Friday, September 28, 2012

The Perks

From The Washington Post critic review of the newly released Perks of Being a Wallflower:

"Really, it’s a movie designed for anyone who has ever ridden in a car beside their closest high school friends with their hair whipping in a liberating weekend-night wind and a heart filled with a sense of the infinite."

Been there.

Just don't get caught.

I'm not sure what we even did to warrant this picture, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I think we are at a gas station. Unless Avery stole that window washer she's holding. Rebels that we were...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Inspiration Station

I love good advertising. In fact, one of my very first posts on this here space was about how much I love Blue Moon advertising. I have also mentioned how much I love the Rosetta Stone ads. Mmmm what else. Toms. French Markets. I think there is more. Oh yes, how could I forget about the Cupcake Cars featured in the Neiman's catalog.

So today, my daily dose of Jetsetter warrants a shout out:

How awesome. Left Coast Love.

How about some East Coast Love?

Here is my beloved Avery. She lives in Maine. I get to go visit her in a month, and sometimes I lose sleep over that fact. No lie!

Next: Here is my beloved Molly, her hubby, and Mr. Bates in sunny Charlottesville.

Yes, I said "Mr. Bates." Talk about EAST COAST LOVE.

Last: These are my sister-in-laws, but really just my sisters.

We were together last weekend for Wanda and Grant's wedding in upstate New York. I love these women!

Let's get to the point:

From coast to coast, go find your love!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ben Howard

Zach attack! We ran into our good friend and musical guru. 

Last night was the culmination of months, MONTHS of my listening to the same album on repeat every morning while driving to work*.  I've mentioned Ben Howard's music at least twice before, like here and here, and I think buying tickets for his concert 3 months ago was maybe the most advanced planning I have ever done. Wait, that can't be true. Applying for college, getting married, booking Thanksgiving flights 4 months in advance unless you want to give up your life savings to fly home... these things call for advanced planning as well. The point is, there has been much personal hype around this concert for quite sometime.

I've found that after seeing an artist or band live, and if they do a good job, I have a new and transformed appreciation for their music. Such is the case with Ben Howard. I think I am less enthralled with the man himself, but definitely more intrigued then ever by the music. He was super shy, which is kind of endearing, and when he spoke, I couldn't understand him -- which is definitely my fault because a) I'm nearly deaf anyway and b) I was trying a little too hard to hear his British accent. I. love. accents. (Who doesn't?) But the music was incredible. It must be so much fun for someone with an uncanny ability to play the guitar like Ben Howard play for a packed house.

[Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of way to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi]

By far the best parts of the concert for me were the opening song and the encore. Pretty much because I think these two songs are beautiful, and pleasing to my ears. And soul. So I'll put them here.

Enjoy! Bonne nuit.

*I don't drive to work everyday. #Perksofworkingfromhome.

Oh gosh, I just fell victim to the hashtag. I'm not even sure if I did it correctly.

I have now spent a good 5 minutes staring at my computer screen debating deleting that line or leaving it. I refuse to ever do that again. Both the hashtag and wasting 5 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Like mother, like daughter

In reference to my previous post about my ever-flowing junk drawer, my mom sent me a pic of her junk drawer!

What can I say? I am my mother's daughter. Looks about the same, except less lip gloss and more measuring tape. Such is the difference between a young, poor newlywed, and a veteran home-owner. But I'm fine being the young, poor newlywed for the time being!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's in your junk drawer?

I don't mean figuratively like "skeletons in the closet" kind of thing. That's a topic for another time. I mean literally, what's in your junk drawer?

Every gal should have one. Or five. 

Junk drawers are the easily accessible, readily available, one-stop-shops for all trinkets, memorabilia, knickknacks, hacky sacks (jk, but it rhymes), and mementos of life that gather as you go. They are the haven you run to when you think, "I can't think about this right now so I will just stuff it here." 

Or, if you live in Washington, DC, when you think, "I live in shoebox so I don't have anywhere else to put this so it's going in the junk drawer." 

Junk drawers are also the husband's worst nightmare. Apparently. 

Michael would never use the word 'hate' to describe anything except maybe his own sin, but I swear, that's the word I would use to describe how he feels about my junk drawer. According to him, it's prime real-estate for the storage of practically anything at all, except for what I have in it, which he has deemed as mere trash. 

Ouch. Love hurts. 

And apparently obeys... because today, yes today, I opened my junk drawer and plunged into the abyss. 

To find... 

3 matchbooks
2 lighters
1 pack of cigs (haha just kidding)
3 packages of birthday candles
3 pairs of sunglasses (thanks Izzy!)
2 toothbrushes
11 lip glosses (wow)
2 decks of cards
3 scotch tapes
2 address books
2 hairbrushes
5 connector cords
And, a few other gems, including:


Yes, I covered my ID #. I dunno! There are some wackos out there who could steal my UVA records and such. Since I was the best student ever. Naturally.

These stellar bangles. 

And lastly, this pic of my dad orchestrating our wedding rehearsal last year. Wooo! 

Two words: Starched. Pants. 

Here is the end result of my junk drawer purge: 

Why yes, that IS a dusting cloth. Machine washable, thank you very much. 

It's hard to tell since I had already begun emptying the drawer when I thought to take a picture of it at the beginning, but this is a major improvement. I wasn't home when Michael opened the drawer himself, but I imagine he beamed widely and danced a jig. 

Or something like that. 

Hacky sack. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Texas Panhandle Salad

Oh hello.

If chopping is your thing, it's your lucky day. Have I got a salad for you.

If chopping is not your thing, well still, have I got a salad for you....and your sous chef, aka husband, roomie, friend, neighbor, boyfriend, lovaa, mom, dad, dog, or brother...

When I made this salad yesterday, my sous chef, aka hubby, was not around. He was in clinic. The nerve of him. I had to chop all by my lonesome.... which led to my needing to get checked out myself when he got home. I think I gave myself carpal tunnel.

Hot doc to the rescue 

But the payoff was well worth it because this is one of the best tastes you will ever put in your mouth. And the leftovers are even better!

Texas Panhandle Salad, courtesy of Barbie Ryan

1 large head Napa Cabbage, halved and thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, snipped

Mix all together and cool in fridge.

4 T butter
2 packages Ramen noodles, crushed (discard flavor packets)
3/4 cup slivered almonds (I just chopped whole almonds but buying slivered ones is way easier...isn't slivered a weird word?)
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the noodles, almonds and seeds. Saute until totally covered in butter and toasty. Add to the cabbage mix when cool.

3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar

Whisk together, chill in fridge, and toss with cabbage/noodle mixture just before serving.

This easily feeds 12 people, hands down.

Eat happy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New kicks

If only I could run as fast as someone fast enough to legitimize owning these flamboyant shoes:

Alas, I can't.

But who cares. These are my new kicks!

Monday, September 10, 2012

DC Drivers

DC drivers are the pits.

That is why we try our darndest not to ever have to drive anywhere.

I was driving up the road to pick up a parking pass for my dad last Friday, and I lightly tapped my horn at a black trailblazer that cut me off right next to the National Cathedral. Ok ok fine. "Lightly tapped" isn't really accurate. It was more like I leaned my entire bodyweight into the steering wheel and didn't move for 3.5 seconds. If you count 3.5 seconds out loud and imagine a horn blowing for that long, it actually is quite a lengthy thing.

I was trying to get my point across! He almost crunched into my left front wheel! And it really wouldn't take more than a ding to total my lovely, cherished, faithful Jeep. Read: 12 years old and everything rattles.

Fall 2003.  I put my UVA bumper sticker on my car the day I found out I had been accepted.
The Jeep was in way better shape back then. 

Well, Mr. Black Trailblazer was none to thrilled with me. And he let me know that by what I at first thought was a friendly wave. It was NOT a friendly wave. It was more like he stuck three fingers in the air and asked me to read between the lines.

Gassssp! Oh. My. Stars. How. Dare. He.

He cut me off. Not visa versa! I spent the rest of my drive there and back home brooding over that guy. The nerve. The audacity. Who does he think he is?

Fast forward about 3 hours later and I am outside my house standing in a parking spot on the street. I had just gotten off the phone with my dad who was 45 seconds away, and I had dashed outside to save a spot that had just opened up a mere 30 feet from our front door. A lot of people think parking in Georgetown is a pain in the arse, but honestly, we have never had any trouble. I think the problem is that everything is zoned so if you don't live here, you have to move your car every two hours. Annnnd maybe on a Friday afternoon at 6:30pm the parking is a bit more sparse, hence why I was standing in a parking spot to save it for my dad.

Now, I realize that there aren't any written rules about "Saving A Parking Spot With Your Own Body." But at least with my body there, it affords the time to have a short conversation with the driver who pulls up and wants to take the parking spot. The driver will most likely say:

"You can't save a parking spot with your own body."

And I will say:

"You know what, you are right."

And that little roadside chit-chat will last just long enough for my dad to roll up. I point to his car and say "Oh, there he is! That's my dad, he's in-town visiting, I would really like it if he could park here." And the driver is accommodating and goes on his merry way.

.....And then I wake up from my dream of being in Dallas, TX. Where the people are FRIENDLY.

Aint so in the District.

What really happened as I was standing in the parking spot right outside my house is that Pyscho Driver Woman pulled up, and in a blink of the eye was reversing into the spot.

Where I was standing.

My body was there.

In the spot.


I stood there for as long as I could without getting run over. Honestly, had I not moved, she would have been charged with manslaughter!

Of course I moved. And the funny thing is, maybe her actions would have made sense had she not seen me standing there, but I know she saw me because we made eye contact right before she threw it into reverse.

Inexplainable. I was too dumbfounded to say anything to her, but I also need to grow a backbone. People can't just run over people. I wish I had said something. Instead, I just stood on the sidewalk and gave her my dagger eyes.

Like that. Only mean.

She barely acknowledged anything from what I can tell -- too busy on her iPhone, she was.

I brooded and brooded and brooded for the next 10 seconds and then my dad drove up. Cheerful as a sunny day, he was.

Talking like Yoda, I will.

He parked around the corner and walked to our front door just in time for me to tell him the HORROR of what I had just been through. These people! Who do they think they are! I mean, I was standing there, just standing there, and she would have just run me over! Can you believe that? Oh my gosssh!

Meanwhile, my dad really had no qualms whatsoever about having to park around the corner and walk down the block. He told me that there are bigger fish to fry in the world. Well, actually, he really didn't say anything at all, but just chuckled about it and shrugged it off. But I got the point. Bigger fish to fry.

It dawned on me that these two driving incidents were SO MUCH bigger in my pea brain than they really were in real life. Yes, I got thrown the bird, and yes, maybe I would have been hit by Psycho Parking Lady (I doubt she would have actually gone through with it), but what made these incidents so HUGE in my mind was that I wouldn't let them go. I mulled them over and over. I was thinking such horrible thoughts about each of those drivers that I can't print them here. I was being plain mean. And I was being 100% selfish and only worrying about me, myself and I.

Eeeek. What a wreck I am (pun intended). I need to take a chill pill and remember that the world doesn't revolve around me. I also think I should learn from my dad who likes to eat ice cream in the morning with his pancakes and not worry what people think about that.

I tell no lies.

My dad, Michael and I ended up having a wonderful dinner at my absolute favorite Italian restaurant in DC, which is nice because it's within walking distance of our humble abode. Wooo! No more DC driver crazies for the night, and no more menacing thoughts coming from yours truly.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Intouchables

Tonight, I had a movie date with my good friend Jenn. She and I read the same books, and like the same music, and love the same movies.

And like to quote them. 

"Two scoops? Make it three, I'm not driving."

We drove up the road to Bethesda (isn't it weird that Jenn started in Virginia, picked me up in DC, and then we ended up in Maryland??) and saw the best movie that I have seen in a LONG time. 

I will just have to show you:
(Click the square in the lower, right-hand corner to expand the screen... otherwise you might go blind trying to read the subtitles. And that would be no good.)

The Intouchables has broken box office records in France, and the gregarious and handsome lead actor, Omar Sy, is the first black actor ever to win a Cesar Award, the French version of the Oscars. As Jenn said during the movie, you totally forget that they are speaking French and that you are reading subtitles  -- the story so captivates you. Philippe and Griss are perfectly kinetic, which is saying a lot considering Philippe can't move.

The movie is both hilarious and so sweet. Which is probably my favorite genre. The Hilarious Sweet Genre.

Go and see it! It is everything wonderful about a truly wonderful movie. And rub the ears of the one you love.