Thursday, October 29, 2009

male order

there are very few things that come in a box like this:

luckily, one of them is this:

there are very few friends who would ship a brooding, life-sized cut-out of edward cullen across the country.

luckily, one of them is steve.

there are very few ways to pay back such a delightful and well-timed surprise. (seriously, i was about to launch myself out of the 22nd floor window of my office today.)

luckily, i am determined to think of something.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

this post has nothing whatsoever to do with food

documentary movie night has been resurrected! (see: goal #25). all it took was a trip to the movies last night with dana and sarah to see "good hair," hands done (heads up?) one of the most brilliant documentaries i have ever seen, in no small part because it features a lot of chris rock.

the film explores the role of hair in the african-american community, and it is not an insignificant one. even after such an education, i do not feel particularly qualified to pontificate about it on the interweb, not being a part of that community myself, but sufficeth to say that i think it all comes down to the all-too-natural inclination to be a "same" instead of an "other," and in the black community especially, that desire seems to express itself more than anything in hair.

to quote: "if your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed. if it's nappy, they're not happy."

never mind that sodium hydroxide, the chemical used in relaxer, can eat through an aluminum can in about four hours. and never mind that a weave can cost as much as half a year's rent. and never mind that only a miniscule percentage of black hair care products are manufactured or distributed by black-owned businesses. (turns out koreans have cornered the market.) as the usually ridiculous reverend al sharpton put it surprisingly eloquently, some african americans are wearing their economic exploitation right on top of their heads.

(to which a woman in the audience let out a big, "mmm-hmmm." you know the kind.)

i find it difficult to believe that i haven't yet convinced you to see this movie, but if that is the case, this should do the trick.

and, to top it off (that was a sort of funny, sort of pun, right?), today i came across this article about some in the african-american community being upset that angelina jolie is not taking proper care of her african daughter, zahara's hair.

maybe angelina should watch "good hair"?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

love and marriage

i have not always had the best attitude about weddings (see: the summer wedding hiatus of 2007), but i would like to say this.

few things give me more joy than seeing my friends find spouses who love and appreciate them as much as i love and appreciate them, and as much as i know they deserve to be loved and appreciated.

there is nothing quite so wonderful as seeing someone who has meant so much in my life find someone worthwhile with whom to share the rest of their own life.

and seeing their successes and well-fitting matches gives me hope for my own someday.

such was the case this weekend with the bendheim/orvin union. never before have i seen a more calm or satisfied bride. it was such a pleasure to celebrate such a thing. so much so that the rest of the weekend was really just icing on the (wedding) cake.

we brunched.

saw the coast. (and jane's adorable pregnant belly!)




ate post-ceremony fish tacos.



caught the bouquet.

ate wedding cake. (which julie and i rather embarassingly had to beg for, having somehow missed the first cake hand-out. and yes, the begging was totally worth it.)

tossed feathers.

and rejoiced a little bit more.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


lest you think that all i do is sit around and eat (i'm looking at you, popster), i will have you know that sometimes i sit around and eat while i am watching tv.

take that!

por ejemplo, yesterday was national pumpkin cheesecake day, so kendra and lindsie and i celebrated with pumpkin cheesecake (duh) and a viewing of last night's episode of "glee." if you are not watching "glee," you should be. it is so good i wish it came on every day.

i could also eat a slice of lindsie's pumpkin cheesecake every day, but that is another story.

in other news, i am off to sunny socal tomorrow for robin's nuptials. (this officially makes me the last woman standing of the college crew, but i am ok with it if you are.) i am very much looking forward to everything the weekend holds, including lots of sun, a manicure and no work.

and i am only slightly concerned that the episode of "gossip girl" i am downloading to watch on my fancy new ipod on the plane says, "17 hours remaining."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


remember how the other day i was lamenting the fact that uncle bob gets so much more mail than me? well, no one gave uncle bob a surprise gift subscription to OK! weekly magazine (thanks, sallee!), so i think i am winning now.

some tidbits from this week's issue:

rhianna has finally stopped calling her ex, chris brown, which we know because she stepped out all over paris in "fierce" outfits. a sure sign, obvs.

"twilight" stars robert pattinson and kristen stewart have set up house together in vancouver and are "far too much in love right now to go anywhere without each other." i do not believe this for a second.

also, suri cruise has loved being in boston while her dad, tom cruise (natch) filmed a movie there. seems totally plausible.

and to think, i have a whole year of these gems coming my way.

happy sigh.

Monday, October 19, 2009

mr. zero

when i was eight or nine years old, my mother held a sealed envelope in front of my face and said, "this doesn't mean anything to you right now, but this is my last student loan payment."

and she was right. it didn't mean anything to me then.

but it's meant something to me every month for the past several years as i have slowly but surely paid off my own student loan. every time i submitted a payment i would think to myself, "man, i can't wait until the day when i can say, 'this is my last student loan payment.'" and i would also think to myself, "man, i hope i am not still paying this loan by the time i have a nine-year-old child."

dreaming about that last student loan payment month after month, i could taste the relief and freedom my mother must have felt with that envelope in her hand.

it was, i suspect, the same relief and freedom i felt today when i logged into my student loan account summary and saw this:

principal balance: $0.00
fixed payment: $0.00
current due: $0.00
past due: $0.00
late charges: $0.00
total due: $0.00

that's right, friends.


six-and-a-half years out of school and my student loan is gone.


paid off.



(and turns out paying it off before i had a nine-year-old was a cinch. which might have less to do with my money management skills than other things, but i will leave that be. and if you want to stay my friend, you will, too.)

so that's one goal down. 27 to go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

picked a peck

it is a fact that autumn is pretty much my favorite season, and, as far as i know, always has been. (and i don't know how anyone would know any differently, but i thought i would build in a loophole just in case.)

i think my attachment to fall has mostly to do with my attachment to nostalgia, which fall seems to be filled with. i was born in the fall, started college in the fall, left on my mission in the fall. fall is full of remembrance for me. plus i always happily salute the return of scarves and gloves and hats and other adorable outerwear.

unfortunately, fall has been a little slow to make its way here (though it is cooling off quickly and pouring down rain, so it might have finally arrived) and it occured to me a little while ago that i hadn't yet celebrated my favorite season adequately. so emily and i set about to rectify the situation on monday (thanks, columbus!) with a trip to maryland to pick apples.

the air was crisp, the leaves were richly and brightly colored, the picking was good (despite the sign that said, "apple season is over. no more apples until 2010," which turned out to be an inexplicable lie) and before you know it, we had amassed 20 pounds of apples.

that's a lot of apples, folks.

i had, in fact, seen on the orchard's web site that the price of apples per pound dropped if you picked 20 pounds or more, and i distinctly remember thinking to myself, "who on earth would pick 20 pounds of apples? or more?"

me. that's who.

not that having 20 pounds of apples stopped us from buying one more, of the caramel variety. because it didn't.

swarms of bees did force us to enjoy said caramel apples in the car, though.

we spent the rest of the afternoon baking our many pounds of apples into many delicious things. namely apple ginger cupcakes and butterscotch apple cake and german pancakes with apple (which we enjoyed for lunch) and apple crisp.

by the time everything was out of the oven we couldn't stand to look at another apple let alone eat anything with an apple in it, so we called in reinforcements. it is amazing how many people will respond to a plea to consume fresh apple baked goods.

we still had about half the original haul left over at the end of the night, but split between the two of us it didn't seem so impossible, and uncle bob and aunt joyce have been making short work of the apples i brought home. (i still haven't been able to eat another one, though my saturation level is starting to come down.)

welcome, autumn. i think we did you right.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

eat your heart out

the other day my dad made the observation that it seems like pretty much all i do since i moved to d.c. is eat. which is a fairly accurate assessment. especially since it is what i spent basically all of saturday doing.

it was the taste of georgetown festival, you see, wherein delicious restaurants from all over the city set up tents on wisconsin avenue and serve little sampler tastes of some of their most popular dishes, and you just walk around and trade tickets for little pieces of heaven in the form of clam chowder and lobster rolls and paella and ribs and chocolate tarts, or whatever else strikes your gastronomic fancy.

and, as if it could get any better than that, uncle john was in town so i had a partner in gorging. (that stack of plates only represents part of our consumption.)

but, never fear! that wasn't the end of my daily caloric intake (though it probably should have been) because later that night i met up with out-of-towners becky and marina for dinner in dupont circle. (seriously, i wish there were gay rights marches in washington every day. they bring all my favorite people to town.)

and then i had to roll myself back to the metro.

i would say maybe this is perfect preparation for a side career as a competitive eater, but i don't think i could pour a bunch of water on hot dog buns and mash them up into a ball and then stuff them in my face.

a cake, maybe. but hot dog buns? that's just gross.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

alive and well

hello, friends!

i just didn't want anyone to worry about my well-being, what with the lack of action on the blog lately. i am happy to report that it is a direct result, not of a fatal illness or debilitating accident as you might have feared, but of lots of action in real life.

which i will report on more fully soon, when it is not so close to my bedtime, and when i am not so engrossed in (not to mention grossed out by) a book about the curious lives of human cadavers.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

i'll find my way

i ran out of work totally late last night, just in time to catch the last hour or so of a set by brandi carlile at the 9:30 club. if you do not already love brandi carlile, you should. and that is all i am going to say about that.

the opening act was katie herzig, who i had never heard of before, and who i probably never would have heard at all if she and her band hadn't come on stage towards the end of brandi's set (or should i say the end of the end of brandi's set) to perform "wish you well."

and it was heart-felt and it built and it fell and it was loud and soft and everyone was smiling and you could close your eyes and sway and not feel ridiculous and it could have gone on forever and i would never have been sick of it, which is just how a song should be.

i couldn't find anything online that came even close to the awesomeness of last night, but here it is anyway.

according to the little postcard i got on my way out of the club, you can visit and get a free copy of her acoustic record, "acoustic trio," which also seems like something you should do.

and that's all i am going to say about that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

when the moon hits your eye

dr. siak has a little saying about pizza that goes something like this:

pizza is a lot like sex. when it's good, it's really good. and when it's bad, it's still pretty good.

cristy and i are not convinced this assessment is exactly accurate, having heard (through the grapevine, natch) that bad sex is actually pretty bad. we can state from our own experience, however, that the pizza at red rock pizzeria, voted one of the two best pizza joints in d.c., is pretty darn tasty.

anyone out there willing and able to validate (or refute) our theory about sex, please feel free. (and please bless that it is not one of my parents.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

virginia is for lovers

today i put virginia license plates on my car.

and just like that, with the swift turn of a well-placed screw driver, the last vestige of my formal life was replaced. the transformation is complete.

(except that it wasn't really a swift turn at all because, man alive, those screws holding my utah plates on were rusted on there pretty tight. in all honesty, it was sort of a battle to get them off. but that is not as poetic as a "swift turn." though, on the other hand, i guess it could serve as a nifty analogy for my own final, emotional resistance to letting go.)

really though (and you know this is true because it is out of the parentheses), i am feeling really good about taking the last step and putting both feet firmly into my new life. i've had those plates for a little more than a week now, but today i was ready.
(also, my utah registration expired yesterday and i do not think an arrest would help engender any good feelings towards my new home.)

i hope you're ready too, virginia, because i am here to stay.

also, on a completely unrelated note (except for generally being about virginia and love), today as i was running down the stairs so as to only be five minutes late for work, i passed uncle bob and aunt joyce's room. and there they were, curled up in bed, him reading aloud to her from a book about the history of the constitution. it was straight up darling.