Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
But today, my friends, it was Gang Tattoos! I started searching for an answer to my question: In what county is Alexandria, VA? And I discovered that (a) it's an independent city and (b) they have a burgeoning gang problem, in the form of MS-13. Since I didn't know what MS-13 was, I skipped to the Wikipedia article on MS-13. And then, to gangink.com! The most remarkable thing I discovered on this website was the sheer volume of gangs that call themselves "insane." Here is a list: Imperial Insane Vice Lords, Insane C-Notes, Insane Deuces, Insane Dragons, Insane Majestics, Insane Popes (north and south side), Insane Unknowns. Not to be confused with Conservative Vice Lords. Oh, the vice lords. They're quite conservative. Unlike the liberal vice lords, who are nearly insufferable with their flamboyant socialism.
Anyway, I would like to applaud the gang community of Chicago for confronting mental illness and forming these "gangs," which I assume are something like support groups. Bravo, lads. Also, what's with all the face tattoos? Isn't that a bit much? Just wunnerin.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I brought it home Saturday night and my darlin' and I tore open the box (OK, more me than him) and started pulling all the pieces out. And they just kept coming! It was like a bottomless treasure chest of cookware. Truly, this was the highlight of the weekend.
Earlier that day, I had gone to look at bridesmaids dresses with my friend, Q. We only spent about 20 minutes looking, which left me wondering, how do you ever pick a dress? Going into bridal salons can be pretty overwhelming. If you don't already have an idea of what you want, you would probably never be able to make a decision. And then if you have already looked online, the things in the store can be disappointing. They never look as good as they did on the models, where they had make-up artists, lighting technicians, and set designers to bring the whole thing together. Anyway, I don't think Q is any closer to a decision now than she was when we went in there. And we'll probably end up taking a trip to the fifth circle of hell - David's Bridal - before this is all over. Blech.
On Sunday, in addition to other, more interesting things, my darlin' and I took 3 garbage bags of, well, garbage to Goodwill. Actually, I was reading on The Unclutterer that you shouldn't treat Goodwill (and other charities) like repositories for trash. If someone wouldn't want to buy it, then it belongs in the trash, not at a charity. And really, how charitable are you being if you're just bringing your trash there? Oh, right, back to the story...we went to bring the 3 bags of gently used men's clothing and books to Goodwill, where there was a line of about 12 luxury cars also waiting to drop-off donated goods. I had to laugh. And it made me think that there are probably some really good finds at that Goodwill...
Friday, January 23, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Oh, weird. Uh, I guess that worked. I really like this picture of some birds. I found it on Print & Pattern, who found it elsewhere. Anyway, I like the print and I really like the color palette, but I can't seem to find a way to pull the colors from the color palette. I don't have any fancy photo editing software. I tried using Color Hunter, but the palette it gave me wasn't right. It was too red and there was no cream or pale orange, or even that slightly fuchsia color. Bah!
Things I always find interesting:
- The weather. Here or anywhere. I could talk about this for hours.
- A study of accents. Where people are from, how they came to sound that way, what influences the way we pronounce "cats."
- Americans whose parents were born in other countries. Really? Your Dad grew up in Senegal? Awesome! Let's talk about it at length!!
Things other people find interesting when I talk about them for hours:
There's nothing to put there.
I'm leaving on a jet plane this evening after work to go home for my sister's bachelorette party/spa day/bridal luncheon/weekend-long celebration of lights. I have (1) a direct flight (2) out of Reagan National airport. I'm so excited I could pee! Normally I have to take 3 planes, a train, and a goat to get from DC to New Orleans!
Hey, here's a question--why do software programs recognize the word "bachelor" but not "bachelorette?" I mean, I know bachelorette is a made-up word, but I feel like it's worked its way into the vernacular well enough to be accepted by Outlook and Blogger. I think maybe it's a tool of the patriarchy. They would prefer that, instead of "bachelorette," we use "spinster." Yep, "spinster" doesn't raise any red flags. The man is always keeping us down.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Amazingly, I was scheduled to have Sunday off from my second job at Retail Store. Because most of my days I request off are spent travelling to and from New Orleans and spending time there, I very, very rarely have a day off that is just a day off. On Sunday, I woke up at 9, put a pot roast on to slow cook, made red lentil soup, then made breakfast for my darlin', then put away the Christmas decorations, then did a load of laundry, then made some mini broccoli cheese frittatas to take for breakfast. And I watched the Karate Kid II and straightened my apartment. And I wonder, before I got the second job, DID I EVER FULLY APPRECIATE HAVING TWO WHOLE DAYS OFF? The answer is no. I was amazed by how much I got done and by all the time I had left over to shout foolishness at my darlin' while he tried to work.
What I hope to accomplish tonight: I want to deliver 3 boxes of stuff to Goodwill. I want to unwrap the new glasses I got, wash them, and put them away. I want to clear out my old glasses so that there is room in the cabinets. I want to take my trash out and wash the dishes in my sink. So help me, I will do at least one of these things tonight.
Friday, January 9, 2009
My sister is getting married in March and I am the maid of honor. Oh, I'm honored! The best man, incidentally, is well over six feet tall. And he's a triathlete. Woo, boy, am I going to look dumpy next to him! I can't wait.
Actually, I can wait. I keep wishing the wedding were a little later in the year so I could spend more time (not) dieting and (not) working out. I can accept that I am a chunk, but I'd really rather not look dumpy in pictures that will live on for years. I already saw the pictures from the bridal shower (oh, the joys of facebook) and I can say with some certainty that I looked like an albino moose in a wig. But, enough about that. I hate talking about my body as though it has betrayed me, when really I have betrayed it. Instead of being mindful of the things I eat and the amount of activity I engage in, I've been eating whatever strikes my fancy. And I've made very little effort to do otherwise.
While I was in law school, I was on the South Beach diet pretty consistently for several months. I lost some weight, got some muscle tone (I was also working out), and just generally felt better about the way my clothes fit and the way I looked. I fully intended to start up with this again now, but I just keep eating the worst possible stuff. Ugh.
So, OK, as my body digests my everything bagel and thinks, "Woman! Eat some damn vegetables!" I will resolve once more to cut out wheat and sugar and focus on some healthier options.
Oh, the real tip? Stop eating everything bagels slathered in cream cheese. And stop ordering pizza when, one way or another, you're going to end up eating the whole thing over the next few days. It's still a whole pizza you're eating.
I'm expecting my shipment of beans from Rancho Gordo (www.ranchogordo.com) today. I'll be back on Monday to let you know how the first bean-cooking trial went.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
3. Pumpkins and other squashes (gourds?)
7. Cooked apples
8. Sweet potatoes***
9. Spiced desserts, like those involving nutmeg and cloves and allspice
Things I tried to like and succeeded:
5. Tomato soup
6. French onion soup
*So, this isn't universal. But I don't like pork shoulder, pork roast, pork potstickers, etc. I will eat pork sausage, but not always. I made a meatsauce using only pork sausage one time and I couldn't eat it. It grossed me out. Sorry, I tried.
**I get so much hell about this one. When people find out that I don't eat seafood, they're always like, "but, you're from Louisiana!" Yes. This is true. But I tried. I can't stand the smell. I want to like it! It often looks good. And sushi is so adorable! But I just can't do it. The only exception is StarKist tuna from a can. And spare me the argument that salmon isn't fishy, or I would like X if I had X prepared a certain way. No. I wouldn't.
***Oh, how I long to like sweet potatoes!! I just can't. They taste weird to me. Maybe a little squash-like? It's a weird flavor that I can't put a name to, but always makes me dry heave a little.
****Celery makes me gag. If chopped into little bits and cooked, as in soup, or red beans, I don't mind it. But no matter how tiny it is, if it's raw, I'll taste it. I'll know it's there and it will make me gag. Gahh! Celery! Blech!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
And now, resolutions!
OK, my first resolution was to unpack my suitcase from my Christmas travels by January 1st. Check! It's done! 2009 is a success!
Second resolution: create a working budget and financial plan. Ugh. I think I tried this last year, too. The problem is that I am completely disorganized, scatterbrained, and undisciplined. Shocking, no? I'll keep you posted on how the budget is coming. I should actually do some work this week, though, so it will have to wait for a slow day at the office (because it needs to be done in Excel. Duh.)
Third resolution: bring one box of items to Goodwill every month. If I am 12 boxes closer to a decluttered apartment come December 31st, I will feel...better somehow. Bonus points for 2 boxes per month!
Fourth resolution: I want to sew a dress and a skirt from a pattern, all proper-like, with my sewing machine. I play around with my sewing machine all the time, but I never produce anything wearable. Or anything that I would be proud to tell people I had made. This will be my year, though! I'm excited. If you're wondering what kind of dress I'd like to make, look here: dress!
Wouldn't that be an adorable dress for a summer garden party? And you know how many of those I host every year...
There may be more resolutions that occur to me as the year progresses, but I think this is a good start. Working from a budget would improve my quality of life overall, as would decluttering my home. Overall life improvement. That's what I'm all about here.