Wednesday, April 28, 2010

in and out: a review

i was over at segullah this weekend, posting about the inner vessel and the outer vessel and consumerism and wearing sweatpants to target and, well, as you can probably tell it was all a bit of a jumble, but feel free to have a read.

and despite the fact that i wasn't quite sure what i was trying to get around to, not to mention how i was going to get around to it, i was so inspired by the (cyber)conversation that resulted from that post.

ultimately, i think my point was (is) this. it's OK to want to look nice and to spend time and even money on your appearance, especially if it makes you feel better and act better. but there has to be a balance in all things, and if we are focusing on our outer selves so much that our inner selves are neglected, then the (metaphoric) scales are not tipping in the right direction.

as one commenter said, "i suppose it would be helpful to... ask ourselves something like, 'is my confidence based on knowing i’m a daughter of God, or because i look really awesome in these great jeans?' i love my well fitted jeans, but if that’s where my confidence lies, there’s a problem."

i also loved this idea that maybe instead of judging people based on what we perceive as a sloppy or unkempt appearance, we should pay more attention to what that appearance is telling us about the needs of one of our sisters: "our environment, our own personal physical environment, does effect how we feel and communicates something about what is going on inside. even when you run to target in sweats to get a baby’s Rx you’re communicating that through your harried look, sweatpants, and screaming baby in tow. if we recognized the hidden messages people send out in these ways we would be better able to reach out and serve them."

but really, it was the message that we shouldn't be judging each other at all that came out to me most strongly. i don't want to be dismissed as shallow or irresponsible or haughty because i feel better with an expensive haircut and a cute outfit. so how can i possibly feel OK about dismissing someone as lazy or insecure or indifferent because she prefers a ponytail and sweats?

or, as this commenter said, "i have a lot of sympathy for women who’d rather not be caught wearing sweat pants to target, but no admiration for women who criticize other women for doing so."


because ultimately the story told in our eyes and on our faces, and the reflection of our heavenly father and savior's love in our countenances is the best accessory we can have.

what are your thoughts on the topic?

Monday, April 26, 2010


things i loved about my weekend:

a call from doobie, informing me he is moving here for the summer. joy!

driving straight to dupont circle without my GPS, finding a parking space right in front of sarah's apartment, sitting outside eating cookies and waffles at locolat, take two.

a mugging-free trip to northeast and diet coke (though not the music) at the rock n' roll hotel.

fancy new jewelry from LK's sister, sam. (check out her goods, yo.)

painting the community of hope health center as part of the greater dc cares serveathon. the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from helping people + a free t-shirt = win.

my new friend liz, who was totally game for vintage clothes shopping on u street even though we had only met an hour before and i had paint in my hair.

the georgia o'keeffe exhibit at the phillips collection. stunning. fascinating. i was in awe. if you live here, you must see it! (if you don't live here, can you get here before next weekend when it closes?)

sitting on the couch with miss angela, talking and talking and talking and laughing and talking and eating and talking some more.

popcorn with marshmellow creme.

talking to my parents for an hour.

talking to suvi for an hour.

cleaning out my closet.

curling up in my bed and waking up to the perfect rainy monday.

hope your weekend was just as grand.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

rainy days and wednesdays

it has been a pretty uneventful past few days in the greater capitol region, but there's nothing like a blog to force you to (attempt to) pull hilarity and whimsy out of every-day, mundane life, so here are the happenings as of late.

i am getting a hair cut tomorrow. my hair is a subject of much thought and conversation these days. i am in the middle of the great american grow-out, mostly necessitated by two incredibly bad hair cuts i got when i first moved here, from which i am still recovering. emotionally and otherwise. unfortunately for this type of project, i appear to have the slowest growing hair, like, ever. i started taking prenatal vitamins, which seem to be helping, but to spice things up in the in-between-mean-time, i have decided to revert to my natural hair color. which is brown. (gasp!) i am hoping for something warm and soft, like honey or brown sugar (maybe i'm just hungry?). the transition will be slow, but patience my friends.

one downside of brown hair: i am less likely to be swept off my feet by someone named jimmy d. as a contestant on "millionaire matchmaker." i know because smack and katie and i watched it last night and those millionaire playboys chose blonde hair and big boobs every time. shocking! one crafty lady found a way around the system by starting out as a blonde at the initial mixer and then dyeing her hair dark brown before her first date. take home lesson: i better get on "millionaire matchmaker" NOW! before my hair is brown and my chance is gone.

smack and katie and i also watched the madonna episode of "glee" last night. and if you didn't watch it too, man, did you miss out. because it was incredible. i am getting pretty stressed out about the way things are unfolding (finn and rachel are MFEO and i do not trust this jesse st. james at all!) but i sure do love that show.

other tuesday night activities included watching what was definitely an arrest in progress across the street from smack's building, as well as baking and eating way too many cookies, which were originally meant to be cupcakes but we (smack) had the wrong mix. my adorable flower-shaped silicone baking cups will have to make their debut another time. also, smack accused me of putting enough frosting on her cookie to induce a sugar coma. i happen to know, from extensive sugar consumption, that there is no such thing.

back to music for a second, i stumbled upon a delightful new band today. actually, i am going to rephrase that and say new-to-me band, because i am always woefully behind about these sorts of things and all of you have probably been enjoying this for ages. but, i am always proud of myself when i find good music on my own. they're called girlyman. give a listen here and here and here.

speaking of being behind the times, i finished "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" a few nights ago. i liked it. but i don't think i loved it. it gave me a lot of anxiety, i think because it seemed like something really terrible was right around every corner. or maybe it was the frenetic, stream-of-consciousness writing style. either way, i found the whole thing a kind of exhausting experience. sort of a stark contrast to the hilarity that is dave eggers' "mcsweeneys." anyone care to weigh in on this?

remember how i said i was taking prenatal vitamins? well, i am also hoping that they will help curb my current exhaustion. because i will tell you something else: i am tired these days. like, tiiiiiiired. which is weird because i am sleeping normally and all the rest. katie thinks maybe i am sleeping too much, but i know from extensive sleeping that there is no such thing. i also have some strange, unexplained bruises, so my first guess was life-threatening cancer, but an iron deficiency seems more likely. or allergies. but i have never had allergies before. do they just come out of nowhere like that? (and give you bruises?) because that would make me really sad. if i weren't too tired to be sad, that is.

are you still reading this? you poor dear. have a cookie.

Monday, April 19, 2010

shipping out to boston

our fervent hopes and prayers did nothing to improve the weather in boston this weekend (oh, fickle new england spring, how i do not miss you at all), but not even the craptastic rain and cold could dampen the joy of gathering with my beloved family in our beloved bean-town.

we did most of the usual things, like lunch in harvard square and a trip to cardullo's, where the mama bear used to order a ham and swiss on an onion roll for lunch back in her boston days. i also dragged mom and the big little brother back to the boston u. campus for a quick look around at my old house, my old classroom building, my old life. it seems impossible that i was once a student running around that campus. but there you have it.

the highlight, however, was the friday night sox game. it was touch-and-go all day with the rain, but they pulled the tarp off the field a half-hour or so before the game was scheduled to start, the crowd went wild, and it was on.

before the game, we were treated to a tour of fenway park, which was totally and completely awesome. we saw the world series trophies and all the golden glove awards won by sox players. we touched the fisk foul pole and saw the seat that marks the landing spot of the longest home run ever hit in fenway (537 feet, by ted williams). our tour guide was full of all kinds of interesting facts and statistics that dad and ben already knew and that i have already forgotten. the important thing is, we love the green monster.

the game itself was pretty amazing as well. it had everything: infuriating errors, one of those amazing catches where the player is horizontal in the air with his glove out, and a varitek home run. we ate hot dogs and peanuts and cotton candy. and drank hot chocolate because it was effing cold. we also learned a new cat call, courtesy of the guy sitting in front of us. you could tell he was a real fan because of his high level of scorn and derision for the home town heroes. the quote, after a particularly pathetic missed catch by short-stop scudero:

"show us the replay and we'll boo you again!"

and then, with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth....



(is this suspense killing you, or what?)

... they pulled out the tarp and called the game for rain!

with half an inning left.

it was completely ridiculous.

the crowd went bonkers. and we heard some more great cat calls that i will refrain from printing here since my grandma reads this blog.

but, such is life. especially in the fickle new england spring. which i do not miss at all.

as for missing boston, well, that's a different story.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

wizards win! (einstein approves.)

it was the last home game of the season for the washington wizards last night and emily h. had the hottest tickets in town, so off we went to the verizon center for some sporting.

actually, i guess the wizards are pretty bad. but it turns out so are the indiana pacers, so it was a close game. in summary: we were up! we were down! it was close! it wasn't so close! i ate a hot dog! the wizards seemed to give up! the crowd seemed to give up! an adorable little boy won the half-time "simon says" game! the wizards got a second wind! the crowd got a second wind! someone got injured and fell on the floor but when he stood up to walk to the bench he looked totally fine! the wizards were up by one point! there were four seconds left! everyone called a million time outs! (i hate it when they do that!) the pacers shot a basket with less than three seconds left! it went in! it rolled around! it popped out!

the wizards won!

it was all very exciting.


then on the drive home we passed the massive statue of albert einstein outside the national academy of science. i have been meaning to visit said statue for a while now and so, it turns out, had robert and laura, so we all figured there was no time like the present and pulled over and made it happen.

albert einstein's statue is wearing sandals. i love that.

tomorrow i am off to boston (at 7:30 in the morning. from baltimore. gross.) where i will reunite with the whole johnson clan. for all the time we have all spent in boston, i can't remember a time when all four of us have been there together, so this will be a treat. (except, everyone start praying that the 45 degrees and raining weather forecast changes. because yuck.)

i hope your weekend is just as yummy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

search party

i have loved many, many books in my life, but i have always had a special place in my heart for the search for delicious.

i have the most vivid memories of an elementary school teacher (fourth grade, maybe?) reading us this book aloud, and me hanging on every word. it was magical, somehow, and it has stuck with me all these years more than almost any other book of my childhood.

specific details sort of faded after a while, but the basic plot as i remembered it was this: a kingdom. a dictionary. a disagreement about what food should qualify as the definition of delicious. an epic effort to determine said definition. a happy ending. (which i will not give away here.)

for years i have been bringing up this book whenever the opportunity presented itself. (because, you know, i talk about both kingdoms and dictionaries a lot.) and here's the thing. no one had ever heard of it. and then i started looking for it in bookstores and here's the thing. i could never find it. and then i started thinking i had made up the story myself and that i should write it and sell it and be rich.

but here's the thing. i knew it had to be out there somewhere.

and then on saturday jaron handed me a little package wrapped in newspaper. and here's the thing. i opened it and the search for delicious was inside. (with this fancy new cover.)

and i was so happy i wanted to cry. but instead i just stared in amazement at my old, dear, long-lost friend.

and then i started reading. and i read all weekend, and until late on monday night, when i finished with a satisfied sigh.

and here's the thing. it was so much better than i remembered!

the writing was more effortless and funny, the plot was more intricate and careful and touching, the characters were more lovable (and i had totally forgotten about the dwarves, the woldwellers, the mermaid and the villain, hemlock. how did that happen?) and the ending was so much more poignant and happy.

i was in heaven.

it was magic all over again.

you might even say it was, well, delicious.

(oh hey, p.s. if it's not obvious already, you should go out right now and read this book. seriously. the (happy) end.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

meanwhile, back at the ranch...

happy monday, lovelies!

and how have you been?

well, i hope.

i have been well, as well.

(well, well. well.)

we have had a couple days of stunning weather here lately. the kind of days where it feels like a crime to be inside, so you blow off everything important to walk across the bridge to georgetown to window shop and exchange a dress you hate for a dress you love. so, win there. it stays so light and warm so late these days that i feel like it is only 6p.m. when it is really 10p.m. and that's trouble, to be sure.

we have also had a couple days of just awful, cold and rainy weather. the kind where you and LK have to run to book club with plastic bags over your heads because who can be bothered to remember umbrellas? not us.

other events of note.

corbrett and i headed to adams morgan on friday night to check out locolat, a hand-made belgian truffle paradise that also has the most delicious waffles, savory and sweet, that you can imagine. i could have eaten everything in that whole place. and, by the time we were finished feasting, i felt like i had.

saturday morning i washed my car for what i am pretty sure was the first time since i moved here. big news. then i parked it under a tree and it was covered with a layer of yellow pollen in a few miliseconds. oops?

also on saturday, my beloved sarah was in town, so we gathered for lunch and gossip.

sidenote: never allow yourself to be convinced that soy nuggets will taste delicious. they will not. you should, however, if the opportunity arises, be convinced to eat peanut butter pie straight out of the dish. divine.

other developments.

i finally got a desk at work! the sad news is that i don't get to sit across a kitchen table from smack all day anymore. the happy news is, smack no longer gets motion-sick from said table being shaken by my violent three-fingered typing. plus now i get to fill up my little cubicle with pictures and plants and brand new office organizing products.

also. jaron and i stayed up way too late on saturday night watching "fantastic mr. fox." have you seen it yet? you must! it is filled with whimsy and joy and makes you laugh out loud. and sort of makes you want to be a fox. don't believe me? watch!

and with that, i say here's to a happy week for all!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

spring! sprang! sprung!

it was soooo hot today that we all left the office early. the air conditioning hasn't been turned on yet in the building, and no one could concentrate on anything, we were too busy melting our faces off. i think maybe tomorrow i'll just take in my sewing machine, and then it can be a sweat shop for real.

i kid.

but seriously.

it is bad news when smack looks at you across the table, while you are not moving a single muscle and says, "you're sweating."

but it is good news when it is spring!

my spring so far looks like this:

peeps flavored frozen custard! (it was neon-colored and delicious.)

kites! (thanks for the pictures, lp)

my first easter trifle! (triple berry lemon!)

cherry blossoms! (the smell of cherry blossoms is like heaven to me.)

what does your spring look like?