& There's Reason to Believe Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than the Last

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Like so many other bloggers, I am, indeed, vain enough to do a countdown of my own. 2010 was a big year for me, & I'm not about to let it slip away unnoticed. Here, a compilation of the things that, for better or worse, stand out most:
  1. There was a snowstorm. A big one. My best friend spent the night for... three nights? We never technically had off of work (technology is a jerk), but it sure felt like we did - "Home Alone" marathons, fancy-ish brunches, & lots of Snuggie-wearing? I love co-hibernation.
    • Moral: In the right circumstances & with the right people, there's no such thing as too much togetherness.

  2. I experienced a bit of an emotional breakdown when my bosses asked me to hop a train to New York City with just a couple hours' notice to help facilitate a meeting between the big boss & members of the Israeli government. After a full-scale freak-out, I did as instructed - & was pleasantly surprised by the experience. 
    • Moral: Believe in yourself as much as others do. And for Pete's sake, take some deep breaths.

  3. On the 15th anniversary of my father's death to lung cancer - & one of the hottest days of the summer - I spent 12+ hours with a gaggle of my closest friends at Relay for Life in Arlington, Va. Together, we raised thousand of dollars for the American Cancer Society - & I didn't even get sunburned!
    • Moral: Charity is fun & fulfilling. Sweet combo.

  4. The universe smiled upon me & gave me the opportunity to visit the set of "Top Chef," my favorite TV show in ever. And miracle of miracles, I actually appeared in an episode! With a speaking role! Talking about... root beer & meat
    • Moral: A good sense of humor gets you stuff. Like gourmet food & pseudo-fame.

  5. In April, I accepted a new job with a respected public relations firm. They offered, & I accepted, enamored of the idea of working for such a creative, successful team.
    • Moral: The smartest choice is not always the best choice.

  6. To take a new job, of course, I had to leave my old job. While this seems, on the surface, like it ought to be the same bullet point as #3, it's not. Leaving my old office was a landmark life event - it was like leaving home for college, like leaving my family behind. I am, in truth, still struggling with the fact that I left; I miss it terribly, even six months later, but my life has since taken so many twists & turns that I cannot regret my decision. Sliding doors & all that...
    • Moral: I'm not sure yet. But I think it's that you should take risks, even when they're scary & you're comfortable where you are. Choose your own adventure.

  7. Three months after starting it, I left my new job. I never blogged about this, either, because I didn't want to go into too much detail, but it was decided by the time I wrote this post. Though I was (& remain) eternally grateful to my employers for their support & understanding, I couldn't deny that it was not the right fit - no matter how much we both wanted to make it work.
    • Moral: Follow your heart. No, really. Even when it seems illogical & completely undoable.

  8. During the Fourth of July weekend, I began dating Nathan, who I have since only blogged about informally. He's my cousin's best friend, & we met when he was still in high school but just reconnected this year. I have truly never been so happy with another person, & I'm positive that I am, in fact, capable of the kind of relationship I once doubted. 
    • Moral: Love comes to those who believe it, & that's the way it is.

  9. Jobless & soon-to-be-apartmentless, I made the decision to move back to Ohio. It was so, so difficult to leave the places & people I had come to love, & the time came sooner than I'd planned or hoped for, but I always knew I wouldn't stay in D.C. forever... & so I leapt.
    • Moral: Bon Jovi was right. You can always go home again. At least, I can. And for that, I am so very lucky.

  10. After four nerve-wracking, disheartening months of unemployment, I got a new job - with the organization I left in May! Though it's an entirely different position (consulting rather than communications) in an entirely different atmosphere (working from home rather than from an office) in an entirely different place (New Hampshire instead of D.C.), I'm confident it's a good move for me, & I can't wait to begin it - next week!
    • Moral: As my dad used to say, press on, regardless.
It's been a long year. A stressful year. A year full of equal parts laughter & tears, good luck & bad. I don't know what 2011 brings, but I dare it to give 2010 a run for its wishy-washy, John-Kerry-flip-floppy, sometimes-awesome-sometimes-awful money.
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A Very Merry Jewish Christmas

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Here in the Eastern time zone, Christmas has arrived! I plan to spend it on-call for the local news site I've been freelancing for, which basically means listening to the police scanner while watching as many episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" as I can crunch into the day, all while consuming leftover kung pao chicken from tonight's Christmas Eve dinner at PF Chang's.

My mom & I originally sent this Picniked greeting to my boyfriend, who's stationed in Key West for the holiday, & then to our former foreign exchange students in Costa Rica & Spain & then to the Christian half of our family. Of course, I couldn't resist sharing it with the rest of you. Because, um, it's ridiculous. 

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all my friends who celebrate it! Don't shoot your eye out.
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It's a Jungle Out Here! (Pt. II)

Friday, December 24, 2010

I asked my fellow Ohioans to chill with the animal-related stuff, but it seems that was too weighty a request. Case in point is the vehicle depicted below, spotted in the parking lot of my local library.

There are so many things wrong with this picture. Four, at the very least:

  1. Why, yes, it is drafty. It's 23* F, to be exact. I wonder how this plate plays mid-summer, but for now, it's spot-on. Weird, but spot-on.
  2. This one is self-explanatory.
  3. This one is EVEN MORE SELF-EXPLANATORY. Or is it? What is this? A whimsical watercolor tire cover? Where does one purchase such an abomination? (Let me guess. Wal-Mart.)
  4. This sticker reads "Be happy!" though I can't see how this person could be.
And that's not even taking into account the fact that this vehicle is chartreuse.
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Stuff I Love: Go Ahead, Keep Making My Day

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine referred to his brother as "an enthusiast," someone who obsesses over certain new-found things for brief periods of time before moving along to the next bit of excitement. I instantly related with this personality trait & adopted the "enthusiast" label for myself. A good example of my enthusiasm is Thai food, namely the restaurant down the street from my first apartment in D.C. I order spicy fried rice for take-out so frequently that one day, when I called to place my order, the employee said, "Oh, the girl in the red coat!" I was mortified, & thus ended my enthusiasm for that restaurant - onto the next one!

I wanted to share with you some of the things I'm currently enthusiastic about. Be warned: They're going to severely lower your opinion of my coolness.

  • Shakti Gawain's "Creative Visualization: Meditations"
    My mom gave me this Oprah-approved meditation CD years ago, & I was bemused by the cliched "inspirational" cover art; needless to say, I never listened to it. On a whim, I recently uploaded it to my iTunes & began listening to it at night as I fall asleep. Gawain's voice is relaxing & her instructions are simple. Sure, I feel a little ridiculous imagining spheres of golden lights encompassing my body, but it's helped me slow down my late-night worry-fests & sleep a bit easier.

  • These a.n.a® Derby boots
    I've worn these every single day since Black Friday, when Nate got them for me for Christmas, with the only exceptions being days I haven't let my home. They go with everything. They are so comfortable they may as well be slippers. They look badass. And they were on sale for something like $25.

  • The Best Grilled Cheese in the World
    I blogged about my brilliant grilled cheese invention once already, but it warrants repeating. Recipe is as follows: Layer muenster cheese, goat cheese, baby spinach, crumbled walnuts & a smear of fig jam on ciabatta & press it in a George Foreman, panini-style. Rinse & repeat daily. Again: I am a culinary genius with the sophisticated palette of a 10-year-old.

  • Complete All Day UV Moisturizer
    Until last month, I'd never moisturized. I know, WHAT? I wanted to, I just didn't know, like, how. Or, more importantly, with what. My aunt turned me on to this genius Olay product, which has saved my skin from the dreaded winter itch.

  • AB Studio's Skinny Ponte Pants
    Dress pants that are basically pajamas with a button. Adulthood win. I wish they came in more colors or that I needed 10 pairs of black slacks, because I basically want to be wearing these at all times.

  • Taylor Swift's "Speak Now"
    I am only mildly ashamed to admit that I have been listening to this album on repeat for approximately three weeks. Every time it restarts, I think, "Not again, resist!" & then quickly fall prey to the temptation of this country sweetheart's sappy lyrics & catchy beatz.

  • Crest 3D White Toothpaste
    Yes, toothpaste. Though I'm not enamored of the name (I don't want my teeth, like, popping through the screen at you live-action-style), I am convinced that this toothpaste is reverting my chompers back to their God-given whiteness rather than their latte-induced yellowness. Say cheese.

    I hear you: "Come on, Kate, toothpaste & Taylor Swift? JC PENNEY? You're right: You are way less cool than I thought - a combination of my 10-year-old niece & my 90-year-old grandmother." But sometimes, folks, it's the little things that bring the big smiles. Go ahead: Tell me what makes your day.

    *Disclaimer: None of these companies asked me to write about their stuff. I just like their stuff. But if Taylor Swift asked me to write about her CD, um, I would.
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    (Doing Your Part to Actually Bring) Joy to the World

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards.

    For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), up to $125,000. Clever Girls Collective and SWAGG are sending a pair of movie fans to the Sundance Film Festival! Download the SWAGG app and then visit the Ultimate SWAGG Getaway Sweepstakes site to enter to win a trip for two to the Sundance Film Festival. Entry deadline is January 3, 2011, 11:59pm, PST.

    When I was a kid, I was easily swayed by effective nonprofit marketing. I guess that as a kid, the phrase "effective nonprofit marketing" would have made zero sense, but in retrospect, it's true. I was frequently moved by things like telethons & bell-ringers & commercials about sad animals, & I was thus suckered into donating my allowance, my bat mitzvah money, & the coins I saved in a Tupperware container with a hole cut in the top. "Suckered" is probably a crummy word to use in this regard, but you get it.

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions was to buy gifts for The Angel Tree, a program of the Salvation Army (apparently now in partnership with JC Penney); I loved buying Angel Tree gifts more than any of the other holiday gifts I helped my mom shop for. The local mall would display a Christmas tree near the food court, decorated with gift tags that each bore the name of an "angel," a child who needed a little bit of extra assistance around the holiday. The tag included the child's age, Christmas wish list & clothing & shoe size, sometimes noting a favorite color or cartoon character. You'd choose an angel's name from the tree - I always picked them based on how much I liked their names and/or how good their taste in gifts was (I liked the kids who were desirous of books & board games because I was a big nerd) - & then buy them a gift or two that the Salvation Army would deliver before Christmas.

    I wanted to buy gifts for all the angels, but of course, that was never possible. I wanted every angel to get the best things on their holiday lists, but somehow, knew that wasn't possible, either. I always knew that the kids who quite hopefully listed things like "Purple bike" & "Nintendo" were more likely to end up with Barbies & sweaters & packages of socks. I rarely got big-ticket items for the holidays, either, but I was living in a house with two loving parents, & I had a warm, cozy bed, & my clothes were nice & fit well, & I knew that there would be no shortage of holiday cheer at my house & in my life. I often wondered who those "angels" really were & what their lives were like - where they were living, & if they got to have Christmas trees, & if there would be any gifts at all if they were among the children whose names were not plucked from the tree at the mall by eager & fortunate kids like me.

    I haven't done the Angel Tree in awhile. In fact, I'd forgotten about it until recently, & the JC Penney site tells me it's too late to buy Angel Tree gifts this year. But the sentiment still stands. This Christmas, while you're wishing for Kate Spade planners & sparkly cocktail rings & J Crew peacoats & new Wiis, little kids all across the damn planet have placed their hope in the big guy in the red suit, hoping he'll bring them some small bit of holiday joy. For that matter, there are plenty of adults who are hoping the same. At a time when so many need so much, ask yourself what you can do to make the season a little brighter for those who aren't as well-off as you are - because frankly, if you're reading this post, chances are that there are plenty of people who are worse-off than you, even if you're feeling the effects of the bad economy, too. (Aren't we all?)

    I don't celebrate Christmas in the traditional tree/tinsel/lights/church way, but that doesn't mean I don't value the spirit of the season. Have you thought about how to spread joy this year? Go find an angel & pay it forward.


    Learn more about the coolest new app that revolutionizes the whole shopping, gifting, and gift card-organizing experience and Download the SWAGG app to your iPhone or Droid. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity.

    SWAGG has partnered with non-profit Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to SU2C up to $125,000. Awesome, right?! Visit the SU2C site for more info http://www.standup2cancer.org/

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    It's a Jungle Out Here!

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Listen, fellow Ohioans. I love you, but can you ease up on all the bizarre, tacky usage of animal-related stuff?

    A fancy winter coat or a glorified robe? I'm still not sure, but it looked like this woman ripped the seams out of a large leopard stuffed animal & climbed inside it for her trip to CVS.

    What's that atop this truck's trailer hitch in the parking lot of my local Panera? Let's get a closer look!

    Oh! It's a golden retriever. Naturally.

    And because it's Christmas, car antlers are obviously an appropriate decoration. Who needs trees & mantles when you can adorn your sedan windows with holiday cheer?

    Seriously, guys. Animals belong in your home & in the wild & maybe on your plate & possibly, like, in limited accessorization situations (by that I mean that I desperately want this necklace), but they do not belong in ANY of the situations pictured here.
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    Breaking News!

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

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    No Such Thing As Cabin Fever

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    It's -3 degrees here & we have two feet of snow & even though 75% of my recent blog posts have been about precipitation, I've made yet another list that I'd like to share with you. I call it "A Lot of Things That Are Fun to Do When The Weather Sucks." I know, I'm super-creative with the titles.
    1. Sleep in, guilt-free. I woke up at 11:30am & still felt guilty because, look, when you're unemployed, every day is a snow day, & I sleep in more than I ought to. But still. In theory, there should be no snow-day sleep guilt.

    2. Read shallow books. I borrowed L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad from a friend the other day. From its dusty spot on my bookshelf, my unread Bret Easton Ellis book is giving me the stink-eye.

    3. Turn mailboxes into PacMan.


    4. Bake scones. Why scones? I don't know. Why not scones? I'd planned to make these goat cheese & chives biscuits, but my mom beat me to the punch by making cherry walnuts scones this morning. Before I was awake. Annnnd my guilt returns.

    5. Color your hair. I read the formerly blond Lauren From Texas' post about her new red 'do & was instantly inspired to perk up my own dishwater brown locks. And when I say "dishwater brown," I mean two things: 1) My dishwater is never that brown, I swear! & 2) Approximately 25 unwelcome white hairs threaten to take over the right side of my temple. Obviously, they must be stopped. Weirdly, Luckily, my mom has about 10 boxes of hair color stockpiled in our linen closet, & because she's decided to go au naturel with her grey self, they're all mine. Hey, it was a good reason to show & dry my hair on an indoors-only day.

    6. Skype with your boyfriend. And your mom. Together. That's right, we're cute. Or should I say, Nathan is cute & my mom & I look like we haven't left the house all day. Which we haven't.

    7. Watch Hilary Duff movies. You can, of course, watch whatever movies you want, but I went with Ms. Duff's unknown 2009 work of art "According to Greta," which somehow sneaked through the Netflix recommendations that have otherwise been overrun with suggestions for my Nathan ("American Outlaws." "Taken." "Autism: The Musical"? Huh.)

    8. Take an hour-long nap. Even if you woke up circa noon. Just don't tell anyone. And definitely don't blog about it.

    9. Practice your fancy food skills. For the last two days, I've made the exact same thing for lunch. Inspired by my favorite food blogger, I like to call it Big-Kid Grilled Cheese - it's muenster, goat cheese, baby spinach, crumbled walnuts & a smear of fig jam on ciabatta & pressed in my George Foreman, panini-style. It's so delicious that I never want to eat anything else ever again, except maybe for the equally delicious bananas I've made to accompany it - sliced & sprinkled with salt & brown sugar then put in the oven for 10 minutes. You don't have to say it: I AM A CULINARY GENIUS WITH THE PALETTE OF A SOPHISTICATED 10-YEAR-OLD.

    10. Get a job. That's right, y'all, I'm makin' a little bit of cash! A college friend of mind is the editor of a local Patch.com site, & she's asked me to freelance for her, so I spent a good chunk of the day my making calls & hittin' the keyboard. It's a little bit overwhelming to dust off my old reporter's cap, but I'm thankful for the chance to get some clips & to not be totally broke & to not have to work at, like, a gas station. 
    Did I mention that we have two feet of snow? And that I haven't even opened that bottle of wine? I think I'm doing this whole blizzard thing wrong...
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      Let's Make a Deal!

      Sunday, December 12, 2010

      Because I'm currently sans income, I'm constantly looking for sneaky ways to stretch what little money I do have. As a result, I've become a deal-hunter of the first order, which is not quite as exciting as, say, the Order of the Phoenix, but which does result in some killer bargains. Because a few people have asked me to share my penny-pinching wisdom, I've collected a bit of insight for you:

      • By sheer luck, I stumbled upon a few Groupon credits, which meant snagging $30 free. Like... free. Thirty bones, just sitting there in my Groupon account, waiting to be spent on something practical like groceries or an oil change. Or, more likely, something indulgent like a massage. And you'd better believe that I'm now obsessively scouring the internet for the existence of any additional free credits.

      • As much as I enjoy Groupon & LivingSocial, I'm confident that Offermatic is about to blow them both out of the water. You sync it up with your credit card (sounds dodgy but Reuters & TechCrunch swear it's legit), & it offers you deals based on money you're already spending. I, for example, dropped dough at WalMart (don't judge) last month; today, Offermatic offered me $5 off my next WalMart purchase; it's offered me similar deals for Macy's, Fandango & my next gasoline purchase, wherever it may be. Best of all, I acquire points in a variety of ways, & when I reach a certain number, I can trade them in for a $25 gift card to Target or Macy's or someplace else where I'm inclined to spend far too much money I don't have. Except I will have it - for free.

      • At this point, nearly everyone is familiar with Restaurant.com, which sells seriously discounted gift certificates to a number of desirable dining spots. What you may not know is that the coupon code "DEAL" nearly always saves you 80% off your Restaurant.com purchase, which is how I scored a $25 credit to a fancy local bistro for... $2. Excited about the bonus cash, Nathan ordered a $40 steak, just because he'd never done it before. Maybe we went overboard? But it was all the more delicious knowing that some of it was free.

      I'm sort of addicted. (And please, no Jewish jokes? Thanks.) Free stuff is fun stuff. Got any deals to share?
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      Suburban Emergency Preparedness

      Saturday, December 11, 2010

      It appears as though my local CVS does not exaaactly have a hang of the way sale prices work:

      But that doesn't mean I didn't buy the wine anyway. In fact, nothing quite says "Big snowstorm's a'comin'!" like my combined CVS purchases late this evening:

      Cheap wine & 12 lbs. of ice melt? Yeah, we're planning to be indoors for a stretch:

      And, uh, P.S., who's making the strategic decisions behind Target's Google AdWords buys? This is one thing I do not need to buy, though I'd like to see exactly how they ship it:
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      The Art of Perseverance

      Wednesday, December 8, 2010

      I sneak a look at the doctor's pad while he is out of the room. "Depressive disorder," it reads, from five years ago, when Dave died. Below that, two other diagnoses - something about back pain & allergies, no big surprises there. And today, a new one has appeared: "Generalized Anxiety Disorder," this one says. It isn't a surprise, but it takes me by surprise all the same, seeing it attached to my name & highlighted in yellow.

      I'd cried when I started talking to the doctor, the one I'd waited three years to come back to because no doctor in D.C. compared or made me feel comfortable enough. I answer "yes" to all of his questions: Do you get teary like this a lot? Well, yes, but doesn't everyone? Are you having trouble sleeping? Yes, but it's probably my own fault for not getting in bed sooner. Do you feel stressed out? Yes, all the time, & I don't even have a job! Are you afraid of making big decisions? Yes. Oh, God, yes. Do you lash out at people you love? That, too. And so on. I tell him about the dizzy spells & the crying jags & my sudden paralyzing fear of the future.

      "It's chemical," he assures me, "And genetic." He asks about my father: "Did he struggle with depression or anxiety?" No. No, I don't think so, but what do I know? There are more questions: What about my grandparents? Aunts, uncles, cousins? I find myself wanting to defend my family, to say that it's not their fault that I'm this way. That they are normal & that it's only me who is not.

      There are more questions. There are tests. There are kind words of encouragement & reassurance. And then he writes me a party pack of prescriptions: one for anxiety and depression & a temporary one to help me normalize my sleeping schedule. A face wash & a night cream to clear up the skin problems he says are likely an effect of an increase in anxiety. There's another, too, the crowning jewel: a small slip of paper with the name & phone number of a therapist, someone to help me "smooth things out." Drugs & hugs, a combination deal.

      I should feel better. This is a relief, isn't it? There are names for these things, for these problems, & there are ways to overcome them. I've spent years arguing that mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of, that they're chemical & genetic, your body's fault & not your brain's, just like any other disease, but amplified by your environment & the circumstances of your life. Yet here I am, newly diagnosed - newly re-diagnosed - asking for help because I can't get through it through sheer perseverance alone. Feeling defective & damaged & ultimately blaming myself instead of my body.

      I don't feel depressed. I just feel scared. And even when I'm scared, I'm happy. This isn't like it was before, with all the dark & twisty parts. My life feels beautiful, even when it's a mess. I just feel scared - scared that I won't make the right decisions, scared that I'll squander what I've been given, scared that I'll fail at adulthood. I look at the diagnosis on the small slip of paper in my hands, & my heart sinks every time I read the words on it: "Anxiety/depression." Anxiety, maybe. But depression: I don't have that, not anymore. Do I?

      On the way home, I stop by the cemetery to talk to him. I haven't been in months, not since early spring. I brush the snow off of his grave to find fresh flowers underneath, preserved in a sheet of ice.  Like always, I promise both of us that I will never be him. That I will try harder.  That I will always - yes, always - be OK.

      I stop crying. I get back in my car. I call my new therapist & I fill my new prescriptions & I restart my life. Ready, set, keep going.

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      Tips for Surviving the So-Called Winter Wonderland

      I made a list. I like to call it "Six Vital Things I'd Forgotten About Real Winters Because Three Years In D.C. Turned Me Into a Big Wuss," which I think is pretty self-explanatory. So let's forge ahead in no particular order, shall we?
      1. Winter is cold, snow or not.
        I used to have a strict policy of refusing to wear coats until snow fell. This? Was a stupid policy. Because sometimes it's actually too cold to snow, which means my limbs are exponentially more likely to freeze & fall off. See also: Wind.

      2. Snow is wet.
        Sure, it's also beautiful, all falling softly on cedars & such. I always remember that it's cold (see previous bullet point), but I somehow develop amnesia about the wetness. I forget that snow in the eye is like a miniature squirtgun to the eye. This also reinforces the importance of wearing hats. What, you thought I meant for warmth? I meant for the safe-keeping of my hair.

      3. Every trip is a road trip.
        Add 15 minutes of travel time to all car trips, even ones that are typically fewer than 15 minutes long. Because even if you're just heading out to buy tortilla chips & queso at midnight (not that I do that!), you're going to first need to scrape an ice rink's worth of build-up off the windshield.

      4. Child labor is A-OK.
        A piece of paper was slid into our front door handle yesterday, possibly delivered by an angel: "MIGHTY SHOVELERS!" it proclaimed. One hour & $25 later, four neighborhood kids were happily heaving the snow out of our driveway by the pileful while I lazed happily in front of AMC's showing of "Mrs. Doubtfire." I never even had to take off my slippers.

      5. No one knows how to drive.
        Do I pump the breaks or not pump the breaks? I can't remember. Either way, I'm probably ending up halfway into your front yard. No inflatable lawn ornament is safe! And on that note...

      6. I'm the Patrick Bateman of lawn ornaments.
        I'm not actually murdering them. But I'm thinking detailed, gory, maniacal thoughts about how & when I would murder them. And how I'd celebrate with a reservation at Dorsia.
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        I Am the Pigeon Lady.

        Monday, December 6, 2010

        It snows here. A lot. I'd almost forgotten, what with D.C.'s practically-snow-free-save-last-winter's-freak-snowstorm weather.

        I avoid shoveling snow whenever possible (sorry, Mom), so I try to find tricky workarounds whenever possible. Today, for example, I used a broom on our back deck. And though I've got no place to be, I braved the cold & precipitation to brush off my car so that I'd have less to do later, when I actually do need to get someplace in a hurry. I know, I'm like the MacGyver of winter.

        I scared my dog, too, because I dressed like a cross between a chimney sweep & the little kid from "A Christmas Story" who can't put his arms down. Though fashion bloggers may claim it's possible to look trendy in the dead of winter, I strongly suspect those fashion bloggers don't live in the Great Lakes region. My ensemble was as follows:
        • A red woolen scarf. This was the most normal of my attire.

        • Brown tweed & leather gloves. Also normal, though they clashed with the red. Heinously.

        • Leggings. Not the normal cotton or tights kind but some weird, elastic, work-outy kind I bought for $5 from a store off the Rhode Island Ave. Metro that closely resembled a Deb or a Dots. High-end, I know. I typically only wear them to bed.

        • A maroon peacoat my boyfriend says makes me look resemble the pigeon lady from "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." I'm not going to show you a picture of me wearing it because I'm aaaactually self-conscious about this. To my knowledge, the actual pigeon lady is not:

        • RED GALOSHES. They matched the scarf, but... dude, they're red galoshes. In the winter. In case you're one of those West Coasters who thinks 50 degrees is cold, you should know that galoshes do not winter snowboots make. And of course, they look fairly absurd.

        • And the crowning glory: a furry, black & yellow houndstooth hat purchased in a Steelers store during my impromptu weekend visit to Pittsburgh. DON'T KILL ME, Browns fans! I'm one of you! I just couldn't resist. Ain't she a beaut?
        Put all these together & you've got a blind Russian hobo with a knack for snow trickery. The MacGyver of winter.

        Try not to be too jealous of my dashing combination of smarts & style.
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        This Shiz Is Bananas

        Friday, December 3, 2010


        Spotted at Circle K, just 49 cents a pound. Which is definitely the first place I think of when I need to buy bananas. (B-A-N-A-N-A-S!)
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