Let me tell you about my day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Religious Oppression

Oh, you didn't think this was really going to be about religious oppression, did you? Well, OK, it is, in a way.

Did you know the ShamWOW guy is suing the Church of Scientology for being a bunch of a-holes? It's true. Well, that's not the official complaint or anything, but it seems that they did act pretty dick-ishly toward him. Even if he is a rather unsavory character. I totally need those towels, by the way. I definitely could have used something that could absorb Lake Michigan when I knocked over my full Brita pitcher last night in my 4' square kitchen. I don't always mind my tiny kitchen, but when there isn't even enough room in there to figure out where all the water has gone to, it's too small.
In addition to the Brita pitcher, I also knocked over a glass measuring cup I had gotten from IKEA (and loved dearly). It shattered into a trillion pieces all over my kitchen floor. Naturally, I was barefoot at the time and the broken glass was between me and the doorway out of the kitchen, so I was trapped. I had to clean it as best I could with damp paper towels. Then I crawled out of the kitchen, pushing the paper towels ahead of me to collect an loose shards. Anyway, this just goes to show I need to keep my kitchen cleaner and more organized. And I probably need to get rid of a couple dozen things, too.

Oh, right. Scientology. You know, I don't really know a lot about Scientology. It seems pretty messed up, though, because all you ever hear about it, besides the alien stuff, is how they are driving some man insane, brainwashing Katie Holmes, or stopping people from getting medical attention. I'd be curious to hear a case for Scientology, just to see how people get caught up in this stuff.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh, Those Crazy Popes!

About once a day (more or less), I allow myself to get sidetracked from actual work and indulge in a little bit of aimless wandering around the internets. Now, this doesn't include visiting my little list of favorite blogs, reading web comics, or checking Zappo's to see what new pink shoes they're offering. I do that before lunch. No, I mean an adventure through something innocently looked up on Wikipedia and then the links followed from the article I originally looked up...and so on and so forth. Yesterday, it was a look into the relationship of Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen. Weird. Also weird that so many people have such strong feelings about this relationship (or, rather, they did back when it was News).

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

Cue the Angelic Chorus!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!! To the left here, you will see a 16-piece Calphalon One Anodized set of pots and pans. The individual pieces of this little beauty retail for a total of $1,690. As a set, they are sold for $899.95. I picked one up Saturday that had been marked down to $150! Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. It's so lovely. It makes me feel like a fancy lady with a grown up kitchen. Instead of what I really am, which is a lady who would eat popcorn for 3 meals a day if there weren't intervening forces.

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

Minnie the Moocher

Do you know that song? It was just on when I zipped over to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. I like it. It reminds me of an old cartoon with dancing ghosts (something I saw when I was a kid, I guess) and The Blues Brothers. Good stuff. I think one of my favorite parts of that movie is when they're leading the cops on a high speed chase through a mall and Elwood is talking very calmly about the Pier One that just opened there.

So, I ordered some clothes yesterday and today from the internets. I've been complaining for about a year about how hard it is to be too poor to constantly buy new clothes. It's not that I constantly want to buy new clothes. Well, OK, it is. But it's more that I'm particularly hard on my clothes. I don't know what the deal is. I'm pretty sure it's my Hulk-like mannerisms that result in torn hems, popped buttons, and stains on every blessed thing I own. But there has to be something else to that. I don't know what it may be, but I refuse to believe it's just me. Maybe I need to buy clothes of a better quality.

Today I am wearing a red cardigan I bought from Old Navy when I was in college. I daresay it was 2003 when I purchased this sweater. And it's still going strong. How is it possible that this is one of the most durable items in my closet? Under neat that, I am wearing a white t-shirt thingy I bought at Target that is so stained up I'm embarrassed to acknowledge its existence. And yet this is what I wear to work. Good thing they don't let me out of the office much.

Oh, right, the new clothes. I purchased a few new shirts. Three of them are for my day job here. The other two are for my work at Retail Store, where I think they are probably getting tired of seeing me wear the exact same thing every time I work. The only outfit requirements are that I look nice and don't wear tennis shoes. And I bought a dress for my sister's rehearsal and the subsequent dinner. And a dress to wear to my day job. I'm a little nervous about both of them. What if they're too short? Too tight? Curse you, online shopping!

Does anyone know a good dry cleaner in the Alexandria/NoVA/DC area? The last cleaner I went to didn't actually clean my clothes. In fact, they didn't even pretend to clean my clothes by just pressing them and leaving them dirty. I'm pretty sure they just hung them on hangers and called it a day, then charged me $5/piece. Boo to that, dry cleaner.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I tried to upload some pictures and they came out insanely huge and weird and I don't know how to crop things or resize them and ok let's just do this.

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!

Twelve Degrees. Feels Like Negative Two Degrees.

You may not know that I grew up in New Orleans, in the deep and dirty South. This had made me a lightweight in terms of how much cold I can handle. Then I moved to Michigan to go to school for a few years and my ability to withstand the cold improved exponentially. Then I moved to DC. Why does it feel so much colder here than it did in Michigan? I keep talking to people about this. I think it has to do with the moisture in the air. No one seems to be interested in my half-baked weather theories, so I'll write about them here.

Things I always find interesting:
  1. The weather. Here or anywhere. I could talk about this for hours.
  2. A study of accents. Where people are from, how they came to sound that way, what influences the way we pronounce "cats."
  3. 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

Alas! No beans!

So, I did, in fact get my shipment in from Rancho Gordo. And I did, in fact, tear open the box and squeal with glee over all the pretty beans. But I didn't cook any. I'm sure I had an excuse. Oh, right. I work two jobs.

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

Dieting Tips for the Perpetually Lazy

Gah. I'm on a diet again. Again. Boo.

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

Food, Glorious Food

Things I tried to like, but failed:

1. Mushrooms
2. Zucchini
3. Pumpkins and other squashes (gourds?)
4. Pork*
5. Ham
6. Seafood**
7. Cooked apples
8. Sweet potatoes***
9. Spiced desserts, like those involving nutmeg and cloves and allspice
10. Cabbage
11. Celery****

Things I tried to like and succeeded:
1. Olives
2. Bacon
3. Lamb
4. Duck
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

Where Art Thou, HTML?

When I blog at work, HTML must be disabled.  Or Java?  I don't know nothing about programming no blogs.

So, I had to make a modification to my last post to insert a link where before it was a non-linky web address.  Isn't this interesting?  Awesome.

So, onto other things.  I'm doing a joint project with someone I work with and their portion leaves much to be desired.  What to do?  I'm not the first person to encounter this dilemma.  I'm probably not the first person to sit in my office who has faced the problem of a teammate who isn't pulling his or her weight.  But I'm not sure if I should just let it go and let our manager sort it out, offer to help, or just revise the offending portions without being asked.  Perhaps I'll do nothing.  That course of action always works out for the best.

Hey, more than a year ago, I fell on the steps at a restaurant (Maggiano's, if you must know).  All was well for many months, and now I'm experiencing some foot pain.  Oh, did I say "some?"  I meant a hell of a lot.  It's weird and I don't know what to do about it.  I would go to the doctor, but I feel weird going to a sports medicine/orthopedist to be like, "I fell a while ago and my foot hurts."  And when I search for primary care physicians on my insurance company's website, all I get are the names of doctors who work from clinics.  And, OK, sue me, but I would like to go to an actual doctor's office.  One where I get my insurance co-pay's worth.  I mean, I pay for the insurance every month, right?  I should at least get a waiting room with padded folding chairs.  Barack Obama, solve my healthcare crisis!

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Hate the News. Also, Resolutions!

I hate the news. I do. I did a brief stint in an office that dealt with Congress. In said office, I had a TV at my desk and it was expected I be up on the goings-on of government and politics (incidentally, I also hate politics). After a month, I felt so depressed and drained that I HATED that job. But, you know what? I don't think it was the job's fault at all. I think it was the news. I know that there are many, many people (my Darlin' included) who think that a failure to keep up with current events is the most inexcusable form of willful ignorance. I don't care, though. My life seems lighter and brighter when I'm not up on every crisis facing the planet. Yes, I know it's a little ridiculous, but denial is my BFF.

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.