Friday, October 29, 2010

how do i do this?

Hi friends. Because I'm absolutely sure that some of you out there (and apparently there are a lot more of you than I thought) know how to do fancy things on Photoshop (Brit, I'm thinking of you), I was hoping you could tell me how to do some things. I'll send you a postcard as a reward.

Problem a: The fancy white background collage with photos and dresses and lots of different things.

Problem b: The photo collage.

Problem c: The simple linked photo (I'd love how to do two and four photos like this).

Thanks in advance to whoever bails me out. I've been wanting to know how to do this stuff forever and I finally have access to Photoshop, hooray!

the revenge of the pb & j

This morning I got to the library at 8am and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It took me down, hard. I fell asleep and had my craziest library dreams to date. First I dreamt that I had a really awkward (and disturbingly realistic) conversation with my favorite professor, who I really want to impress. Then I dreamed that a huge group of students were in the gym (which I've never been to... I know) getting their pre-Rally game on. They were singing a catchy Rally song, which unfortunately I no longer remember. Then I dreamed that it was 10:00am and I still had a short paper to write prior to my 2:00 class so I woke up. Now I'm writing on my blog instead. Guess I should get on that paper thing.

You got me this time, pb & j.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

apartment, part 1

This is our house (part 1). I've cheekily divided it into rooms, since it's, you know, a studio.
Part 1a: The bedroom

Part 1b: The kitchen

I painted the apple above the sink when I was in Kindergarten. Clearly I missed my true calling as an artist.

Monday, October 25, 2010

super double bonus

Miss Jessica (and Mr. Chris)

Miss Amanda

Today I got not one, but TWO missives in the mail from two of my favorite people, Miss Amanda and Miss Jessica. Whoa. It was a loving friend mail palooza. Miss Amanda sent a postcard from the Chicago Zoo and Miss Jessica sent a Portland mug and some other goodies from my much-missed PDX. Each was sweet and wonderful on its own; the combined effect was AWESOME. Dear friends, I love you So. Much. (Also, thanks to Donilee for the card she sent me weeks ago that I kept meaning to mention here and never did). Anyway...I just got home after a long day and need to eat, but wanted to mentioned the best mail day ever. Thanks, ladies. I sure like you.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have never struggled with insomnia... until recently. I've been sleeping more fitfully in general since moving here, but for the last few days it's been really bad. Ross falls asleep almost immediately, and I lie there thinking about, oh, everything. Money. Marriage. Religion. What I'm going to put on my Rally To Restore Sanity sign (I'm thinking "Grad Students for a Hermeneutics of Reasonable Discourse," although I think that might be redundant...). Stuff I didn't get done that day. Stuff I have to get done the next day. But it gets worse. For the past few days, at least, I've been having incredibly vivid and anxiety-producing dreams. Last night I was failing grad school. And then I wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 (although thankfully I'm able to go back to sleep). The sum total of all of this is that I wake up feeling like I've been thinking the same stressful thoughts all night long. The irony is that I usually have time for at least a quick nap during the day, so I'm not physically tired. But mentally I'm exhausted. Maybe I'll take up classy, Netflix-style yoga again.

ANYway, I don't mean to bum you out. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

joy to the world, indeed

1. White Christmas
2. White Christmas (part II) featuring Saori Yuki
3. Shchedryk (Ukrainian Bell Carol)
4. Santa Baby
5. Elohai, N’tzor
6. Little Drummer Boy
7. Congratulations – A Happy New Year Song
8. Do You Hear What I Hear?
9. La Vergine Degli Angeli
10. We Three Kings
11. A Snowglobe Christmas
12. Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Little Candles)
13. Silent Night
14. Auld Lang Syne

I am anticipating a very merry Christmas.

P.S. For those not in the know about Pink Martini, check them out. They're only our favorite band. Ever. As in, in the past, present and future. They are the best.


this just in...

Sometimes I like to semi-joke that Ross upstaged me at our wedding. Well now, thanks to my good friend Kelly, I have proof.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is my 100th blog post. That seems like kind of a big deal, right? So I googled what other bloggers have done to celebrate their 100th; apparently, it's "traditional" (snort) to post 100 things about yourself. No thanks. Instead, here are 10 of my favorite things instead. You're welcome. And, by the way? Thanks for reading :o)

Succulents. I adore them. They're perky and happy and remind me of places that are warm. Too bad I can't seem to keep them alive.

Eating outdoors. I don't care if it's a picnic, a reception, or a fancy catered party. Everything tastes better outside.

NPR. I just learned about the NPR calendar, in which artists from across the country produce work that typifies NPR for them. How come I didn't know about this until now?

Museums. And also, museum gift shops (P.S. The best museum gift shop I've ever been to was at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London).

Lanterns. And Christmas tree lights. And fireflies. And anything else that sparkles at night.

Animals. Duh.

Gardens in Unexpected Places. Like roofs. Or back alleys. Or cities. The garden pictured above is okay, but veggie gardens are the best.

The Fall. For all the reasons you love it, too.

Roger Ebert. The master of movie criticism. An inspiring writer and person. True story: Sometimes (like, really often) when Ross and I decide to watch a movie I'll first read his review, then I'll watch the movie, then I'll read the review again.

Bookstores. Especially ones with really, really tall shelves and narrow aisles. Oh, Powells.

Happy 100th post, blog!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Two anecdotes to share from this morning:

1. We have finally found NPR, and this morning as Ross drove me to the MARC station we listened to a short news clip about tennis camps, super intense camp for kids in whom some nascent tennis talent has been noticed and who must, therefore, be not-too-gently nudged into greatness. Actually, the story was about a new camp started by some famous tennis person who has a different philosophy and doesn’t feel that 10-year olds should be told to focus on only one sport and leave their homes for long training periods. A different tennis camp person disagreed with him, arguing that for talented kids to succeed they have to be absolutely immersed in the tennis world.

2. Later this morning I got onto the Metro and found myself standing next to a gentleman and a kid (I couldn’t tell what their relationship was, but the older guy didn’t know if the kid had an X-Box or not, so they weren’t father and son… it seemed like a mentor-type relationship). My zoo camp senses tell me that the boy was about ten. Both were wearing crisp suits, and the kid was wearing extremely shiny black dress shoes. It was a little difficult to figure out what they were talking about (the kid was going to interview somebody), but here are some of the conversation’s buzzwords: “New Media.” “The market.” “Philanthropy. ”

Not to be crude, but both of these events (especially coming so close to each other) made me want to barf. Is this really what we want? I get that it’s a big, scary, competitive world out there. But if the world is really such that we have to return to a Victorian model of the-child-as-miniature-adult, don’t we have bigger problems than finding Junior a future job? If job training has to start at eight, isn’t that maybe a sign that there’s something wrong with the way we’re approaching life? I don’t know, friends… just a thought.

Friday, October 8, 2010

train of thoughts

The Laurel Train Station, which makes Laurel seem more quaint than it really is.
P.S. Laurel is where I live.

I’m sitting on the Marc train as I write this (but not when I post it, since the Marc train doesn’t have wireless, which is just as well). The Marc (I think it’s supposed to be MARC but I feel it’s impolite to scream at my readers) is my favorite part of the commute. Sometimes I listen to This American Life and stare out the window, but mostly I just read. Today I’m writing a blog post.

Today was a mixed day, although I’m not sure how much to tell you about it… I would love to restrict my readership, like some of my fellow bloggers have done, but I’m not quite sure who reads this blog and I don’t want to accidentally shut anyone out. Instead I’ll just try to be tactful, which isn’t nearly as much fun.

Break for announcement: The conductor just got on the loudspeaker to say that if Alaina Efstein is on the train she should come speak to him. But get this: the same announcement was made this morning. Alaina Efstein, where are you? Announcement concluded.

The morning started well: I got a job! I already have a job, actually… I’m doing some exceptionally boring (not tactless, just true) freelance writing for Bull Run Media, a company that produces a series of industry magazines. Once a week or so I’ll receive an email containing a digital file of an interview (nope—I don’t do the interviews. I just write the story. Living the dream) from which I construct a 500-800 word article profiling the company featured. My first assignment came this week. It was awesome. The gentleman in question (whose company really does need to remain nameless) was an extremely taciturn, one-word answer kind of guy. The most animated he got in the whole article was when he was describing how “Obamacare” is going to ruin small and medium businesses. Not quite the angle we’re going for. I’m told that most interviews are much easier. Let’s hope.

Anyway, that’s not the point. Today I got another job, with a non-profit called Kid Power DC. I am thrilled. I’m going to be working with underserved middle school kids in the DC area, and it sounds really open-ended. I’ll help tutor, but I also get to supervise and plan events. I’m thinking we stage The Tempest. Kidding… kind of. Kid Power also has this fabulous program set up called “Veggie Time,” where the kids work in community gardens and sell their produce at local farmer’s markets. Um, where do I sign up?

So that was a pretty good part of the day. But every story must have a villain, and this one appears in the guise of the Graduate Fellowship Office, which is trying to rescind my Federal Work Study award. Fetchers. Apparently, I’ve had the award too long without using it, so they’ve given it to someone more deserving. Trouble is, I didn’t really find this out until I’d accepted the interview. So I explained everything to everybody and I might get a new award. Fingers crossed on that, okay? Because I really, really want this job. And by the way? I could not be more pissed about the whole situation, but I have to be nice, because I need these people to fight for me. Bummer.

Time Lapse

Anyway, that's as far as I got before we got to Laurel. The rest of the day (after the Graduate Fellowship Office, before the train) was okay... I had lunch with a new friend, and went to my really awful Literary Theory class (awful because of the structure, not because of theory itself). Then I came home and Ross and I went shopping for our camping trip tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward to. The end!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

we're still here...

Hi folks! SO good to put "we" in a subject line. Ross and I made the epic 2,800 mile journey with, honestly, no hiccups whatsoever. It was almost disappointing, actually: no flats, no tickets, no close calls, no getting lost... even Creature was well behaved. It was the most uneventful cross-country road trip ever. However, we got to see Miss Amanda in DeKalb, which was a super bonus. Like the kind you get when you find a green toadstool in Super Mario.

ANYWAY... in other news, Ross is starting his new job in B'More today, last week the delightful Mrs.Hamlet came into town for Folger frolicking, and this weekend for our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY (um, whoa) Ross and I are going camping here:

I'm back, loves. Stay tuned.