Monday, December 17, 2007

Fun Game (with a little charity thrown in)

At work, we are sponsoring several second grade classrooms in a DC public school. When we got the list of "needs", I have to say I was a little appalled. I mean, I realized that DC schools have a bad reputation and are very underfunded, but seriously. The main request is for copy cards from places like Kinkos or FedEx, because there isn't a working copy maching in the entire school and as such the teachers are spending their own money to make copies of worksheets for the kids. They also requested used books for the classrooms, anywhere from pre-K to 4th grade reading levels. So being that I once was a reading nut (and still have that nut somewhere deep inside of be, which will be nurtured in approximately 1.5 days when I leave for Texas on Christmas break and have free time), I went to Border's over the weekend, just to see what I could find.

Shopping in the children's section of a bookstore is some serious reminiscing fun. I wanted to buy everything in sight, and I really wanted to buy some of the books for myself, just to have. Who wouldn't want to curl up with a nice new copy of the Berenstein Bears or Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel? I did a quick texting poll of friends to ask what their favorite books were at the age of 8, and got this list: Little House on the Prairie, Captain Underpants, Choose Your Own Adventure, anything by Roald Dahl, Hardy Boys, The Hurry Hurry Book, Where the Wild Things Are, Dr. Seuss, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and "something about animals." What I failed to take into account in my texting is that my friends were probably a wee bit more advanced readers than the average attender of a DC public school, so many of those will be over their heads, for now anyway. So I settled on Amelia Bedelia, Little Bear (the same guy that illustrated Where the Wild Things Are did the illustrations for Little Bear too, which was a fun thing to learn), Curious George, and a children's world atlas that was on sale and had pretty pictures.

So now I'll ask you - what were your favorite books when you were 8?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two Songs and a Phrase That Confused Me at the Age of Six

"Hark the Harold angels sing...."

"Give my regards to Broadway, remember me to Harold Square..."

"Okay kids, get in the car so we can run some Aarons..."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just some Christmas stuff

I absolutely love the holidays. I do not, however, enjoy in any way the most of the holiday commercials. Most particularly, the jewelry commercials are wearing me out. Between the vapid "every kiss begins with Kay" to the stupidly named "Jared's Galleria of Jewelry" (this one, really, who knows anyone named Jared that they also would associate with diamonds? I've known many a Jared, none of whom brings to mind any sort of gemstone), I want to throw things at the TV. But they are EVERYWHERE, on the radio, on my computer...and most of it is really ugly. Guys, not that any of you read this for shopping advice, but just in case, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES buy the featured Christmas gift. They are all ugly, and it will not end well for you.

I'm still behind on my Christmas shopping, but progress is being made. I haven't had any particularly brilliant ideas this year, but I'm slowly working through what I hope will be meaningful gift ideas. I've still got some movies to see as well, to get me into the reminiscing that I so enjoy. These include, but are not limited to, Santa Claus: The Movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Babes in Toyland. I have already seen the Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas, so they're crossed off my list. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Mostly I'm looking forward to being away from my desk, which is currently involving things including, but not limited to, intellectual property rights, university administration, and natural disaster relief. But not all in the same project, thankfully :).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I would imagine I'm the only person you know that has burned the roof of their mouth while eating an artichoke.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So, this blog...(sigh)

You have probably noticed, but I haven't really been updating all that much. It's not that I'm not busy with things to report (quite the opposite, in fact), it just turns out that I don't really feel like relaying it all, or nothing strikes me as things that will be particularly interesting for others to read about.

So, in quick recap, things that I have thought about recently and/or enjoyed, that might have been full blown entries if I wasn't so blah about the whole thing:

This website is awesome. I already paid my $2 in search of some books I read at age 10-ish. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I'm getting a bonus at the end of this month, and I think (against some of my better fiscal judgment) that I will be spending a chunk of it on one of these.
I'm obsessed with the New Pornographer's (it's a terrible name for a band, I know! Please don't judge me!!) "Go Places," "Myriad Harbor," and "Mutiny, I Promise You." Actually scratch that, the whole CD is wonderful.

I want my next car to be a Volkswagen Golf, even though I keep hearing how often they break down. Can I help it that I think they are so adorable and cute and little? Nope, I sure can't.

This is a great way to kill some time and also laugh out loud every now and then.

Holy cow can you guys believe it's mid-November already? I better start coming up with some Christmas ideas pronto.

That's all for now. Let's all hope for more creativity in the days ahead :).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Quick Update

Sandy won! She's number 132 in the comments, and that was a good number to be on Friday!!

Thanks to all of you for dropping by, and for offering so many nice things as well!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Taxi Strike in DC

Okay, so maybe it's a little mean of me as I do have a car and as such am not dependent on taxis to get me places. But really, a taxi driver strike? Best day for driving ever. No crazies cutting you off and honking at you if you don't leave within .5 seconds of the light turning green. No super slow cab blocking your way as he trolls at 5 mph for a fare. They should have these more often.

Oh, and happy halloween. I barely even remembered it was today, except that all my tutoring students had to reschedule, because duh! Halloween is totally like today, and they totally do not want to be studying French while all their friends are at the cool party. Can't say that I blame them :).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Follow Up: Whoa, Y'all

Okay, so I'm a bit impulsive. I know it doesn't seem like it sometimes, but every now then I just jump directly into something with so little forethought it is quite incredible.

Take for instance, this contest thingy I posted. I don't regret this a bit, mind you, but now feel totally like the weird kid who thought that this fall party was a costume one, but it is fact NOT and now I'm the only person in a room full of adults dressed like a lady bug (or a rabbit, a la Elle). I did NO research whatsoever, and come to find out this group of bloggers are all some serious moms. For the real. Except for Anne, who got me into this in the first place :). I have no problems with moms. Really...I read some mommy bloggers regularly, I have a mom, I would like to be a mom someday, but I'm soooooo nowhere near that now. So imagine my surprise that most of the other blogs are giving away kid/baby related stuff. Awkward.

All that being said, I still think the concept is awesome. And I'm still totally making that hat and scarf. And if you're here reading because of this, and you're a mom with a blog (and probably a church-goin' one at that!), you are more than welcome and I will gladly check out your site as well.

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway

Okay, so I got this from Anne, who got it from here, and I completely love the idea.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm giving away a matching hat and scarf set, made by me, and in fall colors like dark red or brown or orange or yellow or really whatever your little heart desires.

I'm going to ask Anne about this random number generator thingy, otherwise I'll just ask someone in my office to pick a number. I'll choose and post the winner on Friday afternoon. Don't forget to shop around at the other sites, as they have tons of cool stuff!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Trip for Ginger's Wedding in Review

Flying: D-
I seriously had the most hellish trip getting from Philadelphia to Houston. The only reason flying didn't flunk entirely was that my trip home was uneventful (albeit a little tight, as I was in a window seat with two rather large people next to me, and they encroached on my seat space a bit). Getting to Houston involved being bumped off a flight, melting down at the ticket counter (at which some nice lady took pity on me and gave me her seat and some kleenex), hanging out on the runway for an hour, running low on fuel and having to stop in Shreveport, having mechanical problems in Shreveport and waiting there for two hours, and finally landing in Houston approximately 4 hours late. And then my taxi got a flat tire on the way to the hotel, which technically doesn't count as flying, but was a fitting end to the journey, I think.

Clothing: B
Mercifully after that trip everything in my luggage arrived on schedule, with nothing spilled or damaged (including my dress for the wedding, which I was stupid enough to pack in my checked luggage, but it all worked out). Unfortunately, the red dress for which I spent a great deal of time hunting in the spring ended up being a wee bit snug in the um, bosom area, so I was not the most comfortable person on Saturday night. I got a few compliments though, so apparently I was the only one aware of the squeeze situation.

Food: A+
I ate so well - favorites included my fish (trout with almonds) at the rehearsal dinner, Dos Salsas in G-town, and of course some good old-fashioned BBQ at Rudy's. I think the wedding food was pretty good too, but I wasn't all that hungry due to adrenaline and such. And the dress, as mentioned above, did not really lend itself to comfortable eating.

Book, Devil in the White City: A
Now I really, really want to visit Chicago. And am very glad I wasn't born in like 1880 or anything. If you like history/architecture/murder psychology, this is a good book for you too!

Amtrak Station at BWI: F
Seriously, BOTH of the elevators are out of service? Both? What the heck am I supposed to do with this giant suitcase and a freakin' sewing machine in a box, huh? Better yet, what do people in wheelchairs do?

People to whom I would send thank you letters if I knew their names and/or addresses:
Nice lady at the PHL airport
Two guys at BWI that helped me lug suitcases up and down the train station stairs
Taxi driver who continued all the way to the hotel on a flat tire
The people who invented champagne

Happy Marriage, Ginger and James!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's Tuesday, But I Want it to Be Friday

And not just in that "I'm so done with work and wish the week were already over" sort of way (even though that's a little true as well...).

Here are the lovely activities I have to look forward to this upcoming weekend:

Arlington Library Book Sale! I limit myself to $20, and usually walk away with a sack full of books. I know it's uber-nerdy of me to be so into it, but if the books were not on shelves, but in a big pile on the floor, I would probably roll around in them, because they are THAT EXCITING.

Dupont Circle Farmer's Market! Not for shopping mind you, I will be selling this super smelling soap. I don't exactly know why I'm so into farmer's markets anyway, but the thought of working at one is a whole other level of happy. Plus there's the added bonus of taking a twenty minute break and buying all of my fresh veggies and fruits for the week.

And then there's also sleeping, which is going to be exciting too.

**EDIT: There's also Crafty Bastards, featuring stuff from Joi!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Signs I might be aging

Hello interweb,

Today is my birthday! I am now 28. I've spent most of my birthday so far writing work emails and answering the occasional birthday call/email. Getting in touch with all of you lovely people out there is my favorite part...but the presents, they are also nice too :).

I took off yesterday as a present to myself, since it just wasn't going to happen for today with my work schedule, and let me tell you, I sure do know what I need, present-wise. I didn't even do anything exciting: I slept in, I ran errands, I began a major overhaul of my room. Everything just seemed nicer though: I slept with the windows open with a hint of a fall breeze coming in, I ran all of my errands in record time since no one was around, and my room is actually approaching some form of organization, which it hasn't in well...years. I also picked up my new glasses (which are very nerd chic - I like them). Then later I met up with friends and ate Caribbean food in the park, picnic-style. There was (and will be) no big party, no bar hopping, no super fancy dinner, but I am already relaxed as I head to the beach for the weekend, and that in and of itself is a lovely birthday place to be.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'm it, apparently...

Courtesy of Joi. See comments in last post for details.

Seven (oh so very) random facts about me. In the order that they popped into my head :).

1) Any time I get really nervous or stressed out, I get sick to my stomach. I inherited this trait from my father, who got it from his mother, so basically anyone on that side of my family is ill at any given moment. Actually, my father promptly threw up after I was born, because there had been some problems with the delivery, and as an OB, he knew what that might mean. I think with that sort of christening, I never really stood much of a chance to avoid the stomach thing.

2) I love just about anything that is cheese flavored - cheeze puffs, cheetos, cheese straws.

3) I have read (and own, come to think of it) practically every book that L.M. Montgomery ever wrote (there are LOTS more than the Anne books, in case you were wondering).

4) I have terrible, terrible eyesight, and sometimes have nightmares where I have to do something very important or there's a big emergency but I can't see anything.

5) I took a semester of beginning figure skating in college for a PE credit, and was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.

6) I love snuggling into bed when there's a big thunderstorm raging. I don't find them the least bit scary.

7) I can still perform the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in it's entirety, although probably not that well.


I tag Ebony, Barbara, Stephanie, Ava, and Anne (Like I have much choice. More of my friends need to start blogging. Not that y'all aren't fabulously get what I mean...I hope :).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


As a few of you may know, I recently ventured back to Texas for a long weekend. Which ended up feeling like a week (at least) due to a lot of activity. Not that I had anything planned mind you. Actually I had no plans at all, beyond eating things and visiting and staying up too late and sleeping in, at which I was remarkably successful.

I also managed to make a purse for Ebony (happy birthday Ebony!), and make coin purses for others with the leftovers, visit with both sides of my family (all of the grandparents, which is a miracle in and of itself, and no less than 6 cousins if you count spouses), and track down our repeat offender escapee cat. My mom talked me into yoga twice, and I am still feeling the after effects. It was freakin' hot in lay in your living room languid on the couch because you have lost the will to move hot. I shopped at my favorite cheap jewelry store, went to a Target that was not completely stripped free of sale clothes, and visited the new hip store that Sarah's managing. I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and still managed to miss my flight, and as such had to take one that left four hours later. Yep, FOUR hours. So I finished reading one mindless fluffy book and then bought another. Part of me felt a smidge guilty, in that I should probably be reading something more high brow, and even though I recognize it's pretty much a waste of time, I still have to admit that I enjoyed myself immensely, and it was a great way to push through an entire day. Plus, a girl can only be so intellectual on 4 hours of sleep.

Coming home to Arlington is a little less hot, a little more crowded, and a little bittersweet. Apparently I'm going to be straddling between here and there for quite some time.

Oh, and my car died. Awesome. So for another $600 (that brings the total to a whole, whole lot that I've put into my car this year) it will be fixed and ready to trade in for something more reliable. Any advice on that front would be very, very welcome, if any of you are so inclined :). It seems like such a grownup sort of thing to face.

So tomorrow, back to work. And oh, there is so, so much work to be done. So. Much. Work. But it was totally worth it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sound investing

- Aquaphor lip balm
- Cetaphil lotion
- Planter's Cheeze Balls
- OPI nail polish
- Mylanta
- Gap clothing
- Nine West shoes

Given the amount of business that I personally give to each of the above, I'm thinking buying stock in some of them might be a nice way to balance myself out.

Of course, that assumes I have money with which to buy stocks :).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So cool

This couple (along with their two sons) dropped by my work today. Check out the website, and then try to make me believe that you aren't the littlest bit jealous.

I am too. And planning a road trip :).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Adoption link

I don't know if any of you that read this are particularly interested in the topic, but adoption is something that always seems to lurk in the back of my brain as a "someday" sort of idea. Not that I am anywhere near something like that, but there are lots of ways to get involved with adoption and orphan care that doesn't actually involve bringing a child into your home.

Just today, I heard a really wonderful story as part of a series on adoption on NPR. You can listen to all of them here, if you're interested.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What does your Netflix queue say about you?

Mine says that I'm into French and Spanish-language stuff, random dance documentaries (krump, anyone?), BBC miniseries, satire, social change, weird independent films, old school heist adventures, classic Disney, Agatha Christie mysteries, and handsome leading men of the 40s and 50s.

Woohoo split personality disorder.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


There's been a lot of talk amongst my various groups of friends about showers, both baby and bridal. And most of the time, I end up thinking, "Hmm, I could really go for some cake right now."

Mind, changed (a little)

After all of my railing against reality television, I would like to state here and now that I'm most definitely hooked on "So You Think You Can Dance." This show, in a word, rocks.

That is all.

Monday, June 25, 2007

How to Find Out if You Are a Nerd of Incurable Proportions

Take this quiz:

1. What music do they play on NPR's "Marketplace" when the stocks are up? How about down?

2. Name your three favorite BBC miniseries.

3. On a beautiful summer day at the beach, your preferred discussion would be about:
a) the fashion magazine you are currently reading
b) your favorite gulity pleasure summer television show
c) the impact of human rights legislation on global trade

What others did I miss?

Friday, June 15, 2007

With all of my talk of crafty-ness, I still haven't posted a darn thing. That's not going to change today :).

However, in my recent craft-like activities, I attempted iron-on transfers. I, along with girls in my church small group, decided that volunteering to help out with the t-shirts for the vacation Bible school would be great. I loved going to VBS as a kid, and the thought of helping out with that is great. Also, how hard can it be to make t-shirts? I'll tell you...really effing hard.

Jill and I made it through a rockin' 10 shirts in 2 1/2 hours...and most of those didn't look all that great. How many are we supposed to do, you might ask? 100. 100 preschool size t-shirts with four iron-on transfers per shirt. It's going to take FOREVER. And in the end some cute kids are going to be walking around in some wonky-looking shirts, so I apologize in advance. At least know they were made with love (and some minor amounts of curse words, burns, plastic melted on irons, etc.).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

At Sarah's Suggestion

This is currently my favorite thing on the internet.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Here comes Peter Cotton tail...

Oh, internet...where did a whole month go? More than that even. I have been one busy girl, if I do say so myself. So what happened?

Well, first, Barbara got married to this great guy named Zach. And I flew back and got to hang with everyone. And it turns out, there are a lot of you that read my blog, and I had no freakin' clue. So now I feel like such a slacker, and since the wedding was May 5 and that's where I heard all about you blog-readers, you would think that I would have updated more. But that's where you're wrong...

Because I came back to a new position at my job! It's only a seasonal promotion, but it comes with an office, with a door that I can close, should I choose to do so (although I haven't yet). I have to give the office back in October, but it's good experience for me, and lets me use my brain in all sorts of new and interesting ways. But leaves sadly little time for internet perusal and/or blog writing.

Last weekend I went to West Virginia, home of...John Denver? Was he from there? I mean, I know "Country Roads" references it, but it just could have been that he liked it there. We had a very historical afternoon at Harper's Ferry, and then drove through a town with the world's best diner-like/hometown fastfood place (they had FUNNEL CAKES, people. And FRIED CAULIFLOWER. I cannot begin to tell you how delicious fried cauliflower is...I don't think I'm going to be able to go back to it healthy-style). If you ever find yourself in Fairmont, West Virginia, give me a call and I will totally hook you up.

So after the grease-binge, we drove on to a state park that also had a nice lodge to stay in (they called it a resort, which sounds fancier and snottier than it was, though it was really very lovely). It was right next to a lake, where we kayaked. That's right, I, Rachel, paddled a kayak around a lake. And LOVED it. Wasn't even sore the next day, which I think is totally a fluke thing. I felt like such an Amazon though...I mean, KAYAKING. Me! We also spent a ridiculous amount of time at Wal-Marts (yep, plural) because we first needed snacks, and also I forgot pajamas. At the first Wal-Mart stop, Kandi found $1 sequin tube tops for each of us (there were exactly 4 left! Providential!), which will perhaps be making an appearances at an upcoming 80's concert, assuming I'm feeling brave :).

My most recent adventure today involved a last minute decision to stop into the so-named "Oriental Grocery Store" that is across the street from my house. I have all these fresh herbs, because I had this romantic idea that I could grow them in my window box, and holy cow, I can, but whoa are there now a lot of herbs and I really haven't had a great deal of time to cook with them. So I decided to make spring rolls, and what better place to buy the wrappers and noodles than the local asian dive grocery store? The best part though was the 10 minutes I spent gawking in the frozen section. Have you ever seen an entire frozen eel curled up in ziploc baggy? I have! Also, whole frogs, crates of fishes with scales and eyes still there, and random bags of stuff labeled (helpfully) as "seafood." It was the most fantastic and horrifying thing I have seen in a while.

Well, I do believe that is enough rabbit chasing for the night. I'll be back than last time, anway.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You can take the girl out of the south...

"Do you remember hearing the word 'wampum'?"

"As in, I'm goin' to womp' um upside the head?"

"Um, no, not exactly."

(Just for the record, neither of these people is me.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hold the presses!

I am cat-sitting for a friend for a few days, and I packed for the night in quite a hurry. So this morning, I didn't have the following: toothbrush, clean socks, or makeup. You read the last part right - MAKEUP. None of it.

For the first time in my entire adult life (at least that I can remember), I am at work without a stitch of makeup on. No mascara, no powder, nada. It feels surprisingly the same; however I will be avoiding any mirrors and will be operating under the illusion that I look pretty much the same. Is it Wednesday yet?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This is getting way out of control

Okay, so I know I mentioned a little while ago that I started crocheting, and have yet to post any sort of photographic evidence to that effect. However, that does not mean that I haven't been making things. Lots of things. Some things are completed, some are mostly finished but lacking one last little touch for them to be totally done (i.e. those Christmas slippers I made for all of you guys...), some are just started, and others I just have big plans for. The list currently includes: slipper add-ons, two baby blankets, a wrap, a sweater, and a throw blanket. And that's only what I could think of off the top of my head.

In addition to the crocheting, I also am trying to learn how to knit. Sort of slow going in the very literal sense: crochet is much more instant gratification because it progresses really fast, and I'm realizing that I'm a very instant gratification kind of girl (reference any past shopping posts, if you doubt this!). So far I have about two squares of a scarf, and I haven't had any huge gaping holes in these squares, so at least that's progress from anything else I've tried to knit.

Then a friend gave me a lamp base (i.e. a lamp with no shade), and any sane person would just go buy a new shade. But me? I thought, "I will make a shade! With beads! Melted beads!" So I then began this process of melting beads in my oven in a muffin tin and then remelting the circles together to form a sheet that forms one side of a square lamp cover. I ran out of beads about halfway through, so I'll finish the rest of it later. It's going to be so awesome when it's done though, probably around this time next year, given my current rate of progress.

Most recently I was reading about people who make homemade soap, and as I am addicted to all things bath product, I am already thinking about jumping on that bandwagon. There may be an outside hook-up with this activity though, so I won't have to also do this in our kitchen. I'm hoping anyway.

But just imagine, if I actually become good at any of this stuff, many of you are going to be on the receiving end of some kick-ass presents!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Suggested New Slogans for DC

(via NPR)

"Visit your tax dollars!"
"Capital of crime!"
"The U.S. Capital: Contributing to global warming since the 1700's!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hola Paco. Que tal?

I just finished tutoring a Spanish student, and man is my brain fried right now. Couldn't even figure out how to do the upside question mark up there (don't judge me, okay...I KNOW it's wrong) which I swear I used to know how to do.

I would like to point your attention to one of my favorite websites to frequent: I know this is old news, and it was so the rage like a year ago or something, but I am drawn with tractor-beam force to the site every Sunday. The confessions are mesmerizing...sometimes disturbing, sometimes graphic, sometimes sort of foreign, but it's always worth the click.

I often muse as to what secrets I could send in. Some are bitter and hateful (and as such, will not be shared in this oh-so-not anonymous setting), others are proof that I am crazy. Most are just silly. For instance, I often catch myself deciding on what perfume I will choose for the day based on the perfume bottle's coordination with my outfit. Like the smell has a color? But I associate it with one, and as such would prefer everything to match. Maybe this is a crazy indicator as well as a silly thing. Anyhoo. There are others that I can't summon right this minute, but you get my point.

I love the silly non sequiturs into other people's brains. But then are those tidbits really all that irrelevant in the end? Is it possible that they reveal something really important that "deep" conversations don't even touch? Answer: I have no idea. But I like to let the thought roll around in my head a little.

And with that, bedtime.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Text message redux

This idea was blatantly stolen from another blogger, which I think should be taken as a compliment, because it's such a good one.

In no particular order...

"Don't ever make out with your son."

"Hiney. I hate the word hiney."

"Toothless man @ bus stop just smiled at me and said 'Hola.' I am so impressed and flattered. How very multicultural of him. Or not at all. Even a little bit."

"Whiney white boy music at tonight's concert. Bleh!"

"There's a woman at the bar w/ light-up shoes! Thought u'd appreciate that."

"I do what I can for my nation and its people."

"What Ninja Turtle am I?~ ~Raphael.~~Sweet."

"Damn you extreme home makeover for making me sit here crying like a baby"

"When you stand beside the ocean, i hope you feel small."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Good haircut = new lease on life (a saga, just so you're warned)

I had been annoyed with my hair for quite some time. I was growing it out...which seemed like a really good idea when I started. I looked back at photos of me in college, with long, pretty hair, and remembered all of the fun I had fixing it and being creative. And there were other justifications - wouldn't have to get my hair cut all the time, which is cheaper, and when I straighten it, I wouldn't have to wash it every day, which allows me to sleep more in the mornings.

However, there were some very fatal flaws in this logic. The most glaringly obvious one is that I do not have anywhere near as much free time as I did in college. Fifteen hours of class a week, punctuated by afternoon naps, girly trips to Sonic, doing a little bit of homework, and going to parties left me lots of extra time to do things like fix my hair (and my friends' hair) into elaborate up-do's and funky braids and such. Or just spend forever and a day straightening it. Nowadays I give myself one hour in the morning to get ready, and this includes everything from shower to breakfast to dressing and blowdrying my hair (for which I have allotted about 5 minutes). So lately I've felt like my curly hair was sticking out from my head in every direction but the ones that I would have preferred. And I was going through a LOT of this product, which is like gold for one's curly hair, and costs about the same. So I decided to take the plunge and pay someone to chop it all off.

Cue second part of the decision process, because I do not have any sort of an idea about hairstylists in DC. None of my girlfriends have curly hair (that resembles mine, anyway), and if I like someone's hair, it typically turns out that they pay $90+ to have it done. Which is all fine and good for them, but I just can't pay that and also buy groceries. And a good haircut, while valuable, is definitely not worth going hungry to me. So I went the nerd route and searched the internet for recommended beauty salons. I found one in the Washingtonian (which apparently has information on more things than restaurants - who knew?) that seemed reasonably priced and was close to my work.

It ended up being a great experience too. There are several factors that contribute to me enjoying a haircut: 1) The stylist not only LISTENS to what I have to say, he also tells me what he intends to do before he starts chopping; 2) He does not attempt to chat me up the whole time...there might be a little chit chat, but for the most part, he just does my hair and leaves me with my thoughts; 3) He does not give me layers that in any way resemble Carol Brady's hair or a mullet. All of these factors were present, and in day 2 (having worn the "do" both curly and straight) I am still a happy camper.

I know that few of you that read this actually live in DC, but if you're interested, the place was Subairi, I went to Daniel, and I ended up spending $52 for cut, blowdry, and tip. Worth every penny for the feeling of extra cuteness thanks to my new hair.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Strange things are afoot

Well, only one strange thing in particular. I have had a yahoo! account for a really long time (long in email world, anyway) - it's going on 8 years. I got it when I first moved to London, because we could only access our school email (my very first email address ever) through this weird little window thing that got on my nerves. It's definitely no longer my primary email address, but it's sort of comforting that it's still there...and eventually I will post pictures on my flickr account, and then it will actually be used. I check it every other day or so, just to clean out the spam and occasionally read an article from the NY Times emails that I still get there.

Then yesterday, I tried to log in, and was informed that my password was incorrect. Now, I had just gotten an email in another account (linked to that one) that a yahoo password was changed, but I just assumed it was junkmail as I hadn't changed anything. So then I tried to do the whole "I forgot my password" routine with the computer, but it kept telling me that the verification information I entered wasn't correct. Now, I did have to try about 6 different zip codes (I have moved a LOT in 8 years), but even then, had no luck.

Fast forward to this morning, where I received yet another email in the other account, informing me that my password was changed again, and then I got an email FROM MYSELF telling me the new password. It basically said "Hi Ellie. Here's your new password." I tried to log in worked. I promptly changed all of the information back to my own (the zip code was definitely no place I have lived) and did all the security stuff I had been putting off for a while now. But how weird is that? As far as I can tell, they didn't send any messages to anyone. I keep looking at all of the different sites I visit that are associated with the email (amazon, flickr) but nothing seems to be affected. I had still already notified the Yahoo! people to explain the craziness.

So if you notice a spike in weird spam, maybe that's why they hacked my account. Or just really borrowed it for a while.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Now, let me be upfront. This is not my favorite "holiday." It's not that I am sad or lonely because of it, but mostly because I think Valentine's Day is silly.* Silly in an oversaturation of diamond commercials and 1-800-flowers ads, how does one express one's love in relation to chocolate sort of way. I've mentioned this before, so I won't belabor the point.

But on the other hand, I am all for the food holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving are of course included in these, as is Halloween (candy!) and Easter (my dad makes this killer chicken with walnut sauce...). I suppose St. Patty's is included, if you consider green beer a food, and don't forget 4th of July, which usually involves some sort of barbecue with lots of sides, at least in Texas. All this is to say, I enjoy eating, and eating for an occasion - well, I do enjoy theme parties too. So Valentine's Day: everything is either pink or red (love that) and there are many scrumptious treats everywhere you turn. For instance, I am going to a little get-together tonight, where there will be fondue (mmm...melted cheese to dip things in...) and other treats. I made red cupcakes with a creamy, fluffy icing. I'm sure there are many people planning to go out to fantastic restaurants for a romantic evening. So despite all of the hype and ugly heart-shaped jewelry running around, Valentine's has my approval for celebration (as if it needed, right? But I give it nonetheless).

So bon appetit, mes amis, and have a delicious Valentine's Day!

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that I do not have a Valentine, so perhaps my views will change when one appears. Somehow I doubt it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007's cold in here

So after all of these ridiculous people COMPLAINING that it was way too warm for wintertime, the winter arrived. To the tune of a negative 6 wind chill. I cannot cope with this people, I just can't. Heat, particularly heat that is dry and desert like and not humid, I can deal with. This cold thing is not fun at all.

I'm trying my very best to winterize my wardrobe, but currently own maybe 4 things with wool in them. Everything else is cotton! Who would buy a wool sweater when they live in Austin? Not me! And now I regret passing by those incredibly reduced sweaters on the sale racks (because no one else would buy them either)...just think how warm I could be had I only thought ahead.

Yesterday people were going to walk to a nearby neighborhood for lunch, and asked if I'd like to join. My response was something along the lines of: "Are you out of your mind? I brought my lunch and will be staying where it is warm, until I am forced to go into the cold to go home. I will not voluntarily leave for any reason. ANY reason." And then these well-intentioned but looney people attempted to explain to me that it was SO much warmer now than it had been the day before. Yes, because the day before was the -6 day, and yesterday the high was a balmy 25. So I'm supposed to do what now, break out my flip-flops and t-shirts?! It's still freezing. The snow is still not melting. The wind is still painfully cold. Call me when it's 75.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Come ON, People

Right before I left on my cruise, my aunt asked me if I had a passport. Of course, I replied. I have studied abroad. I would like to be prepared in the event that I A) need to leave the country in a hurry, or B) find some incredible, last minute travel deal that is too good to pass up. Neither of which have occurred as of yet, but one never knows.

Apparently with all of the DHS and TSA and other annoying acronym-using agencies trying to weed out the terrorists, they are cracking on people coming in from Mexico and Canada who, until yesterday, could come in with their birth certificates. And these are only the people who are flying - everyone coming by car or bus or boat (presuming they are coming legally, of course) can still use their birth certificate or driver's license. All the experts are worried about the impact it will have on tourism, because passports are apparently prohibitively expensive (mine was $60 a couple of years ago...and in light of all the 13 year olds I see with iPods, I somehow find the expense argument a little hard to swallow).

So all of this is mostly to say: SUCK IT UP AND GET A PASSPORT. I find it disgraceful that so few Americans have them (around 20%, based on the range of statistics I could find). Get off your lazy asses and pretend that you have some interest in other cultures. Or at least in cultures that allow you to have a fruity drink with an umbrella (and just so you know, if you add an "o" to the English word, i.e. a "seabreeze-o", that's not Spanish). It's much better to actually interact with people from other places, but honestly, if you will even make it to another country, even one that is so white-washed you might as well be in Disneyworld, I'll take it. You have to start somewhere, right?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Last Night Was Fun

Someone said this to me, in front of a big group of people:

"I understand what you're saying, but I get sort of nervous when you're telling me things, because I feel that while you're talking, it's like your hands are also telling me something really important that I'm missing. Like your friend is drowning in lake and needs help. And I don't know whatever sort of crazy sign language you're using, so I'm letting the friend drown. And then I also miss whatever it is you're telling me with actual words, because I'm really worried about your friend." Hysterical laughter ensued. I'm a hand-talker, no apologies for that :).

We had some really intense U2 discussions. If you want to endear yourself to me in a quick fashion, just be able to discuss random U2 trivia, or obscure songs that only hardcore fans would know, or similar. I mean, I won't rule you out as a friend if you don't know a thing about the band at all, but an abiding love for all things U2 at the beginning of our friendship will get you big bonus points.

On the drive home, I heard a favorite song on the radio, which I promptly cranked up and sang along to. It makes me want a blue-eyed boy so at least half of the lyrics will be true. If you catch that reference, are a blue-eyed boy, and like really talkative girls that gesture wildly when story telling*... um, call me?

*I choose to believe that someone will one day find it charming and not annoying. We shall see...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Oh, little blog, I have been woefully neglectful of you. Often (well, every now and then) I think, "I should write about this in my blog" but then that thought is always followed by another, "Meh. I don't feel like it." And here we are, the entire month of December passed by with nary an entry.

I mean, stuff DID happen in December. I went on a cruise, which was pretty cool. And no, I did not get a tan because some things are just against the laws of nature. I did buy some fun things, and ate a lot, and was so relaxed by the end that my whole body felt like one giant noodle. I also went to my parents' for Christmas, which was great, albeit crowded. I ate a lot (again) and did some crazy power yoga with my mom and Sarah (and Holly and anyone else the yoga-crazies could rope into it). And when it was time to come back to DC, I was feeling a little mopey at having to leave my family and sad because they live so far away...but then I got back and was driving down Rock Creek Parkway (best drive in DC) and it opens up onto the Potomac River right next to the Kennedy Center, and I thought it was also nice to be home here too. So recent stats: heart is 2/3 in Texas, 1/3 still in Virginia. I'm such a dork. If only I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up - that might make future planning REMARKABLY easier.

So anyway, Happy New Year to you all. Hope you smooched someone fantastic, or had some champagne, or at the very least played dominos and drank red wine with your family like I did. It was a rockin' good time (with no sarcasm at all! Really!).