I'm All Shook Up

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FYI- we're all safe and sound here after yesterday's earthquake drama.  In case you didn't hear, we had an earthquake on the East Coast yesterday.  Honestly, it was not that big of a deal.  I was actually excited about it because I'd always wondered what an earthquake felt like.  If you have also wondered this, the answer is that a 5.8 one feels like a lot of fast shake/vibrating.  I was in my office, which is in the basement of my building, and honestly we thought people in the suite above ours were just moving a lot of furniture.  Except when people are moving furniture, it usually doesn't last more than about 5 seconds (you hear the thud of them dropping the furniture or running into a wall and that's it).  This lasted a good deal longer.  I'm not sure how long, but long enough for discussion about what was happening while it was happening.  The weirdest part was that it just kept going but kept getting fainter and fainter.  Lucky for me, my boss is from Cali and immediately knew what to do (which is NOT run outside the building, which is what most people did, but to hide under your desk - my first instinct - or in a doorway; thanks elementary school earthquake drills!).  Then there was a lot of excitement about how we'd just had an earthquake and apparently the whole world up here went home early except the people on my team (there are deadlines to be met, people!).  That made for a truly lovely commute home- I think I made it in 13 minutes because I had the roads pretty much to myself!  Of course my mom was very alarmed; she was asking questions that made our earthquake sound like Haiti, and Haiti it was most decidedly not. 

Life is back to normal today for me and L.  We haven't felt any of the tremors and not a thing was out of place in our house (that we noticed... we recently cat-sat for Ali again so we are still occasionally finding things out of place because of her).  I can't decide if I want aftershocks to hit or not.  On one hand, yes! Because I want to be able to say, "Oh, yes, this is an earthquake," with certainty when it happens instead of like yesterday.  On the other hand, I'm so over it.  It's all over TV, it shut down a lot of Government offices and all  DC schools, and it did damage to some buildings, the capitol, the Washington monument, and the National Cathedral (just in case you haven't been watching the news).  Annoying and sad, yes?  Yes.  It also required us to cancel a JL meeting and move it to tomorrow night, which is EXTRA annoying (too much traffic in DC because the Metro was running super slow to check for problems and cars couldn't come and go because there was uncertainty about the bridges... awesome). 

Unrelated: another team at work catered lunch for my team today and they ordered fancy desserts for us in the form of a variety of mini pies.  I'm a lover of personal-sized anything, so of course I had to take a pic.  Here's my own little lemon meringue pie:

Still a bit much for one person, but cuteness abounded anyway.  This definitely makes me want to try making tiny pies now.

Stuck on You

Monday, August 22, 2011

One of my most favorite internet finds of the summer is Pinterest (thank you, Champagne and Sprinkles, HSG, and Nolly).  If you're on Facebook (and I feel like EVERYONE must be on there now since L finally sunk so low as to join a few months back), you've probably seen countless status updates about your friends being obsessed with it and not being able to stop pinning.  It's true, it's definitely addicting, at least for the first couple of weeks you join.  L will attest that to date, countless hours of my life have been lost due to pinning crazes. 

If you're on the short bus on this one and don't yet know what it is, it's essentially a virtual bulletin board.  Doesn't sound that exciting, does it?  Well, it is.  I love seeing what everyone pins! It's also interesting to see who re-pins what you've pinned. If you're a visual person, I strongly recommend. It's literally a buffet of eye candy (with a few weirdo items thrown in from time to time on the "Everything" page). All you need to join is a Facebook or Twitter membership and an invitation from an existing member, so find a friend who's pinning and get started!  However, a word to the wise.  I follow a once-upon-a-time co-worker of mine who probably only pins once a week.  HOWEVER, every time she logs on, she starts at least 2 new boards and pins 50,000 items on each.  As a follower, this is incredibly annoying.  If you are on Pinterest, DO NOT DO THIS.  It will result in people unfollowing you because you completely take over your followers' "boards you follow" page and they will hate you, especially if the items you are pinning are weird or not interesting. 

Back on track.  My favorite things to pin and re-pin from others are interior decor shots, recipes, and sometimes clothing.  The recipes are extra awesome because not only do you get a link to the recipe, but also a photo of what the dish looks like.  Totally makes me hungry every time I log on.  It's so great!  Here are some of the different things I've tried that I've found via Pinterest:

Brown sugar and balsamic-glazed pork loin.  Just made this one last night for dinner (except I subbed a boneless pork loin for a bone-in pork shoulder and it worked well).  REALLY good.  Will definitely make this again.  If you're looking for the recipe, go here.

Salted caramel brownies.  I'm pretty sure I wrote about these before.  I didn't do the icing and they were still good.  Want the recipe?  Go here.

Sock bun curls.  Please note that unfortunately, this is not my hair.  I tried it and it really does work (I've done it five or so times now), but it takes practice to get it right.  (See the "how to" video here.)  Also, it would probably be helpful if my hair was about 2 inches or more longer.  Consequently, my hair looks like this in the morning when I wake up:

Not quite the same as the lovely brunette's hair in the video, right?  (Please disregard the heinous 6 a.m.-ness of the pic.  It's not a photogenic hour for me.)  That picture was taken about 15 seconds after I pulled my hair out of the bun and the rubber band.  Clearly it does give you a LOT of volume (honestly that picture does not even do the sock bun justice in the volume department) and the curls lasts, so it works in those aspects.  I usually end up using a wide comb to tame the volume and then I make my hair look decent by using a wide barrel curling iron. The curls last for more than 24 hours. 

Also not my head.  I've kinda pulled this off a couple times, too.  I'd do better if I was able to remove my head from my body and use both hands on it while being able to clearly see what I was doing, but that's just not possible.  If you want to know how to do this, go here.
So that's what I've tried so far to date.  L likes looking through the recipes I've pinned and then will tell me what looks good.  He also enjoys seeing pictures like this:

(Because bacon hearts = real love)

 (Because that's just funny, although I realize it could be totally fake) 

I have no real reason why he liked this one.  It was just so shocking and horrible that we laughed at the idea of anyone ever thinking to say that to someone.
So that's what I've been doing on Pinterest and I have lots more recipes to try and crafty projects to make.  If you're planning a wedding, baby and/or wedding shower, party of any kind, or trying to get ideas for literally ANYTHING (but especially party planning, decorating your house, cooking, or clothing), I totally recommend joining.  I WISH I'd had this as a resource when I was planning my wedding!  Would've been so much easier to gather ideas.
Now go sign up for Pinterest!  All you need is a friend who's already a member (or you can request a membership but I have no idea how long it takes for you to get the nod to join).  If you want to join, leave a message or email me and I'll send you an invitation.  
Oh, and on the topic of planning weddings, congrats to Nolly and Flad!!  They got engaged on Friday night and we are so, so, SO happy for them!  My one and only wish is that I'd gotten to celebrate with them in person.  Cheers to a fabulous couple!  It's so nice seeing a best friend with someone that makes her so very happy and who clearly is the light of her man's life.  We cannot WAIT to celebrate the big day with you both!
And in one more tidbit of unrelated news: as I write this, I'm watching Pure Country for the first time in 10-ish years.  How does anyone not love this movie?  SO great.  Reminds me of being 11 in Post Oak Point at camp and sharing headphones with my camp bff, PJR, while listening to the soundtrack as we went to sleep.  We loved the version of Heartland where George and his son both sing.  Good times, good song, good movie. 

Stiff Upper Lip

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I kind of love fake moustaches.  One of my favorite parts of my bachelorette party was that on of my bridesmaids randomly brought a ton of fake moustaches for everyone to wear.  Not everyone was willing to play along, but for those who did, well, those are some of my favorite pictures.  It's just funny to wear silly moustaches!  Plus, I also feel like if someone is willing to be silly like that, I want to be their friend.  It automatically tells you that person is fun-loving, they don't take themselves too seriously, and they're willing to let their hair down, yes???  This is why I love a good, fake 'stache. 

Which brings us to Urban Outfitters.  I was in Georgetown after work one day last week and decided to pop in to UO to check out their sunglass selection.  As I perused the store, I happened upon this:

I started laughing right there in the store.  I wish I had a reason to buy these, but at the moment, I do not.  But for those of you who do, head to UO to fulfill your need.  May the 'stache be with you.

Bubbly Toes

Monday, August 15, 2011

At some point during our dating relationship, I remember L asking me what he could do to get calluses off his feet.  I remember showing him the foot emery board I had and telling him to get something similar or a pumice stone.  He dutifully went out and got pumice stone with a handle and has been using it ever since, although it is now cracked due to a couple of suicide attempts.  I read a blog called Capitol Hill Style and Belle is a big fan of the PedEgg, so I went on a mission to Bed, Bath & Beyond (knowing they were bound to have them, what with their whole wall display dedicated to As Seen On TV products) to find one for L.

Yes, we are now the proud owners of His and Hers PedEggs (the idea of sharing just seemed gross and unsanitary).  Hooray for pretty feet!  L tried his out on Sunday morning on DRY FEET.  Am I the only one this grosses out??  I immediately had a flash back to the time when, circa age 3, my sister and I were playing in my mom's bathroom (???) and I decided to use Mommy's razor and "shave my legs", although I don't think I really understood what I was doing or what my mom was doing when she was using this thing on her legs.  I definitely didn't use water or shaving cream- this was a straight-up dry shave and something I most certainly DO NOT RECOMMEND.  I remember stinging cuts on my leg and a lot of blood and a lot of tears.  Note to you parents out there: teach your kids to not touch your razors and keep the covers on them, just in case.  And maybe keep them out of reach. 

Anyway, L looked at me like I was crazy when I freaked out about the dry PedEgg use.  Anyone have any knowledge of whether or not you're supposed to involve a good foot soak with these or if it's okay to use dry?  Please advise.

Love and Memories

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm at the end of a fun, relaxing weekend, most of which was spent solo.  L went to Houston for a weekend with his college friends, so I was on my own for 48 hours.  After dropping L off at the airport on Friday night, I came home and went to bed early (it was a loooooooooooong work week last week).  A full night's sleep in a big bed did wonders and I woke up refreshed and ready for a day of relaxation.  I spent most of Saturday morning lounging and catching up on all my girly, teen drama TV shows before heading out in the afternoon to celebrate the upcoming birthday of one of my dearest and most favorite friends here, A.  Her super sneaky and very sweet boyfriend, C, surprised her by planning an outing to go see O.A.R. at the Merriweather Pavilion in Columbia.  It definitely rained all day (including the entire hour+ drive there), but luckily, C had thought ahead and gotten covered seats, so even if the weather hadn't cleared up (which it did, right as the gates opened), we still would have been nice and dry.  We saw both opening bands... one was meh, the other was pretty good.  HOWEVER, the better band had a reggae/ska influence and included one of my bigger pet peeves: singing with a fake Jamaican accent.  I have no reason behind why I loathe the fake Jamaican accent, but let me tell you, it really, really annoys me (and sometimes angers me).  It's just so dumb.  Also, said fake Jamaican accent singer also happened to look like a woman at first, mostly because he had the longest dreadlocks I've ever seen all piled on his head in a bun and he was dancing around so much that he he just looked like a woman.  Based on his hair alone (body and head), I just don't think I ever want to stand near him.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I did not take a picture of him so you'll have to use your imagination.

Anyway, I was super excited to see O.A.R. because they were a favorite band of mine in college (particularly my favorite song, That Was a Crazy Game of Poker) but somehow I'd never seen them before.  We left before they played my fave song, but we saw most of the set and enjoyed it. 

Not the best shot- you can't tell what's going on or really even that there's more on the stage besides lights- but rest assured that we had some pretty good seats!  C did a great job organizing the whole thing (completed with a round of A's favorite limeades and cupcakes for everyone on the car ride up - how cute is he??) and A was incredibly surprised to find me and another friend waiting in the car for her when it was time to leave for the show.  I love surprises (planning and receiving, so long as they are fun ones), so I was especially impressed by all of his efforts. 

Back in the days before L and I were together, one of my favorite things to do was go see live music.  L does not have the same enthusiasm so I let that passion fall by the wayside; it's just a buzz kill to feel like you're forcing someone to go see bands they may not love in a setting they don't enjoy.  However, this has renewed my desire to go see more bands, so we'll see what happens in the coming months!  And if nothing else, I have friends I can go with if L doth protest too much.  Keep your fingers crossed for good shows to come this way!

Say my name, say my name

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I happen to be really good at remembering names and faces.  Like, really good.  I almost never forget a face and if I say the person's name at least once, there's a 96% chance I'll commit it to memory.  Consequently, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I remember someone's name or face and they don't remember me.  And when I acknowledge these forgetful people and they act like I'm a total stranger and they have no idea why I'm saying hi, I always wonder if they ever have a moment later on (moments? hours? days?) where they go, Oh, THAT'S who she is and I am such an idiot for not remembering!, because their blank reactions to my friendliness always inevitably make me feel like a stalker. 

Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking into spider webs so leave a message and I'll call you back

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Over the last month or so, the kind neighborhood spiders that inhabit our azalea bushes in front of our house have taken it upon themselves to start decorating early for Halloween this year. 

Seriously??  It's bad.  It started with one web on the middle bush (which you could see from the street) and has steadily expanded.  The best part?  L didn't seem to notice AT ALL until I pointed it out about a week ago. 

If you know me, you probably know that spiders are my most hated insect (and I also know they aren't really insects but YOUGETTHEIDEA).  One time, circa 2007, my friend ECBG had her birthday celebration out at Lake Travis and while we were eating dinner, this guy decided to come join the party.

Yes, that's a huge tarantula that was just hanging out, because apparently they do live in the wild in the Texas hill country.  I stood on a table for a while after that thing was shooed away; you wouldn't believe how fast it ran and I, for one, was NOT GOING TO GET ATTACKED BY A TARANTULA AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY.  Anyway, I'd be freaking out about the spider colony in the bushes EXCEPT they are probably helping stave off the swarms of mosquitoes that attack me every time I walk outside.  So hopefully they're doing good deeds.  And I'll leave it to L to deal with the spiders the next time the bushes get out of control and need shaping up.

Oh, and we just resigned our lease so apparently we need to play nice with our spidey-bush friends.  We'll be here through September 30, 2012.

Working over time (work out)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sooo... remember like a month ago when I was all, "Good things are coming!  Yea!"?  Well, that all panned out so I can actually share my fun exciting news with the interwebs: I am no longer contracting!  I got brought on full time and today was my first day.  I have a week of new hire orientation and then I'll go back to what I was doing before, just with benefits (hooray for 401Ks!), a pay increase (which will be negated by the aforementioned 401K to which I shall be aggressively contributing, what with the LACK of contributions for the last dozen months or so) and apparently a new wireless keyboard and possibly a bigger desk (still waiting for confirmation on that, but it's looking likely).  Woo hoo!  L and I are very excited about this.  It's so nice to have a job you like, where you feel inspired to work and give your very most at all times.  I know that I may not always feel that way, but I hope this feeling continues for a long time to come. It's great knowing that I am valued and that my contributions are noticed and appreciated. 

For those of you who are feeling burned out or frustrated by your work situations, I so encourage you all to take a leap of faith and apply for something that intrigues you or find a company you like and pursue it.  I decided on a whim over my first Christmas in Virginia that I really wanted to work at my current company.  I didn't know how I was going to make it happen or what position I might possibly ever be qualified for, but I knew I needed a change.  Since the very beginning of our relationship, I've seen L enjoy a great amount of professional success by pursuing new career opportunities (literally- he started a new joy a week after our first date and a year later, he was recruited back to his current company into the job that led us to VA).  I know I would have eventually left my last job on my own, but it took me seeing something like his experience to not question what I was doing.  So if you're feeling less than satisfied, I say look around and see what else is out there.  Maybe you'll find you are happy where you are, but maybe you'll also find something that makes you really happy and fulfilled.  Or at least content.  And that really does make a huge difference, at least for me! 
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