Monday, October 31, 2011

Things I Should Stop Buying: Chapstick

For as long as I can remember, I’ve needed chapstick. There’s just no way around it. I NEED chapstick. But do I really NEED all the ones I have?

Once I gathered all the ones around my room and in my purse, and placed them in my designated chapstick jar, I couldn’t get the lid on. Time to clean house.


And this doesn’t include any lip glosses or lip sticks, of which I probably only own about 10. It also doesn’t include the 6-10 chapsticks in my desk drawer. Oops.

All of them laid out, nice and pretty. I think there’s about 40 here, though I tossed a few more after taking this picture.

I’m definitely missing some Burt’s Bees, as my favorite is the pomegranate and that is mysteriously missing. I used to use Softlips exclusively in high school, and I still purchase them occasionally for nostalgic reasons. But, my absolute favorite, are the three at bottom center, my Bebe from Germany. My friend got me hooked on these and when I went to Germany I bought probably 10. They lasted for awhile but I have since had to have other friends procure the goods for me when they go.

All cleaned up, with the lid on. Which just means I can go buy more!

Some people call this an addiction, and that’s fine. When you consider all the things I could be addicted too, especially considering how all or nothing I am in general, I think an addiction to chapstick is perfectly ok.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A week of being an adult


“Another belief of mine: That everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”

-Margaret Atwood

As mentioned many, many, many time before, I fail at being an adult. (Just select the “adulthood” tag at the end of this post and you’ll see.) From constantly forgetting that even though I just paid that bill last month I still have to pay it again this month, to thinking I can function adequately even if I stay up until 1 a.m. reading, it’s just not what I was meant to do. But sometimes, just sometimes, I kind of rock at it. Take this week for example:

Monday: Made this black bean soup and ate off it for three days. Because it was made correctly and tasted good.

Tuesday: Booked a room at the Carolina Inn for a night in December with three of my best friends for our yearly reunion. I’ve always wanted to stay here and this just makes me feel so grown up.

Wednesday: Had dinner with my book club. (Ok, I do this every month. But I’ve been doing so for almost four years, and that’s very adult.)

Made this chicken taco soup in the crock pot and ate it for basically every meal for four days.

Took my first class since college. And then, after having drinks with a friend, sucked it up and took a cab back to my apartment since I was not dressed for the elements. (Yes, had I not been out past 11 on a work night I wouldn’t have needed a cab.)

Friday: Admitted I was too exhausted to function and cancelled my Friday night plans. (And effortlessly slept for 12 hours that night, thus further vindicating my lame, but mature, decision.)

Saturday: Had this happen and only mildly complained.

That would be snow. In October. I can’t promise to not move to Guam if this is a harbinger of things to come this winter, but I do promise to be an adult and at least figure out exactly where it is before I call the movers.

Also, knock on wood times infinity because I’m sure I just jinxed the hell out of myself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Words

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
So she ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of paradise
-Paradise, Coldplay

After high school graduation
May 2002

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I (don't) want to hold your hand

One day around sophomore year of high school, while waiting for the buses after school, a few of my girlfriends told me they couldn't imagine me ever holding hands with a guy in the halls or at the bus stop. Naturally, I took great offense to this. Then, in the middle of the conversation, my best guy (just a) friend walked up and I made him hold my hand for about 10 seconds. It was weird and awkward and I'd never needed my hand more than in those 10 seconds.

Now, what made my friends think this in the first place? Was it because they:
  • Thought my hands were grotesque?
  • Had seen me break through slow-walking, hand-holding couples in the halls?
  • Were just smart and prescient?

Because fast forward 10 years and, as I do this dating thing, I've met some nice guys who just want to hold my hand. Which is nice in theory but not in practice because I hate holding hands. Suddenly I become very aware of the fact that I only have use of one of them. Situations run through my head where this temporary lack of appendage is really going to inhibit me. What if I:
  • Fall and can't brace myself?
  • Have my purse grabbed by a thief and only have one hand to fend off him or her?
  • Need to scratch my other hand?

Plus, how long before you can let go without seeming rude? If there's a tight space and you have to walk single file, can you break free? Is it ever acceptable to just sort of bat it away? (I may or may not have done this in the past. But it wasn't a real date. And it was more like a reflex that couldn't be helped.) And let's not forget: germs. Anderson just had an entire show on germs and given what they found on cell phones, who knows what they'd find on hands. Especially city boy hands.

Perhaps this is just one of those things that when/if the the right guy comes along, someone who can ease the crazy in my head, it won't matter. But, I don't know if that's even possible because I can't imagine anyone being right enough to erase my need for free use of both of my hands.

Photo source.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A lot of random and a little leopard

This weekend was the perfect mix of activity and relaxation.

  • Went to the Kennedy Center to catch their free 6 p.m. performance. They do a free performance every day on their Millennium Stage and I haven't been in awhile. This show was some interpretive dance which was only alright, but I love any chance to do something different.
  • Walked back to Foggy Bottom and took the bus to Tenleytown. I'm getting pretty good at navigating the city via bus. It's cheaper and less stressful than the metro and lets me see so much more of the city.
  • Called mom while walking from Tenleytown to my apartment since it was a slightly different route than I'm used to. Mom will tell you I got lost but really it was just my bearings that got lost a little when I forgot you have to cross Nebraska before Reno. Obviously.
  • Got home, changed into my jammies, and had leftover Chinese food on the couch while watching mindless TV.
  • Took my time in the morning and then headed out (via bus) to my favorite thrift store. I got a silk blouse for $3 and a brand new Target jacket/top for $12.
  • Headed to Friendship Heights to grab lunch (Panera), hunt for Halloween accessories (no luck), and browse some stores (bought nothing). 
  • Walked back to the apartment to relax and then shower and get fancy before dinner with Brandie.
  • Ate at a great Italian place in Eastern Market where we split a cheese/meat tray and a bottle of wine. I also had spinach cannelloni and tiramisu. Despite stuffing ourselves we were still happy/tipsy enough to have a very enjoyable walk back to her apartment. And thanks to having trouble finding a cab and then ending up on metro anyway, I didn't crash into bed until 2 a.m.
  • Took one picture the entire weekend, in the metro, of my new leopard heels. Part of my Mighty Life List is to be comfortable walking in heels. I made myself wear these from the metro to B's apartment, from there to dinner, and then from dinner back to her apartment. My ankles hate me. Though I did switch to flats during the hunt for a cab and yet again lost my shoe in the crosswalk. For the sixth time?

  • Woke before 9 -- despite not going to bed until 2 and waking up at 4:30 -- and started reading my book for book club.
  • Stayed on couch most of day reading my book and watching football. (Though I did clean bathroom and vacuum living room.)
Random tidbits
  • My neighborhood gets really into decorating for Halloween. I saw at least five front yard graveyards on Saturday.
  • I very strongly dislike Tim Tebow.
  • The Saints scored 62 points against the Colts. 62 points in a football game. I still can't believe this.
  • Sort of like how Clemson scored 59 points on my Tar Heels. (But at least we also put up 35.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fountain Friday

Palazzo, Bellagio, Venetian, and Caesar’s Palace Casinos
Las Vegas, NV

Since it has been more than a month since my last Fountain Friday, today is a bit of a fountain bonanza featuring various fountains from around Las Vegas.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mighty Life List

About a year ago I began reading the blog Mighty Girl. It’s written by Maggie, a San Francisco-based journalist. She is a really good writer with a great sense of humor and outlook on life. Maggie has what she calls a Mighty Life List, which is 100 things she wants to do before she goes. Basically a bucket list, but with a lot of just general life-improving and life-empowering items. 

I’ve had a bucket list in my head for years, and finally wrote down some of the items in a draft email last year. But after a friend more or less “finished” writing her MLL, I was finally inspired to sit down and itemize and categorize mine.

Now, as Ms. Over Achiever, I’m incredibly, incredibly wary of putting my goals and hopes and dreams and plans out there for all to see knowing that I may never complete them. Let me repeat that: I might not complete everything on my list. And that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure. No, really, it’s ok. (Maybe if I repeat that enough I’ll actually start to believe it one day.)

While I’m not ready to share my full list yet/ever, I am ok sharing bits and pieces of it, starting with a few items already crossed off.

(I let myself retroactively add and cross off items if they were things I’d always wanted to do and if, when I did them, had thought to myself, “Wow, I’ve always wanted to do this, now I can cross it off the [hypothetical] list.”)

All of these are from the “Just Fun” category.

88. Catch the bouquet at a wedding.

Completed at my sister’s wedding in October 2008.

91. Eat gelato on the Spanish Steps in Rome (as in Roman Holiday.)

Completed on my trip to Rome in Summer 2005.

96. Play in a fountain.

Completed on one of the most perfect days of my life in May 2006. (If you look closely at the picture you can see me and Brandie running for the center of the fountain.)


104. Try out for Jeopardy.

Attempted/completed in August 2005. Jeopardy came to UNC (and State and Duke) to audition contestants for a college tournament they were filming in Raleigh. I made it past the first round but missed the second round because my professor, despite it being the first day of classes, kept my class the full hour and a half. I did, however, attend a taping of one of the shows at the RBC Center a few months later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Words


"My favorite quality in a woman is rage. Not pissy, petty, shapeless rage. But rage that's directed at something fucked up in the world that she wants to change."

-Q&A with Jen Wang on Tomboy Style

Photo source.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Here we go again

On Friday evening, I heated up one of these:

Poured a glass of this:

And got under the covers here:

To watch this:

And I was so happy. Like, a little worried about how happy I was lying in bed watching a bunch of 20 year olds do silly dances. (Except I’m not actually that worried.)

Yes, this was the third Friday in a row I haven't had plans. The first Friday I was so ecstatic I practically skipped home. The second Friday I was still happy but not skipping. This Friday I was happy because there was basketball involved. The past four months have been so go go go go go that I am trying to just take it easy and enjoy the change of seasons. For at least a few more weeks, anyway, before the holiday madness begins. But, at least with that madness comes the basketball madness, too. Finally.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The last month

I've really been struggling lately in coming up with things to write about here. (Which is quite unfortunate timing as I start a six-week writing class soon on personal essay.) But a quick browse through my iPhone photos revealed a number of activities that I haven't blogged about. And then reminded me of even more non-photographed activities from the past month.

Book Club

Generally my book club meets each month at a DC restaurant. But sometimes a member will host a potluck at her home just to mix it up and save a little money. This month I offered up my humble abode. It went really well and I really do love having people over. (Even though I had a number of anxiety attacks leading up to it, but that’s just how I roll.) About an hour before people were set to arrive I realized I didn’t have fresh flowers and I just can’t have people over without fresh flowers. So to Giant I went/ran and purchased these. Three weeks later, I just threw the majority out but still have a few going strong. Best $15 ever.

Joey and Michelle Visit

My brother and his girlfriend came for the weekend toward the end of September. I introduced them to my office, we took a tortuous drive through DC to get to the Nats game, watched the Braves prevail over the Nats, went to Eastern Market, went to the National Mall and visited the World War II and Korean War Memorials, took a Potomac River Cruise from Georgetown, and had some good meals.

Presidential Visit

The wax museum here recently revealed the wax figures of ALL the presidents. All. The. Presidents. The roommate and I were a bit excited about this. (More on this later.)

Les Miserables

In May I bought my ticket to see Les Mis at the Kennedy Center. Unfortunately, I was not a fan. Which I don’t quite understand as I love plays, love musicals, love history, love the French Revolution even, but did not love the play. At all.

Matt Nathanson

I attended my first concert at one of DC’s most popular venues, 9:30 Club, with my friend Lauren to see Matt Nathanson. He put on a great show and was really funny, too.

Good Times

This past weekend I spent an evening in Bethesda with one of my work friends, Shana. We had dinner and then just hung out and chatted at her place until 2 in the morning. You know how I keep going on and on about what great friends I have? Well, I mean it and I do. The next day I met Brandie to see “The Ides of March” and then have a late brunch at Austin Grill. Yes, I had a mimosa and pancakes at a Tex Mex restaurant. But B had a mimosa and tacos at a Tex Mes restaurant, so…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Words

"From the very first moment, my memories of Chapel Hill carry with them a quality of magic which is present to this day. As soon as I step on campus, I am filled with that feeling of respect, of awe, of magic."

-Chancellor Michael Hooker

Today is University Day, the anniversary of UNC’s founding 222 years ago. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before (coughsarcasmcough) but I’m kind of love with that place. And I don’t drop the “l” word casually. Today I realized I haven’t been to Chapel Hill since January and I think I just need a little bit of that magic again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Not going to lie, some days I like the way my clothes look. Whatever it may say about me, a good outfit can really make or break my day. This morning I stepped out of my building wearing this, saw the newly red tree across the street, stepped on a few crunchy leaves, waved to my crossing guard*, and then smiled for blocks. It's fall! There are leaves and caramel and pumpkins and pashminas and boots!

Two weeks ago I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out and now I just want to take long walks in my fall clothes. (Though tomorrow I may want to crawl back into a hole. Because that's just how it is sometimes.)


Shirt: Brooks Brothers
Skirt: Banana Republic Outlet Tights: Missoni for Target
Boots: Belk?
Belt: Nordstrom
Headband: Loft
Earrings: Not sure.



*Story for another day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I Should Stop Buying: Argyle Socks (and maybe all socks)

While organizing my winter clothes last week, I had to tackle the issue of my sock drawer. And it is an issue because there is an entire drawer and a half just for my socks and tights. The thing is, I get really attached to my socks. In a borderline mental institution patient type way. As in, I: 

  • "Darn" holes so I can continue wearing them.

  • Have a pair of blue plaid socks from the SEVENTH GRADE that I can't bring myself to throw away.

  • Hold on to a single sock for years, assuming its mate will eventually turn up.

  • Must buy any that have argyle on them.

On that last point, I have 10 pairs so far.


I actually thought there would be more. Let's face it, I'm a preppy Southern girl, argyle is in my blood. (I also have two cardigans, two sweaters, one sweater vest, and one pair of tights featuring those classic diamonds.) But maybe the argyle is only part of the problem as the rest of my sock drawer looks like this:

Is that a lot of socks? I'm not sure I'm the best judge at this point.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Words

"I'm learning little by little that we decide what
our lives are gonna be. Things happen to us.
But it's our reactions that matter."
-Sally Reardon, Felicity

This weekend I discovered that all four seasons of "Felicity" were streaming on Netflix. It is possible that 10 episodes were watched in two days. Felicity's four years of college coincided with my four years of high school. Other than a few stray episodes when Lifetime briefly aired the show, I haven't seen most of the episodes since high school. I wish I could say that watching Felicity's foibles have revealed how much I've grown, learned, and matured in 10 years. And I have. But, I also still identify far too much with a lot of her uncertainty and missteps. Oh well. Still have 74 episodes to go.