads this blog at all, but I know she'd understand that, and that at least makes me feel a little better.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A short history of my history

I could not even believe it this morning when I opened the paper and the caption on a photo informed me that it has been 10 years since the bombing in Oklahoma City. I remember sitting in my debate class my sophomore year and watching the footage on the classroom TV (the kind that were bolted up really high on the wall), and it does not feel at all like it was ten years ago.

This got me thinking about the ways I remember very tragic or momentous events in history. I think the earliest one I remember was the Challenger exploding...I was maybe in second grade. Mostly I remember seeing all of the flags lowered to half-mast, and I remember asking my mom why they were like that. Then I have these sort of fuzzy images in my head of seeing footage of the Berlin Wall coming down.

I'm sure there are others I'm glossing over, but memories don't exactly come back chronologically, so there you go. I also remember watching the David Koresh compound burn to the ground...a mere 40 miles or so south of my home. There had been so much media surrounding the ATF agents and such in our area, but I think no one my age really paid any attention until the fire started.

Funny how history is really so personal...I think about my reactions, where I was, etc. more than what happened and why it was significant. I don't know if this was because I was quite young then (not that I'm so old and mature now!) or because in the end all of the stories are about how they affected you and those around you. I wonder what will be personally significant to me ten years from now? I can already think of a few, we'll see if they pan out.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Dad and I found a killer Italian restaurant last night. It was quite possibly the best Italian food I've had since I've been in Italy, but I liked it even more for other reasons. It was the sort of small, family run place where everyone knows everyone else, even the customers. And it was obvious that we were the new people, but they were all wonderfully friendly and welcoming. You could watch the chef (who incidentally used to have a four-star restaurant in downtown DC) behind the counter as he whipped up the magic. The permanent menu had roughly five choices, but the seasonal specials numbered in the double digits. They served excellent dishes and wine and the price was more than right.

And no I will not tell you the name. I refuse to give away such secrets on the internet, but if you come visit me I will take you there. You will love it, I promise.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


At lunch today (in a beautiful garden outside in the sunshine) a workmate and I were discussing the finer points of enjoying ice cream. This discussion came about because I have plans to leave in approximately 39 minutes for a "fresh air" break that will involve a trip to a nearby ice cream shop. This work friend, he was reminiscing about buttermilk ice cream that he had tried in Wisconsin, and my mouth started watering at the thought of some Amy's Mexican vanilla from Austin. We agreed that ice cream in a cone that you buy from a store is immeasurably better than ice cream from a carton that remains in your freezer for a while, although neither of us know why this is. And it also should go without saying that ice cream in a cone is much better than ice cream in a cup. Everyone knows that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


I am not a morning person, and as such I rarely get to work before 9 or even 9:30 some days. My bus ride to work generally consists of avoiding eye contact with the crazy people so as not to set anyone off.

However, on this particular morning, I got to work early so I could leave early to meet my dad at the airport. And if you get on the bus at 8 instead of 9, there are all of these cute little grade-school age children riding the bus with their older siblings, going to class. And they sit next to you and ask you questions, especially if you have a cool green pen, which is quite a novelty to a second-grader. (Eh, who I am kidding? It's a novelty to me too, that's why I use it).

Maybe this will motivate me to get up a little earlier...something I've been meaning to try for a while now. Every morning would get off to a better start if I could have a good conversation about the use of pens and pencils with a eight-year old.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

U2 pretty much rocks my face off. Just thought I'd share.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Cooking with Rachel

Perhaps with the allergy season upon us, you need a little something to clear up those sinuses. Or maybe you've secretly harbored dreams of being able to breathe fire. In either case, might I recommend a Thai green curry recipe.

Yowza. And so tasty.

Things that might make me wary of you

**This may come off as a rant, but it's really meant to be more contemplative**

Overuse exclamation points (i.e. !!!!!!!) for very small things. If you're going to pretend to be all excited about something insignificant, what will you do when something really monumental happens?

Tell me how smart you are, or ask me how smart I am. Especially if this involves some sort of quantitative number, like a GRE score. Seriously, are we in grade school? That is none of your business and you should know that the number is a reflection of nothing. Some of the smartest people I know do not do so well on standardized tests.

Not look at my face when I am having a conversation with you. I'm particularly disturbed when you always seem to be looking behind or around me, as if you are waiting for someone or something more important to come along.

Talk about your pets as though they are your children.

Be one of those girls that is always "not that hungry." Food is good, you should eat it.

Be really, really into video games in addition to being in your twenties (or thirties).

Friday, April 08, 2005

Okay DC, I give

This is not a city that I fell in love with immediately (i.e. London or Paris), but it’s growing on me. It could be that the change to daylight savings makes everything less dark and that much cheerier. There are other possibilities:

Trees in bloom: there are trees of every variety covered in blossoms. Cherry, pear, tulip (yes, Sarah, you read it right: TULIP TREES), and others that I won’t even attempt to name. I want to get out my camera and document it…this is possibly the most beautiful spring I have ever seen.

The Mall and Tidal Basin at nighttime: the buildings and monuments are nice enough during the day (if a bit formidable), but at night they are stunning and glowing with lights.

The dog park on my way to and from work: I’m not a big fan of dogs in general – I prefer to like them on a case by case basis, but this dog park has dogs of every shape and size. You can watch a dachshund try to take on a mastiff. Hilarity is bound to ensue EVERY TIME.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Have been to:
The Netherlands
Republic of Ireland
North Ireland

Would leave this minute for:
South Africa
New Zealand

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A caveat

Just because Texans aren't that into basketball, doesn't mean we can't be good at it!

Yay Lady Bears!

And for giggles, see if you can spot the least valuable fan...


It will be the financial death of me.

Super-saver shipping, I can't resist you. Even though I really just wanted those two books, totaling $19.95, for a mere $5.05 more, I don't have to pay any shipping at all! It's practically getting something else for free, because I would easily pay that much to have the books shipped. But nothing actually costs $5, everything is at least $10 or more, not to mention that I've now bought two books and am feeling very intellectual, so really I should get a CD, right? So now I've spent $32 with taxes, $12.05 more than I originally planned on.

And I will probably do it again next paycheck. What's the definition of addiction? Oh wait, here it is: "to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively"...that pretty much wraps it up.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


I have the hands of a prizefighter who can't afford gloves. I have seriously managed to injure four of my ten fingers in the last few days, and had to make an extra trip to the drug store for neosporin this morning because I woke up with the irrational fear that I was going to get an infection and lose one of the fingers. Some of the injuries have occurred at random - yesterday, looked down and saw bloody pointer finger (left hand) after rearranging chairs in a room; others have, painfully obvious as to when they occurred (Cheese grater:1, Rachel's thumb: 0).


I watched the UNC vs. Illinois game at a bar last night. Being a UNC grad school alumna, I don't really care much but feel slight favoritism for them. I'm also from Texas and we don't so much care about basketball in relation to other sports (there is a reason that every football movie ever made is set there). Some things that occurred around this game however totally made my night:
1) There was a woman that gave spirit fingers (yes, SPIRIT FINGERS - if you need to ask, don't) to the TV every time UNC scored, especially with three-pointers.
2) A guy behind us that was loudly interspersing basketball lingo with food advice. An example or two: "They really need to get the ball to May more...I can't find good bagels anywhere here...Defense, Heels, defense!...They have the best Italian subs EVER..."
3) The people that have been out of college for AT LEAST ten years who were standing on chairs and barstools to lead chants and sing the school song. There is loyalty and then there's just crazy.
4) Last but not least, something actually related to the game: I love watching all of the players just lay on the court and stare at the ceiling. That must be such an incredible feeling. I also get a little misty when such awkward, overgrown boys hug their little short coach. So very cute.


A guy at the bus stop this morning started to talking to me about his love life. He was middle-aged, sort of drifter looking. He apparently had just broken it off with a woman he's been dating for a while, and commented to me "I think women really want guys that treat them badly, knock 'em around and stuff, you know? But I'm just a nice guy, I can't be like that." To which I informed him that I thought that was a good thing. When he got off the bus, roughly 15 minutes later, he turned to me and loudly said, "I hope you find a good guy, that's nice to you and doesn't treat you bad!!" The entire bus turned to look at me. And I laughed and laughed as soon as he was gone.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Siblings, continued

I think it's the ability to pick up the phone and talk for hours about nothing in particular with perfect ease, even if it's been months between conversations. Or maybe the way you can accept what would normally be an insult ("You're not seriously wearing that, are you? Because I won't be seen in public with you...") with laughter and the realization that you should probably take the advice. Or the way that you cringe for their mistakes, knowing that they're necessary to learn and grow, but wanting to keep them from the hurt that is inevitable and so hard to watch. Or the times I feel downright murderous knowing that someone has treated them badly, and if I could personally punish that someone, I would.

There's really not much difference between the way I feel about my biological siblings and the ones I have acquired through life. Somehow though, it's easier to be thankful for the ones that I acquired...taking the two I got from my parents for granted, I think. The order is somehow reversed, since we started off as siblings and now we have to learn how to be friends with each other.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


There's really nothing quite like them. After reading this, I'm going to call mine today. I will tell about them sometime, but then I should ask them first. That's the nice, big-sisterly thing to do.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I have been told

That I look like Natalie Portman (and it destroyed all of my brother's fantasies, poor guy). This was usually brought up by totally random people, two of which are Pakistani (I wonder if there's any significance in that?). I don't really see it, but it's flattering, and I like compliments.

That being said, I also love Garden State. And I bought the soundtrack and listened to it pretty much non-stop last fall. It reminds me of getting to know DC, but that is a story for another post. So while I might have some resemblance to Natalie, I don't necessarily believe these songs will change your life, but they might make your day a little better (they sure do mine...and if you know me in person, you can picture me dancing around to them like a fool and that surely makes your day better too):

The Shins:
Caring is Creepy
Kissing the Lipless ("you TOOOLD us of your new life...")
New Slang
Young Pilgrims

White Stripes:
We are Going to Be Friends
Seven Nation Army

On peut parler en francais!

I have a group coming on Monday, and I am silly excited about it. Normally I'm not too into the stuff that goes along with my job, but I have a good feeling about these people. Most of the interpretation will be in Creole, which means I will probably understand about every fifth word (which will be 5x more than I understand when I have Russian visitors). But most of them will speak French as well and I think it makes such a huge difference when we can communicate one-on-one. Not to mention I get not one but two free lunches next week because of them, and I am nowhere near above being excited about a free lunch.