Wednesday, December 22, 2010


most often to be funny and/or interesting.  But a person can't be funny and/or interesting every second of their lives... that makes this blog disingenuous.  and life exhausting.  and explains why i haven't posted anything decent.

right now my life isn't boring, but it doesn't carry over to written word well.  also, i'm not much of a writer, i would rather tell you a story than write it down.  Essentially, i wait tables, attempt not to get yelled at by a psychotic co-worker for doing something right (an attempt that usually fails...), and then flee to my house where I sit on my couch and eat carefully measured sweets and watch The Wire with my roommate.  The two of us mourn the dust our degrees are collecting, but do nothing to change the fact.

The only job I want is actor.  Preferably English film actor, but I'd settle for American too.  However, I have become so discouraged by not finding any sort of audition in the area that isn't community theatre (and thus, unpaid and at night ((when i make money)) and with poopz) that I have sort of given up on this dream.

Only I haven't given up a bit, I just have no place to channel my energy.  Damnit.

There is a trend to overshare without sharing at all... people reveal everything they want you to know but nothing that makes them vulnerable or necessarily tells you who they really are.  Probably because we're not entirely sure ourselves.  Or maybe I'm wrong and we're exactly who we project ourselves to be.

So, I'm not always funny or interesting, but that's life.  I've tried very hard to stop forcing my life to go in a funny or interesting direction.  Maybe ordinary is just what I'm meant to be, and there's nothing wrong with being completely and utterly not special.  Or. maybe Focus Features will call me tomorrow and tell me they want me to star in the definitive version of Pride and Prejudice.  Probably not though.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa, I would like a polar bear for Christmas, please.

Currently Reading:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Capote's Holly Golightly annoys me much less than Audrey Hepburn's.  But it should be acknowledged that I have  no use for Audrey Hepburn.
Currently Watching: the first season of The Wire.  That show is awesome.  And preventing me from sleeping at night.
Last Meal:  Lasagna and Pinot Noir at Extra Virgin in Shirlington.  Some sort of "Nutella ravioli" for dessert.  Didn't disappoint.
Currently plotting: how to get to the United Kingdom in March for a couple of weeks.  Some good must come from my degrading and useless, albeit flexible, job.
Currently Obsessing Over:  Warm doughnuts, Weight Watchers, the poinsettia I bought as a pet (her name is Ginny), my new sweater with a polar bear's face on the front.
Current Annoyances:  Windchill, 9 means bitter temperature and mood.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food for Thought (since your stomach probz needs a break)

“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them." - Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Harry Potter and the Lamest Bacon

At the age of 22 years, 11 months, and 12 days old I still cry when I realize that the world and school of Harry Potter isn't real.  And that I'll never get to play Hermione in the movie adaptations.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Vernacular

1.  Wang.  It's so back, baby.  It really fits so many situations so well.  It's stronger than "butthead", but less emphatic than "dick", and adequately describes someone who is annoying the crap out of you, but you still like them anyway.  I rarely if ever address people as slang for genitalia, but "wang" really works for me.  That's what she said.  Used in a sentence:  Rob is such a wang.

2.  Blam-o.  It's so dumb, but I like it.  It's like "nailed it" or "boosh" but less crude and more obnoxious.  I "blam-o"ed a table yesterday and they quite enjoyed it.  Used in a sentence: no need.  It stands alone.

3.  Made of win.  Describes something you really like.  Used in a sentence:  "Man, these thigh-high boots are made of win!"

Why dirty a plate when you can violate both human conduct
 and health codes by dipping fries into the ketchup bottle? 

un-related note: what is WITH the guy that writes those awful little "inspirational message" on the inside of Dove chocolate foils?  What a wang.  I guess they're supposed to uplift the chocolate-eater, but there's really no need!  There's chocolate!  I got one (of many) today that said, "Every woman is a super (role) model!"  What a cheeky little message that implies that not only am I not cute enough to be a super model, AND reminds you to be an upstanding woman.  Not just a greedy little glutton made of win.  If I were in charge of writing those asinine little sayings I would just put a tiny speaker inside that would scream bloody murder every time you unwrapped it.  Blam-o.  Got American obesity on lock.  Plus hilarious home video footage.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My To Do List

1.  Go for a run (hasn't happened since August... unless you count sprinting down Washington Boulevard because I underestimated how long it takes to walk to work)
2.  Lose twenty pounds.  The numerous blondies coated in ice cream, constant stream of wine and/or tequila, and shameful lack of green vegetables probably has something to do with it.
3.  Buy over-the-knee black boots.  Best replacement for pants I've seen yet.  This one has the best success rate of everything on this list, which is a problem in and of itself.
4.  Get rid of the mice living in our kitchen and basement.  I need a boyfriend so that I could just feign fear and then he'd heroically step up to the plate and murder these rodents for me and my three wonderful housemates.  However, since the dreamy boy I met on the Metro last week has yet to call me, I foresee a lot of neat and clean murdering in my future.
5.  Unpack my room.  Having roommates you want to hang out with all the time is a double edged sword.  My clothes are strewn about my enormous room in an appalling manner.
6.  Figure out how to order new contact lenses without having to pay for an expensive eye exam.  My last pair turned into my only pair and are currently enabling the typing of this titillating entry.
7.  Rally to Restore Sanity on Saturday.  So excited about this!
8.  Do some laundry.  I'm scared of the basement (see point 4) but my work shirts are starting to smell like feta cheese... and by "starting to smell" I mean, "have smelled".
9.  Buy food.  Edible things currently in my possession: jar of pb, box of cereal, bag of baby carrots, box of Constant Comment, quart of ice cream, and half a bottle of cheap wine.
10. Befriend the bartenders across the street.  For obvious reasons

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Arrested Development

isn't only a fantastic tv show.

My fellow early twenty-something's and I have it bad.  All I want to do is drink with my roommates and buy clothes to party in.  I have a bachelor's degree in classical music and no desire to pursue any sort of career other than waiting tables at a dive bar/deli.  

Actually, that's not true.  If someone were to walk up to me and say, "Hey there, little lady, any interest in an acting job?" I would be either totally pumped or incredibly nervous that this perv was going to cut me into bits and feed me to his pet iguana.

Being a real adult is hard.  Toilet paper no longer just magically appears under the sink cabinet... you have to like, go to Target and purchase it, then put it under the sink yourself.  It is not fun to buy things like toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent.  And seriously, it's a cosmic joke that you have to pay money to obtain paper to wipe your own butt with.  Some things in life should simply be free.. like TP and coffee.

In other news my roommates and I saw a peeper last night.  Hindsight being 20/20 we should have like... told someone... but no harm (except mentally), no foul (except it was).  Hope we don't run into Mr. Grabby again.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

it's a Grand Ol' Flag y'all

and it stoutly protects my right to eat a salad in my bed and watch House on hulu while wearing a t-shirt I received upon 5th grade graduation.  Because 5th graders should absolutely need a special ceremony when going from the 5th to the 6th grade, and 11 year olds and 22 year olds should absolutely be capable of wearing the same sized t-shirt.

I stress-ate about four pounds of fried food in Canada.  America how I've missed you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lord (USAToday had a weird headline about God polling....what is that...)

This blog blows, and Im really sorry.

Its really hard to say what you want to say when youre being charged like six dollars for fifteen minutes of internet and need to communicate with your mom about how much money you are being gauged by the american bank you cannot call and complain to.

As a result, you get dashed off gut reactions to places that probably didnt do much to deserve it.  Aix really did suck though.  I may go back and finesse... I am a writer that requires time, I like to select the right words... haha Im lying.  But I could stand to structure them more. 


Como is beautiful, but cloudy and a bit chilly.  I found out like three hours ago that Halladay pitched a no hitter and screamed and fist pumped and all that.... two days late...  Poor Julie had to listen to way more baseball babble than she cared to ever know, but now there are two people in the know in Lago di Como!  Wonder if they won last night? 

France tomorrow, and thus ending the outrageous consumption of gelato and pizza.  Fact: my pants are uncomfortably tight.  Luckily Im  moving out of my parents house next week and thus will no longer be able to afford food.

I want TexMex.  And a TV.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Teeth and Venice is Sinking

Europeans have crappy teeth.  Because they smoke, eat pastries, drink coffee, and do not have fluoride in their water, nor whitener in their tooth paste.

Venice is my own personal version of hell, even though its pretty for the first hour.  Aside from running around la Fenice, its pretty boring.  Theres nothing to do but dodge old ladies, stare at very expensive things made of brightly colored glass, and the birds.  OH THE BIRDS!  In hell, pidgeons will surround me and swoop low at my face, threatening to poop in my freshly and rarely washed tresses.  Little bitches.  (We spent the afternoon there yesterday, and it actually wasnt that bad, I had some badass gelato)

Were in Verona though, and Verona is gorgeous.  Its the Italian Bordeaux.  But coated in opera.  Maybe Ill move here.

Our last night in Firenze (see Im Italian now) we saw Traviata.  And it was AMAZING.  Just, such gorgeous singing.  And no offense, but man do I miss listening to real singers... not my friends learning to sing famous arias....  I emailed my voice teach about lessons.

Como today!!!! HIKING AGAIN!!!!  I miss clean clothes

Monday, October 4, 2010

Things I Forgot and Things that are New

Barcelona:  I had my picture taken for Mercè 2010 promotion.  Totally weird, but sorta cool.  When the guy asked me if he could take my picture (it was 4 am and I was sitting stubbornly on the street) I questioned him rapidly in English to ensure that he was not going to put it on a website that said Dumb Americans Ruin Festival in Catalòn.  After assuring me it was not, I proceded to sit in the street while he snapped 5 or 6 pictures.  It has just now occured to me that he could be lying... 

Cadaques:  I watched my first game of cricket.  That game is weird.  They dress up like tennis, but its like wussy baseball that actually requires the players to move...

Cinque Terre: Was PHENOMENAL.  One of the best parts of the trip, easily.  My pictures frustrate me because you cant grasp how effin pretty and steep everything was, my little camera was sweating bullets trying.  We hiked the best portions, got blocked out of a few, and met some middle aged Aussies.  Also ate the best pesto in the world and had gelato 14 times in about 30 hours.  There should be shame, but really theres nothing but pride. 

Feeeeeeeerenze:  I dig it!  The city is touristy, but its beautiful and smells like leather.  HOWEVER, the hostel, which is honestly not that bad has some bones to pick.  AND THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS.  We are sharing a room with 7 other asian girls.  And they are ALL pigs!!!  They go to bed at 22:00 and wake up at 6:00.  YES SIX IN THE GODDAMN MORNING.  And they are none too quiet about it, either.  Apparently, if they dont turn on all the lights, smash their belongings on the floor, and shriek in their native tongues they will die.  And they might, because Julie and I might kill them.  Lord knows they dont even do anything, just run to the nearest computer.  I went to bed at 3 because I was reading the first book I got my hands on in a month, but I was silent, and just had my little reading lamp on, and I was roused at 6.  Luckily, there is free breakfast here, and its ballin. 
However, bone numero due is that the one bathroom the 9 of us share has both a toilet and a shower in the same room.  And by shower I mean hose and a drain in the floor.  Which would be tolerable, but there is something wrong with the toilet.  It is FULL of something I did not know humans to be capable of, and smells ungodly. 
We are leaving a day early.  Bologna and Verona on Wednesday, and Venice and Verona on Thursday, followed by a couple days stalking George Clooney at Lago di Como, then back to France on Sunday. 

The best part is that Julie and I still like each other.  And just this morning were planning our next absurd vacation.

I am wearing my glasses and my hair in a knot on top of my head until 14:00 when I will take a siesta.  The outfit is in protest of bitches wakin me up early on vacation, but Julie thinks its in protest of her since I will be with her all day.  I beg to differ.  Also, post-siesta Im hopeful someone will have destroyed the thing in the bathroom and I can shower and return to non-ugly state.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh yeah...

So we were in Barcelona for Merce, which is Barcelonas birthday, which was awesome!  We went to the Picasso museum fo free!, hiked around Parc Guell (no umlaut key in Italy...!!!) and I fell in love with Gaudi, so we went to Sagrada Familia (his church-in-progress) and took some pictures.  Two super important things about Barcelona: I met my soul mate, his name is Sergi, he is 31 and Catalòn, and 2. I danced to Goldfrappe with a few thousand other people for free and it was amazing.  Barcelona is pretty sketchy though, so we were both paranoid about getting our stuff stolen (which it wasnt) and getting harassed (which we did).  Its so so dirty, people piss in the street all the time and everywhere, and its just like, raw and gross.  Also fun, and occasionally really beautiful, but a grey place.

Then we went to Cadaques, which is famous simply for being beautiful and Dali lived there for a bit.  We showed up and it was just... paradise haha.  We had to run, with our backpacks, to the bus station, and got there about two minutes after the bus should have left.  Luckily were in Europe so we got to sit on the bus for another ten before it lumbered out of the station.  Anyway, we had a beautiful room and tv (we watched Casino Royale in German, its still really good) and the most glorious shower!!!!  We just laid in bed and walked around this gorgeous blue and white place.  Its sort of weird and amazing, but pictures dont do that place justice.  The colors are so vibrant its like the camera cant handle it.

Post Cadaques we had another night in Barcelona.... it was not great... and then we rode three trains to get to Aix-en-Provence in France.  Julie and I were both really excited for Aix, but it totally sucked!  It was a teensy French town, just like we wanted, but it was booooooringggg.  Cezanne painted a little near there or something, but it was not easy to get to, well advertised, or particularly interesting.  The only thing to do in Aix was spend money in stores like Cartier and Hermes.  Which we obviously would and could not do.  Julie did buy a pair of brown suede boots, but she also got eaten alive by some sort of bug that we never found.  Homeboy didnt touch me, but she woke up with about 75 bug bites on just one arm.  The weirdest part about that was that we were sharing a bed....  The tv was lame too.  It was horrible.  Also, I finally caved and bought shoes (I wore sandals from Target for the past three full weeks) which I was breaking in in Aix.... horrible.  So we were angry for the entirity of that bit of our little adventure.

Five trains later and we were in Genoa, which we were expecting to hate, but didnt!!  The guy at the hotel thought I was Italian since I knew enough to straighten out the room and ask where we could eat and was overjoyed, but then I let one little oui slip and I was French!!!  Just as exciting!!!!  I protested quickly in English, but he liked me better as a European.  Julie started speaking in Spanish, and then we gave up and ran away to our room.  We ate pizza and fell asleep.  Woke up, bought some fruit, and got on a train to Cinque Terre.

Which is where we are now!!!!   AND WE LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!  Originally told that the path was closed to four of the five towns (yikes!!) but even the elderly are hiking it, so well tackle that tomorrow.  We have eaten pizza, pesto!!!!!! ravioli!!!!!!!!!!!!! (so so good), and two rounds of gelato already, and Im just so happy to be here!  Our hostel is really nice, and perched on a cliff like everything here, its actually insane how steep everything is!

Cinque Terre > Aix-en-Provence

I really really really miss tv.

Like, so much it hurts.  I wanna watch House and Cuddy, I wanna watch Lemon and the gang, I wanna see how Claire and Phil are failing, and I sorta even wanna watch Steve Carrels final run as Michael Scott.

I will miss four episodes of House, and three each of 30 Rock, Mod Fam, and the Office.

Also, really wanna check out Sisterwives, and the new show with Will Arnett courtesy of the geniuses of Arrested Development.

We tried to watch tv in Provence, because that is the most mind-numbingly boring place, and the best thing that entirely french television had to offer in two full days was an episode of Greys Anatomy.  Which is another show Im contemplating watching. 

I MISS TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also miss showering being a fun experience... currently Im at a pretty nice hostel in Cinque Terre, and they hand out a shower token every day... you get five minutes of hot water for each token, and if you want more than 5 mins you pay like half a euro for em.  I would never ever classify myself as a particularly classy or squeaky clean lady, but man do I love a good hot shower now.

I have a new found appreciation for smoking bans in America.  All of my clothing ALL of it smells like cigarettes.  I wash it (in the sink of the hotel were in) and it leaves, and then I enter the world and back it comes.  Ive actually grown used to it, which bums me out a bit.

I love Cinque Terre though, and I love Julie, and if I were to move to Europe (an idea that i like very very much) it would be great.  Because i would have a laptop to watch tv on.  and a shower. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stats!!!!! How could I forget!!!!!

So far:

Coolest church: Monastery in Belem.  Vasco da Gama's buried there!
Creepiest church: Sacre Coeur.  Amelie lied.
Creepiest tomb: Christopher Columbus... google it
Sketchiest place: Madrid at 3AM, or Gare du Nord Metro stop anytime.
Coolest palace:  Quinta in Sintra
Best view: Lisbon from the Sintra hills
Most badass tile:  Palace in Sevilla, those Moors were so cool even if they couldn't keep their lands together
Best hostel:  Travellers House in Lisbon
Worst hostel: wherever we stayed in Madrid, I honestly think it was just some guys' house
Best pastries: Pasteis in Belem, it's like french toast in a puff pastry cup and it's crunchy and gooey and amazing
Best art museum: Modern art museum in Belem
Most boring art museum: Louvre.  Thank god we got in for free.
Best place to wander: Three way tie: Alfama in Lisbon, Paris, Seville
Weirdest meal:  Lisbon; Huge essentially raw steak covered with a thick slice of ham, a fried egg, and coated in some salty sauce.  Served with french fries and white rice
Weirdest encounter at a restaurant: Same place that you can get that steak, I was conversing with a wasted old man in French (he was talking, I was nodding and saying "oui") and Julie had a peddlar come into the resaturant and try to sell her a wind up guinea pig that squeaks.
Most Proud Moment: Having Brits tell me my British accent was perfect, just a bit posh.
Actual Most Proud Moment: When we climbed onto some rock cliffs in Sintra for a view of the Pena palace.  It was reeeallyyyy high/windy/awesome
Best meal:  Pl. St. Pierre in Bordeaux; sauv blanc of glory, goat cheese salad, some sort of chicken deliciousness, profiteroles
Best meal on accident: Sevilla tapas tonight, we ended up with some amazing food!
Best snack: crepes duhhh Paris :)
Most adventurous thing I've eaten so far: seafood paella in the dark in Seville, and octopus salad in Lisbon
Worst food: Lisbon
Most beautiful park: Luxembourg in Paris

Thevilla, even though they don´t lithp here

Barthelona tomorrow!

I don´t really have a coherent plan for this entry... so let´s see how this goes!

Lagos last weekend... not much to report except that we were both so exhausted that we watched Spiderman and TLC (ten channels that only played four programs.  on repeat... haha) in our pensao (inbetween a hotel and a hostel) and carried pizza to our room because we were sick of doing stuff.  We laid on the beach on Sunday for about four hours and got appropriately crispy.  The Algarve coast is really, really beautiful; it's cliffy and coated in signs that say DANGER, but everyone picks their way down to the coarse sand beaches and swims in the gorgeous water.

Praia |Dona |Ana, Lagos, Portugal

Seville was only a five hour bus ride away (this time there weren't screaming children or adults shouting into their phones, so yay....) so we got here Monday evening, immediately met some timid American girls and cocky English guys in our hostel and went on a bar tour that night.  Insanely fun, we went drinking and dancing until 7AM.  

Something that really struck me though, was how much people wanted to debate American politics and values with me.  Even more surprising, I had no idea I was so patriotic until I was hotly defending our political system and those who voted for Sarah Palin to a Dutch guy.  This is coming from a person who actually wants to move to France (although Lisbon is currently in the running, and Seville would be fun/great too...) but the US is my home!  And while I haven't agreed with much that happened during.... The Bad Years... (the Reign of Cheney), I appreciate the fact that America chooses to vote for a dumbass to be head of a world super power.  He and I were both struggling to understand how I can say I hated Bush and dislike so many core beliefs of the polticial right, but at the same time defend their right to have insane mindsets.

It is disheartening/disgusting/hilarious the awful shit that pops up if you type "american woman" into Google images.

Another thing:  Americans seem to go one of two ways abroad; 1. super obnoxious, disrespectfully loud, and inappropriate, which honestly I've experienced to be in the over 50's crowd; or 2. super timid, deer in headlights, and overly apologetic.  These people seem to be fake-tellectuals in their 20s.  

Fake-tellectual: a person with very little sense of humor, educated at a just-missed-Ivy or actual Ivy league school, who believes that they are culturally relevant by reading books about places and seeing sights, but way too scared to actually experience the places and people that inhabit them.

Probably a douche, who does that kind of crap on purpose?!

Julie and I have no intention of calling ourselves "cultured" because we went to an art museum and an old church.  We meet the people we encounter and are just trying to have fun and be happy.  We met a couple of American girls that are in Sevilla to teach English, but they are scared to party late (despite the fact taht they have nothing to do the next day), whine about drinking (then don't!), and look down their noses at Julie and I because they went to Tufts.  Yes, your school is more acclaimed then JMU, but so what!  I guess having a good time makes you stupid, whereas sitting in your room by yourself because you're scared makes you smart.  Life is about experiences, baby!

We saw flamenco tonight for free and it was badass.  It's got such a fierceness to it!  I want to learn, but Julie thinks I'll suck hard.  It's just so cool to see a dance that's not about being pretty or graceful, it's about being alive and rhythmic.

The only reason I'm posting so much is because there is a guy snoring in our 10 person dorm room.  He is about 18 inches from my face and I'm not having it.  I'd get ear plugs, but we have to be up at 7 to eat and catch our train to Barcelona.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ten Facts About Right Now *in Lisbon*

10.  I look awful.... I have an eye infection and the world's biggest pimple at the same time!!
9.  I hiked a mountain in flat sandals from Target today.  It was like, 560 km UP.  STRAIGHT UP.  So badass
8.  This hostel (Travellers House) is nicer than my home in Arlington
7.  I think the Netherlands are stalking us, I have about six friends that hail from the land of blonde.
6.  Portugese is a weird language, it's like Spanish with a Russian accent with a couple of French words tossed in the mix.  Why did no one take them over (oh wait....) and make them learn a more valuable language?
6. b.  I am not French, but people seem to think saying "yes" and "thank you" and nodding and smiling qualifies so I let them rest easy.
5.  Alfama is the most confusing place in the world.  The only way we don't get lost once we get out the front door is because of the 1755 earth quake.
4.  The food here sucks, except for the pastries (pasteis??) which are heavenly.  Vinho verde is good, but it's just sweet white wine.
4. b.  (i know it doesn't work, but i don't care) I am adventurous with food in Europe.  I ate octopus salad today.  TWO separate bites!  It wasn't bad, just too bouncy for my poor teeth.
3.  I bought a sweater with dorky professor elbow patches today.  So glad I did too, I froze my ass off on the top of the Sintra hills, but man did my torso/arms/elbows stay cozy!  *totally worth it, wait until you see the pictures of us on these insane cliffs*
2.  Everything should always always always be tiled.  Even streets/sidewalks.
2. b.  It is really hard to walk when tipsy here... see above.
1.  I never want to leave here.  It's wonderful!

Friday, September 17, 2010

real(ly) madrid?!?!


it's unfair, but we hated madrid.  i wanted to give it a couple of days and see if Lisbon softened the blow, but in fact it did not.  Lisbon is wonderful, and the juxtaposition is only made more and more apparent.

madrid smells like pee, it's hot as hell (at least ten degrees hotter than France), we got lost so many times and every time we got lost people stared at us, and some guy called my face funny.

to be fair, i also met the most beautiful man in the entire world.... his name was Alejandro and he was Brazilian and he sucked on my shoulder and whispered things in my ear that made me laugh in embarassment.  My thing is, I don't want to have some guy drool all over my eyes *one of which is currently infected... in case you were wondering...* and tell me I look beautiful.  What ever happened to people befriending members of the opposite sex?  i already have a hubby plan, thanks, and it does not include someone who used to be a footballer/swimmer (which might be a mistake on my part).

we befriended some dutch people (we make friends with the Dutch where'er we go... maybe it's just that Arians can afford vacation time??) and Julie reeealllyy befriended some.. hahaha.  Basically we watched dogs fight over bones and then went to the Prado, which was surprisingly wonderful.  and we got stuck in the airport for four hours before flying to Lisboa.  pronounced like lish-boa.

portugese is the only bad thing about lisbon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

bordeaux or bust.... or inbetween...

which was not the city's fault, but our poor planning and naive trust in the european rail system.
a train (tgv is the most frequently running and fastest) from paris to bordeaux takes about three hours.  however, due to countless improbabilities against us, julie and i depart two hours later than planned on the slow ass train.  eta is 7:00 and we left at 1:30.  double dangit.  after spending the majority of those hours discovering how our rail passes actually work, we depart and tackle the ticket window attempting to get from bordeaux to madrid (an over night train for monday).  turns out irun is as close as the french can get us.  and it won't be a night train, it'll be in about 15 hours from that moment.  great.
we steal a tram ride and would have been fresh frust, but bordeaux is so beautiful!  it reminds me of rome with narrow windy streets.  despite our heavy backpacks and the fact that our hotel is weeeeeeeird (not like, slasher film, more like why-in-the-hell-is-there-a-mammouth-tin-circle-in-the-fireplace-oh-must-be-the-shower kind of way) we are determined to drink wine, eat food, and see frenchies.  went to place st. pierre and ate a badass dinner and drank the best bottle of sauvignon blanc... ever...?
some guy sends me a rose as i'm working through the business end of a plate of profiteroles and almonds and the waiter delivers a speech that i'm sure should be charming and hilarious, but my french vocabulary does not extend to woo-ing so i stare like a moron with ice cream all over my face.  the guy (his name shall be Hot Rose Sender from Bordeaux) waves and julie is dying and the rest of his party stares at me until we pay for our meal.
i wander over (because social constructs and my friend are bullies) and slur some french to the effect of "we're americans, and i don't speak french, but thanks!" and we peace out to drink wine at a church/movie theatre/bar.  should have stayed and made friends, but i was so embarassed that.. yeah
luckily,i deleted all my pictures from france and broke my purse... hahaha

but bordeaux was cool, even though we were there for 15 hours.

posted from madrid, written on the train to irun

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Paris is Boss because....

1.  asthetics, baby.  absolutely everything is beautiful and absolutely nothing needs to be functional.  women, men, streets, clothes, this keyboard-beautiful.  and yet i cannot find the shift key for the life of me.  who cares if streets go in circles, and women teeter cobblestone streets in towering heels at the end of their fat-free legs?  they look good.  and they know it.

2.  men wear purple unabashedly.
3.  being a student forever just means free/discounted things, not that you're simply too dumb to complete undergrad in three years.
4.  even commonplace words sound beautiful.  english can only boast of "cellar door" whereas even "car" (voiture) sounds ballin'.
5.  mayonnaise.  mayonnaise is not mayo, it is delicious-light, buttery, and divine.  bread has become a vehicle for it.
6.  it's socially encouraged to eat huge sandwiches where'er you go.  sandwiches of glory!
7.  no high fructose corn syrup.  means coke and nutella taste amazing.
8.  nutella
9.  crêpes.
10.  tiny portions means you can taste everything, you don't need to confine your buds.  and even though wine glasses are smaller, they pack more punch.  i got tipsy off of 1 teensy restaurant recommended bordeaux red.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Paris, Bordeaux, Madrid, Lisbon, Lagos, Sevilla, Barcelona, Cadaques, Aix-en-Provence, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, Verona, Lake Como, Chambery, Paris.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Packing Dilemmas

I pack late.  I wait til the last possible second and throw every possible combination of outfits into my bag, jump on it a few times to mash everything down, and run off.  This has resulted in 22 years of over-packing and extremely wrinkled Anthropologie dresses.

NO MORE I SAY!  I shall pack in advance.  I leave for the airport Wednesday around 2:00.  This gives me 37 hours.  I'll be at work for like twelve of them so 25 hours.  Plus I really do need to sleep tonight and tomorrow night so let's say 7 hours.  And well, showering and eating and things makes it more like 5.  Okay, 4.

All I really need is my camera and my journal and some face wash.  I'm so nervous I'll look like a dorky American.  And with that backpack on... well, I'm definitely gonna look like a dweeb.  Je wanna be hip, garcon.  I'm already twice the width of the French and twice the height of the Spanish.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Calamity Jane in the Kitchen

I am a notoriously awful cook.  I am an even worse baker.  There's a particularly grisly story involving brownies from a box that ended up gritty and rock hard for an ACDA meeting...  Today I hit an all-time cooking wipeout though, when while sitting on my bed watching Flight of the Conchords it suddenly hit me that I had been boiling water for the last twenty minutes.  I leapt off the bed, raced upstairs and thankfully nothing was aflame.  Can't even boil water.  Probably not going to add that to the ol' resume.

I don't understand how I'm so horrible at cooking.  I remember helping my mom cook and bake when I was little, and she's a wonderful cook.  My brother is even better, and no one seems to have taught him.  Even my dad can throw together a decent tasting meal, and he will literally eat anything.  

Doesn't that look awesome?!  Shan, I want this for my birthday, please.  We both know I'll never be able to create this myself.  Sorry you'll have to find strawberries in December...

Currently Reading: The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
Number of Days til Europe: 9
Number of Bikes Ridden: 0
Number of Blondies Consumed (this week): 4

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The last time we went backpacking it was in the woods.  That was physically intense.  This trip will probably just be mentally exhausting.  Also maybe physically, but at least we won't be climbing uphill for twelve miles with unfairly distributed camping supplies on our backs.

I bought a journal for our trip.  I've always wanted to own a heavenly smelling leather journal.  Now I dooooo!  It has an owl stamped on the front of it, which is cute and does not remind me of how creepy real-life birds are.

Once I worked as a park ranger.  That job wasn't great because the stuff was heavy and I am not strong or large, plus I had to do things like plant trees (not fun for six hour stretches) and rip down vines and pull up weeds.  I got to hike some, which was fun, but it was weird to be completely alone in the woods.  It wasn't even really peaceful, I was a little paranoid something was going to sneak up on me in the vast quiet space.  Anyway, it's related because one of the many jobs I was hired to complete but would NEVER do was feed the owls.  Yup.  The first day I learned that, I looked straight at my boss (his name is Travis and he is so so nice.  I was actually hired to sit and talk to him all day.) and laughed and told him there was no way in hell I was going to grab up dead mice in my bare hands and walk into a pen full of birds and set their dinner down.  Especially not after watching them fly at his own head.  That job actually asked me back the following summer.  I must have been awfully fun to talk to, which seems unlikely.

We also like to sing.  Or did.  We haven't sung together in a while.  I'm not bringing the ol' iPod to Europe.  I'm pretty sure I'd fuck it up, or maybe someone would actually steal my crappy old iPod.  I would still be mad though, crappy and old is better than brand new at my own expense.  I still hope we sing together though.  Julie was never one to judge that kind of stuff.

The summer before college we went to New Jersey with our friend Bee.  We went to this theme park on the boardwalk and there was a Haunted House ride that we decided to go on.  Once in the dark house (designed for three year olds) we decided to get panicky and scared and proceeded to clutch each other and scream, actually, truly scream, the Wells Fargo Wagon song from The Music Man with our eyes resolutely shut.  We could even hear the employees howling with laughter but we did not care.  Bee took a picture of us coming out of the ride because the people of the boardwalk could hear our terrified singing/shrieking.  I wish I could find it and scan it, it's hilarious.

We don't fight.  Like, ever.  I think once we got frustrated in New York and argued a tiny bit, but even then it's fuzzy.  I hope we don't start fighting in Europe, but it doesn't really seem like either of our personalities.  We've talked about how there will just be some days when we're not talkative.  There should be enough cool shit to look at and experience that it's not really an issue.  

Actually, at a Nats game in July she was quite frustrated that I said she had brown eyes when in fact she has hazel.  Troublemaker.

I'm not obsessed with Julie, but she's one of my only close friends from high school that I see and want to see on a regular basis.  She's teaching me to ride a bike tomorrow afternoon, but I'm not sure how that's going to go.  I feel like at age 22 there isn't much instruction involved in activities such as bike riding.  I really just need to sit on the damn thing and fall off it enough times that I figure out the balance and can get moving.  Trial and error learning at its finest.  I probably should be more embarrassed that I can't ride a bike, but I'm really not.  I just have to learn.  I bought a purple one.  I want to understand how gears work, they seem fascinating.  It's hard to be embarrassed around someone that has stood "guard" while you pooped in the woods.  And vice versa.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And the Universe replied...

Dear Ashley,

We, the Universe, are sorry to hear that you are impatient but you're going to have to suck it up on some of those grounds.  Firstly, we gave you a trip to Europe, so... you'll just have to wait for that one.  It's only 15 days away though, so we feel you can comfortably deal.  Also you have not yet learned enough French, so you're welcome on that account.  We can, however, throw you a couple bones.  Firstly, here's a cute house for you in Ballston for a flat-out steal.  We know how much you love weird old things and the Metro.  Secondly, we've given you a decent brain so you'll figure out what you want to do.  You're just frustrated that you're a waitress, but law school and audition time will come soon enough.  You're welcome there too.  We hope we've mollified you enough to limit the number of frustrated outbursts, and we hope you remember all the great things you do have in your life and how often you have fun.

Much love from,
The Universe

Friday, August 20, 2010

patience isn't one of my virtues

My whole life is about waiting.    Waiting to accrue enough money to move out of my parents house, waiting to go on the trip of a lifetime (19 daysssss), waiting to find a person to be with who's not a total waste of time, waiting to figure out what I want to do with my life because I don't want to wait tables.

I don't have answers and I don't have means.  It's not ideal.

What I do have is energy and time.  I'm willing to give them both up in the pursuit of being whole and happy and leapy.  Complacency breeds lethargy of the mind and I hate it!!

SO CAN GREAT THINGS PLEASE HURRY UP AND HAPPEN!?!?!?  (I don't use caps lock a lot because it's pretty intense, but this is a wail to the laws of nature so I think it's okay)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I should probably be a lawyer

Went to Open Mic Poetry on Monday with a couple friends.  I signed up fully anticipating to giggle like the little jackass I am at others' too-public-to-be-real and saccharine emotions.  What ended up happening was way cooler (and more deserving of my $3).  My mind was blown by a 32 year-old, single dad covered in tattoos and an obese woman with pigtails that I believed to be homeless and insane until she opened her mouth.  There was a surprising number of people willing to get up and recite original works, and nothing was awful.  One guy did wax on about "horniness" for a good three minutes, but the whole audience was laughing out loud, and even he was grinning at his own stupidity.  However, the two poets mentioned above were amazing.

The guy was the MC of the event (Derrick Weston Brown), and his opening poem wiped the Arlington wise ass smile off my face.  He recited from memory and his imagery was both beautiful and simple.  He spoke slowly, so we'd understand, but with his eyes closed.  It was the most honest I think someone can be expected to be under such circumstances.  He wasn't doing it for show, he was just a poet.  It was so cool to watch an artist like that work.  This guy has an MFA in Creative Writing.

The woman was even better.  Her name is It's Real Light and she sings her poetry.  She grabbed my heart and hung onto it after singing the first couple of lines and then realizing the key she picked was too high.  Rather than get flustered, she stopped, grinned, and said, "Man, I gotta pick a lower key!  I'm startin' over!!!" and promptly did just that.  Her presence was wonderful, she didn't use the mic and bounded cheerfully into the audience to sing for specific people.  Generally that shit is scary as hell, but she wasn't aggressive and pulled it off so gracefully.  She's such a joyful performer, and her subject matter was life, but infused with the humor, sadness, and joy that life really is.  Plus her voice was badass without being trained and prim.  And she looks like a nut job.  Seriously insane- tiny brightly colored t-shirt with tiny jeans, braids pulled into giant pigtails over her ears.  And she made me tear up!

I love what you can experience if you let people surprise you!!  I'm starting to believe that not having expectations and letting life happen to you is the most fun and most rewarding thing you can do for yourself.

Tonight I waited on a couple of dudes who essentially irritated me the whole night.  I wasn't making great money, it was rainy, I had gotten lost in the suburbs earlier, and they made strange requests and spoke with a drawl (when will I learn not to judge that...seriously....).  At one point they grabbed me and asked me what I would do if someone just handed me $3 million with no strings attached.  I was about to say something sassy and walk away, but then I actually considered the question.  Free money is a pretty fun game for someone who has precious little.  One guy was eager for me not to "do something boring with it" and the other was pushing for me to do just the opposite.  I thought for about 4 seconds and told them I'd pack a suitcase with clothes I love to wear and then go to the airport and buy the first ticket to a place I'd like to check out.  Once I had had my fill of that place, I'd go to the airport and continue with that game until I ran out of money.  I didn't mention that I would buy my parents something extravagant, and definitely just dive right into that dress I've been eyeing at Anthropologie.  They both laughed and while the first guy agreed and was delighted I would be so foolish with free money, the other guy was appalled and tried to sway me into saving it.  No way, dude.  They ended up tipping me almost 50%.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How I Learned to Dive

Spent the last week in the tropical paradise of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Now, some prudent readers might think to themselves "What in the hell is the whitest girl alive doing so close to the Equator? Especially one who is petrified of both birds and fish?" Turns out I love free things more than I'm scared of birds and fish (the former poops in the sky, and the latter is slimy. both are insanely foul smelling.) and a vacation is lovely even if you find yourself with the people you occasionally need a vacation from.

***Here I should just mention that my family is great and I love them so so much***

The resort was nice enough, but the beach was AMAZING. White sand with huts built from palm fronds, not to mention the trees themselves.

The airport had a thatched roof (what!?) and when you entered the country you had to give the man $10 (....) as well as get your picture taken with Chiquita Banana. They then try to sell you the picture of yourself looking bewildered and dragging a suitcase behind a woman with wax fruit on her head. Also, bought some art for $40. The guy's original offer was $123. I feel like even at $40 I probably still got ripped off. The artist himself was passed out face down in the sand while chickens stepped gingerly over his body and nibbled sand around his feet.

Aside from being stupid beautiful and treacherously hot, Punta Cana gave me something beyond amazing: my scuba diving license (PADI what what!). We went for our first dive on Thursday and I fell in love, in spite of some mild food poisoning, the fact that I could not carry my own equipment, and that the fifty-year old, sinewy dive instructor wore a tiny black Speedo 100% of the time he was on land.

Howev, I would marry Frank if he would have me. After the first dive (7 meters), I was doneskies. THE OCEAN IS SO COOL!! The second dive (12 meters) was the following day (after watching Frank get stung by a sting ray the size of a saucer) and I was in heaven. We dove around a 1950's shipwreck and Frank grabbed my hand and pulled my inside the ship and enormous schools of silvery, iridescent fish swam inches from my face. Breathtaking. Bro-ski and I are meeting up with Frank in Florida in December and getting Open Water certified. I wanna see sharks and whales, Frank says he'd take me even if I wasn't. That's true love.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm a heathen and I like it

This blog is mine, and is not written with the express purpose of offending, but some thoughts, feelings, and things are just wrong. Yup, wrong. Wrong and misguided. This entry is about marriage equality. If you disagree, don't read this.

I am extremely blue-blooded. I am over the moon about Judge Walker's decision on Prop 8. Seriously, over the moon. I read the Huffington Post's article about it and was invigorated by my political leanings despite Walker's Republican nature, believing that good had triumphed evil even in the face of political adversity. Naturally, I turned to the NY Times, my Safari home page and trusted liberal newspaper, to see what they had to say. There, reality crushed me to its breast as I remembered that our Supreme Court is currently run by a Conservative tyrant. This is a classic Harry vs. Voldemort sitch, naturally the gays and liberals are Dumbledore's Army, and Roberts is Voldemort. DA is still wading through Death Eaters, but Voldemort knows we're coming. Spoiler alert: Voldy doesn't win.

Classifying a fellow human being as a second-rate citizen is wrong. Not to mention disgusting and ignorant. Furthermore, if others choose to marry, it literally does not affect you. So shut up.

The beautiful and terrifying thing about ideas is that they can really grab hold of you and refuse to let up. People can't filter what can be physically and/or emotionally damaging when it comes to their convictions.

Clarification: I do not believe in God. I will protest if Roe v. Wade gets overturned. I think guns are terrifying. I like taxes. I like marriage equality.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shark Week Part One

Every time I hear the phrase "Shark Week" I do two things: 1. Get super excited. Toothy predators, what's not to like?!, and 2. Laugh out loud thinking about the "sharking" references on 30 Rock. While I could not be more excited that television is being inundated with prehistoric animals ravaging seals, I figure my shark week starts next week when I go scuba diving in Punta Cana. So rip up that seal, hopefully, I'll get to see one swim past me next week. Preferably from a safe distance, when its belly is full, aand I'm not suffering an injury, nor far from the boat.

Saw the Phillies get spanked by the Nats (and ohhh, did it hurt) from three rows behind the dugout. Cholly could hear me screaming my opinion on Oswalt (that he's crap) and I saw Chase in real-life size. I can't believe I forgot to charge my camera battery. My co-worker was so kind as to call me after Blanton get his butt handed to him on the second night of the series and gloat via voice mail.

RedTapeUpdate: After many an eye roll, I secured my temporary license, and the permanent one is at the mercy of the United States Postal Service. I am pretty excited to see the picture because I wore my best librarian shirt and had an awful hair day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bureaucracy: 3, Ash: Frustrated/Things that are neat

Can't go to the DMV today, need my birth certificate, which is locked up in the bank, and my mommy has to go get it because I'm not on the account. Already tried to sweet talk the bank employee into letting me nick it and almost had him, but his boss came in and ruined my hard work. It didn't seem to matter that it is lawfully my property, and I had the key and the password. Red tape is so cute.

So to recap: I have no license, I am not allowed to get a new one until my mother gets off of work. Did I grow up at all?

How is obtaining a birth certificate, a passport, a social security card, and a utilities bill in my name the same as punching in an arbitrary number into cyber space? Riddle me that, crap state of Virginia.

At least my hair looks good. Too bad no one will see it. Also too bad Ma and Pa cancelled the movie channels, because the library is closed today. I think the universe wants me to sit in a chair and stare until it's dark enough to go to bed.

Number of Minutes Spent Crying in the Mini Van in Overly Dramatic Frustration: 4

This is a divided post because I am pissed about the license debacle, but had intended more positive things. So I'm doing both.


1. Improving my vocabulary. I wanna find word-of-the-day TP. I suppose I could also just buy and ruin an SAT prep book.
2. My high-waisted shorts. They're cool and twilly.
3. Walking places. I picked up some groceries and flowers yesterday and carried them home while listening to the Best of Beverly Sills. Was also fun to watch other people jolt when she got to high notes.
4. My new desk. It's an old sewing machine table with a butcher block on it. My dad bought it for me for $12 at a yard sale, my grandpa sanded it down, and I refinished it. It's beauuuuuutiful.
5. Wearing fancy flats. Heels make it hard for you to make a quick getaway, plus they're stupid. Flat shoes with a spike on them.
6. Kids who behave properly in restaurants. Its a rare but beautiful thing.
6.a. The fact that I frequently screw up in the grammar department when it comes to kids and refer to 'em as "that" instead of "who". Also I will never understand "whom," but it sounds nice and fancy.
7. Still obsessed with Kate, even in her crappy movies she's wonderful.
8. Watching my co-workers yell at each other. It's sort of scary because they're very hyper and far too old to be threatening with fists. Howev, it's pretty great to watch a tiny 60 year old Asian man with jet black hair leap into a 30 year old woman's face shrieking about how he could kick her ass. I'm not sure who'd win. She has tats which means she's either tough or super emotional.

Back to staring at the wall.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Emma
Listening to: of Montreal "How Lester Lost This Wife"
Number of Hours Spent Re-Learning French: 0

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bureaucracy: 2, Ash: 0

Let's talk about the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Aside from being just about the most dreaded place on the planet, it can also be hailed as inefficient, nonsensical, and moronic with its little "codes" and "privacy acts". If a person happens to lose things, WHY are you hellbent on trying to make them wish to move to another state? It's likely they had considered the gleaming possibility of relocation after realizing the rest of the state is finesies with a racist psycho for a governor, now you're just shoving them over the edge. Being forgetful or having your license stolen sucks enough as it is, why would you annoy such a victim with procedures set in place because you can't crack down on fake IDs for tweens who want to suck down Natty in their parents basement? They're tweens! Just wave Twilight posters and skateboards in front of their faces and lock them in a cage until they're of age to do fun things!!

My grievance is this: if you're going to punish me by making me wait 15 days for a new license because you don't trust your employees to print it out properly, why would you force me to sit in the DMV line for a whole day? Why can't I just re-order my license online? "Oh but you can!! If you just use the number written on your license, you can re-order in 3:20!!!" ....I lost it, you fucking moron. How and why would I have that number readily available? As an American you force me to remember all sorts of codes that "secure my identity", why would I have ever bother to memorize a lengthy number on the front of my driver's license that is only good for procuring another? And besides, couldn't I just use my social SECURITY number? You know, the only reason to apply to college is to memorize that bad boy. "Uhm.... it's not secure, Miss B----".

Right. It's only got security in the name, and neither of us are buying that line. Also, I'm making you nervous because I'm smarter than you.

Tomorrow's day off will not be spent laying in a hammock reading guide books about Portugal. It will be spent at the DMV. Let's hope I don't get pulled over; evidently, answering four full minutes of questions pertaining to my identity does not a legal driver make.

Also, yesterday I was pulled over by a cop needing to check the car seats in the mini-van I was driving. Evidently, the people who's children I take care of will have to set up an appointment to learn about car seats (the kids are 6, 11, and 14), one of them wasn't up to code by the officer who pulled it out of the car and shook it around. This is what Arlington cops do. Which surprised me since I figured their time was generally spent on the prowl for teens hot-boxing cars.

New Reasons to Move to France: 6
Number of Miles Run This Morning: 3
Number of Games out of First: 3.5
Days 'til I Get Skin Cancer: 11

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In the Land of Plenty there is no mayo on sandwiches

Good time family fun in the city that boasts of puking on non-Phillies fans heads. Brother bear got in around 2AM Saturday so he missed the boys rallying to stomp some faces and Halladay pulling his weight. He also missed what my father affectionately calls EatFest (feet of hoagies and cheesesteaks, and pounds of pizza, candy, and beer) but was saved some choice bits that he made short work of later. Highlights of the weekend below.

Missing Totem:
We faithfully bunk at a seedy Holiday Inn off Broad Street and have every year since before I was born. It's too late to stop the judging and quite frankly my Arlington, yuppified family scorns the place, but it has one glorious thing working in it's favor: location. It is literally across the street from Citizens Bank Park; enabling the blissfully intoxicated to stumble home at little risk to their person. As far back as I can remember there has been a bloated Oompa-Loompa in a Speedo guarding the hotel pool like a terrifying and craggy mascot, my family calls him Guido. He hasn't shown up yet this year, but he was getting on in age. If you can hear me from above, buddy, I hope you went quickly, painlessly, and eating a cheesesteak. As was your way. Homeboy probably just had a pool pass and didn't even bother with the games.

Trojan Men:
Friday night was "Italian Night" at the ballpark. Racism comes in every color, my friends. Some Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra (how it can be an orchestra with only two instruments was beyond me) played the National Anthem....and got some crucial notes wrong... and the music in between innings was schmaltzy restaurant/elevator music. Not to mention questions on the Jumbo-tron pertaining to the ethnicities of a number of players. The best part was four men forced to wear Trojan costumes and dance the YMCA. Weak effort, no pizza, and laughably ignorant. Well done.

Jimmy Rollins can cook AND wake up early:
I went for a run Saturday morning (it was like 80 and the sun wasn't even up) and ran into Jimmy Rollins (SS, 11) around 6:30 going into the stadium. Naturally I had to speak to him even though I was in the midst of my workout so I screeched "EVERYBODY HITS, ONE ONE!" (my dad is full of old-timey baseball phrases. see below) as I trotted past. He laughed and asked if I was at the game last night, I hollered congratulations and kept going around the stadium. If it had been Utley I would have stopped to desperately flirt despite the sweat pouring down my body.

Rolen the Terrible:
My dad is a cool guy. He's hilarious, smart, and personable. He has two soapboxes: his unbridled affection for the Estate Tax, and his deep-seated hatred for Scott Rolen. Rolen, for those who don't follow Philly Nation, was a former Philly who whined his way off the team when they weren't great, and Dad has never forgiven him. He loved to go to Cardinal/Blue Jay/Reds games and scream things like "HEY ROLEN, YOU'RE A BUM!!" and other mild language insults that my brother and I were taught from an early age. When it was reported that Alberto Pujols' son, aged 6 or something, asked Rolen "What are you doing here?!" in the All-Star locker room, my dad bragged about the kid like he was his own son.

Unfortunately for Dad, the Reds weren't in town, the Rockies were, but the Phillies stomped faces both Friday and Saturday so everyone was happy.

We saw Inception at the Roxy, which, to quote my aunt, "is like watching a movie in a boxcar". Tickets are only $8 to sit in a very uncomfortable chair. They also only take cash. What a world.

Heat Index in Philadelphia: 103 F
Number of times I've seen Inception: 2
Number of cheesesteaks consumed: 3
Number of games out of first: 6

Friday, July 23, 2010

Christmas in July

I have a roundtrip flight to Paris, departing on September 8th and returning October 13th. I will bring with me few clothing items, loads of maps, and a fellow pasty girl (the one with the red scarf). France, Spain, Italy and Portugal for five weeks. This blog just got a whole lot more interesting.

In other news, I'm going to Philadelphia tomorrow with my brother and parents. We will drink beer, eat hoagies, and enjoy our favorite pastime of jeering at the Phillies. My dad always explains like this, if you go to a great restaurant and your meal sucks, you have a right to complain. It doesn't mean you don't still love the restaurant, it just means you won't tolerate a crappy dinner, especially if you know the restaurant has prepared unbelievable meals for others.

Currently reading: Brideshead Revisited
Currently singing at work: Robert Schumann's "Meine Rose"
Most recent purchase (other than a plane ticket): wool hat and a straw fedora. I do, in fact, realize that it's July.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I read too much Jane Austen

A disappointing truth: Pride and Prejudice is not only my favorite book, but also my favorite drawn out tv mini-series (and that's a toughy, BBC rules) and I am not a heroine (yet). Letdown central, as I have all the makings to be a great one. I'm a Lizzy, never a Lydia, close to an Emma, definitely not a Elinor.

Heroine requirements that I currently meet:
1. Sass. Acerbic wit is probably closer to the truth, but I do have a pretty spot on sense of humor. Life is funny, it deserves to be laughed at more often than not.
2. Overly active imagination + overly emotional responses. Drama at it's finest, I'd get scorned pretty good and fall in love nicely after.
3. Not butt ugly. Heroines can't be busted, otherwise they'd be relegated to best friend with glasses.
3b. Not stupid. Which is nice.

1. Grace. I am a clumsy fool.
2. Dance skills. Apparently that's the only place you can meet men like Darcy or Knightly, so I'm a bit screwed there.
3. Waistline. Drinking my face off in college didn't do me any favors.
4. Mess of sisters. Even Emma had a sister. Fanny did, but she was sent away. I would have sent her away too, she was wretchedly boring and Edmund was a turd. And a blood relative. Anyway, Mom and Dad failed me with only one younger brother. I did use to dress him up as a girl though, so maybe all isn't lost.

The great appeal of being a heroine is that they don't have to change anything important about themselves. They find true love and only have to modify the parts of their personalities that were irksome, if at all. The love between the hero and the heroine is big potatoes, enhancing what is good and mollifying demons. Every girl deserves to be her own heroine in her love story. I need a bit more guts and a little less caution.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

it's like Oprah, but you don't get presents.... Things iLike

Katharine Hepburn. I think she's a genius, gorgeous, and why the hell would anyone bother with Audrey? Homegirl is feebleminded, borderline talentless, and definitely not more beautiful than Kate. A is a simpering idiot, Kate has guts. I will watch literally any movie (shout out to public libraries across the nation) she has been in, including her version of Little Women which is as dreadful and preachy as the novel itself. The best so far: Woman of the Year and The Philadelphia Story. The 1940's are back, her outfits are trendy as hell right now. Also she's just a bear of an actress. I want to be her.

House MD. This guy. Not even disappointed with him dating his boss. Love this show. Also fancy myself a bit of a medical expert after this and my previous Grey's Anatomy frenzy. Hugh Laurie sorta looks like my dad.

Running. I don't like the act so much as the endorphins and the trust I can place in losing those always-out-of-reach 10 lbs that need to be banished. I go to the gym in the mid-morning so it's just me and senior citizens. And sometimes my ex-boyfriends, but that's not ideal.

Strawberries. On ice cream. Also ice cream.

SPF 50. My family is going to the Dominican Republic in August, which is a nightmare for Pasty McGee. I will get certified in scuba though, which will be cool. I hope I see a shark.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Heart Art

Saw Yo Yo Ma perform with the NSO tonight. My family came with and they were less than thrilled, which really bummed me out. I have all sorts of lofty ideas that art is for the people and transcends non-musical knowledge and whatever. Turns out I am a little wrong, but it also turns out that my family will shell out $50 a ticket and not read program notes so they can consume Twizzlers. I'm not sure that's art's fault.

Anyway, we've listened to electronic music in a number of my classes (Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima is NOT for the faint of heart. or anyone who is not hard of hearing.) and I've found it interesting, but not... linked? I guess, to classical music. The piece tonight, Golijov's Azul so was. It was brilliant. It was rooted in something I understand and then took leaps away from what I know. It was brilliant.

They also played Ravel and I LOVE Ravel. He's delicate, beautiful, and doesn't take himself too seriously. It's not superior. There's an awesome quote from Suzuki, I think, that says "Art is not in some far off place". Ravel got that.

I made a pact with my brain not to sing this summer, but I can't keep up my end of the bargain. I was so inspired tonight, not only to listen to more Ravel, but I have to sing some of his stuff because listening isn't enough. What a good night

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There's no "I" in "Team", but there are two In "Idiot"

Today was a blissful day! Today was an afternoon off! I spent it in the sweltering heat of Nationals Ballpark eagerly watching Stephen Strasburg (from here on out called, Not-Cliff-Lee, or NCL for short) fire 98 mi/hr fastballs only a mere foot away from other dudes faces. We were a bit late, my friend got off work late, etc, so we showed up at the bottom of the 3rd. This is National baseball, ladies and gentlemen, not Philly Nation, so timeliness is definitely not of the essence.

Luckily, we didn't miss the best thing about the game; because, my vast audience, NCL was not the main attraction today. Nope, not the Boy Wonder's time to shine in this woman's eyes. Not even the obese woman shrieking six inches from my ears wins the award. (Although my favorite comment from her was the deafening roar of "CAAAATCH THEEEEE THIIIIIIIIING!!!!" to an outfielder who was hit an easy pop-up that even a National couldn't miss.) No, it was better!

A professional athlete, a member of the MLB, a Washington National, hit cleanly into the outfield and promptly fell down. Running from first to second base. He just... wiped out. Even though we haven't been hitting so well, none of my boys tripped rounding first.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ex-Patriots, Profiteroles, and Dating Improprieties

Only related in that they are happening to me.

I've decided to marry a European. This isn't a new development, probably started about six years ago, but it gets more and more decided the older I get. The World Cup is the new propeller of this idea as soccer players are hot and more numerous overseas. American football, while made a beautiful feat of athleticism and masculinity by the Philadelphia Eagles, yields uglier dudes (Sorry, Donovan). Anyway, the brilliant idea supplied by my good friend Celia, was to apply for European citizenship. Cuz we don't need no mans. Or rather, she don't need no mans, because I do. However, two passports are better than one, so we're going to give it a shot. Horror stories of red tape coming soon.

I've taken up gymming again. Mostly because I've taken up profiteroles again. Homemade and seriously worth being the width of a small car for a couple of those suckers. However, three batches have appeared in the kitchen this week alone, so damage control must be done. Plus realistically I need to get a bit more fit so those fat-free footballers will notice me. My gym buddy is the lovely Celia, who was born with a terrible affliction that makes her skinny no matter what she eats. There is an old lady that comes to the gym as well and she scoots around the track with her walker. I must beg the question, "What is the point?" and where's the fun in getting old if you're not allowed to sit around, watch TV, and eat crap all day? but I do admire her commitment to fitness.

I accidentally agreed to go out on a date with someone three and a half years my junior. Accidentally because a) I didn't know his age, b) He doesn't look any younger than myself, c) He's nice and very cute, just a fetussssss! At my tender age of 22, that seems, uh, icky. Doesn't he know that you never ask a person out face-to-face!? That way the ask outee has time to decide if they really want to hang out with you and can make up an excuse to decline if the answer is "Not even worth a free meal"!!! Plus it seems ludicrous to willingly go out on a first date when ordering alcohol would just be considered rude. Which is a travesty in and of itself.

At least it's a change from my boss telling me I should go to pole dancing classes. He even offered to put a pole in the store for me to practice on.

I'm totally cute, guys. Tell all your European, soccer-playing friends.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Megalopolis, Ho!

The past couple of weeks have been marked by Capital Pride in DC. Generally, I don't take notice of society, but I happened to be riding the Metro reasonably early Saturday morning and I overheard a couple of women talking about the events they were going to that day. Then the conversation took a rather dour turn. One woman was saying that on their bus trip up from Fredericksburg, the driver noticed her and her partner holding hands and threatened to kick them off the bus. When the woman contacted his supervisor to complain of the disrespectful and blatantly unequal treatment, the supervisor's only comment was, "Well, maybe y'all made him uncomfortable". The woman responded, "Maybe he made ME uncomfortable".

I got off the Metro and cried in the bathroom before work. People have black hearts sometimes and it makes me sick.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reasons to Delete Your Facebook

Now that I've grown up and have no time, three jobs, and embarrassingly low income, I can only check facebook once, maximum twice, a day. However, my heart hasn't really been in it. I no longer care if someone I once had one class with had a rough day at the summer camp they're counseling. Plus I feel there's been more and more over-sharing and it completely freaks me out. Today was particularly horrific, pictures I was cringing at, one kid updating his status a million times to give us play-by-play action of the Tony Awards (if I wanted to know I would have watched, dude), and two friend requests from complete strangers. Thus, my inaugural blog (inaugblog. I like it!) will be reasons I should get rid of the damn thing. Fear not, general populous, it won't come to fruition.

1. The highly inappropriate friend requests. Always from men far too old (and generally geographically impractical) to date and tweens too young to properly type their status updates and therefore must rely on numbers and symbols to do the trick. How did you even find me?
2. The painful life updates . Examples might be: awkward relationships. Maybe they post pictures. Maybe the rest of us look because our curiosity is simply too great and end up crying out in horror and feeling sick. Maybe.
3. Friends who invite you to everything/things you don't want to go. Then I'm dragged into making up a story of why I can't go, flirting with the balance between the absurd (because it's fun) and the believable (because I seriously don't want to go). I probably have something better to do. Plus who does wedding invites on facebook. Tacky. Texting's the only way to show you care.
4. Farmville.
5. Friends who update their status(es?) too much. Get a Twitter for the love of Thor.
6. Parent factor. My dad is pretty hip, he's got his own account and even periodically coerces my brother into uploading pictures to it from his cellphone. But one day he's going to figure out how to look at 1,100+ pictures of his baby girl getting sloppy drunk in bars and kissing random strangers for a scavenger hunt. Lord, help him. His own fault for friending me and my fault for not caring to figure out how to limit privileges.

I should probably be more generous. I communicate with extended family members a lot more on facebook than I do in person. Too bad they're all able to view the same pictures as my father.