Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014, I loved you

Last blog post of 2014 - I finally broke down and joined real online dating. Ew, it's hard!

I can hear the fireworks already. Let's not rush this people!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas - before I forget

This year I didn't get to go up until the morning of. When I got there the Mujahids were also there, but not my brother. MWF cooks macaroni and cheese now. My mom was there because her oldest sister was with my grandparents, who can't be alone because of Nana's stroke. The biggest surprise was that my dad got us all earrings from Helzberg Diamonds which fit our personality. I think I liked my mom's the best. So gold. So shiny. Mine have some kind of clear jewel which I know is not a diamond and are silver. MBF's are kind of elvish design. So we all wore them.  I pulled out the dress PP gave me in PR, which is hideous. I think she hates me without knowing me or she has horrible taste. There were puffed sleeves and a bubble hem, which is atrocious on a 5'4" person. I used the seam ripper to get ride of the puffed sleeves, and then I cut off the bubble hem, but I didn't have time to hem it. Mom and YM told me to burn it. Christmas was at my grandparents house since they can't leave the house and we all contended with Sheba who is a 200 pound mastiff who is very sweet but knows that she's 200 pounds and isn't afraid to throw her bulk around. So many desserts.

Next day I went to get oil and filters with the Mujahids. Then my dad did my oil change while I stood around and watched, held the occasional funnel. At night, the sisters and my aunt and cousin went to see the Hobbit 3. MWF tried to bail for an hour to see her friends instead, but she was the one who organized the whole thing and her bf helped her see the light. Weird that she needs him to make decisions now. She was less hissy-fit about it during the movie than I thought she would be. She tends to get moody, while my other sister holds grudges. I now see why my cousin regards Thranduil as her husband. He was really impressive, even if he's still generally crabby and an ass. Will not spoil.

This whole time, I slept on an airbed in the living room. Stayed up until 3:30am and so the next day was super hard to get up. That day was Saturday and SC invited me to go see an indie band play in Glen Mills, but I really wasn't feeling it. I was tired and Glen Mills reminds me of my cousin who was there for juvie and is currently in jail. No, juvie didn't work. Nothing did. So I just stayed home with MBF, who I get along with most comfortably of my siblings, and we chilled and then went and bought a pizza from Dominos - too garlicky but okay else. I like that she likes to drive when she's home because I like to not drive. Oh, and the Mujahids left to get the youngest one back to Arlington where she caught a megabus to A-Town; they also left behind a lot of their stuff that they forgot to pack. The oldest is now in NYC living with the drama of being in a rented apartment with a bunch of early 20-something boys and girls. She loves it.

The next day I'd stayed up until 3:30am again, so I woke up late. Watched Pinocchio episode on my tablet. It really is good to bring on a vacation. Then I took a shower and uncle Mujahid came over to wash his clothes. He's staying at my grandparents' house as he builds the extension onto their house because there's no bathroom downstairs. He hopes to be finished in a week. Then I stopped by my grandparents' house on my way back to MD. Nana told me she loves me more. Poppi was wearing the robe MWF got him for Christmas. Sheba was giant. The back roads were fine, but 95 was slow. Took an extra half hour. Was back by 7pm.

Must Record - PR Day 3

PR seems so far away now. Let me try to remember Day 3.

This was the Old San Juan Day, so we started out with breakfast in Condado at a restaurant called Pinky's. Best thing was when you ordered the smoothie you got not just the glass with the smoothie in it, but the blender too. Can you say 3 servings? With all the smoothie I drank, could only eat about a third of the dish I ordered - the Skinny Biache and a cafe con leche. The place was busy, felt like a cute downtown, like West Chester only with palm trees. And the sky a bright cloudless blue. It was near a hospital, so there were people in scrubs picking up a quick breakfast at the register. And since the girls I went with are residents, it prompted some doctor talk too, which I didn't try to understand because I was on vacation. Notably, the menu had a naked cherub baby on it. So indecent and hilarious. After Pinky's we walked outside, west, in the direction of Old San Juan until we found something like a CVS and bought water bottles. Then we got into a cab pulled up at the side of the road and an elderly cabbie took us up up up to El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, which is a 400 year old fort maintained by the National Park Service. There was no shade. Just a green lawn about a quarter mile long and El Morro was at the edge of the harbor. It's really a fort. It cost $5 to get in. 7 levels I think. Sweat all over. Saw an iguana - pretty scary but he/she was just sunning. Then we walked down to the Castillo de San Cristobal. Then we watched a couple cruise ships come in and walked into the town, did the tourist thing. At one point we walked into a park where there were pigeons everywhere. In the trees. On the ground. They rose up for a moment we were terrified of getting pooped on - I used my painting to hide under, but PP hid under AC. There was a banyan tree decorated for Christmas. There was a fountain with stone horses. I took the best landscape picture from below the walls of the fort, looking towards the harbor.
Castillo del Morro on the left there. No trees.
I bought a painting of Castillo de San Felipe del Morro that I have yet to hang up. We had lunch. Saw a lot of cats. Stopped a bar with annoyingly powerful air-conditioning. I eventually found some frozen yogurt. The only icecream that seemed to exist there was Ben and Jerry's, but I wanted soft serve. Caught a taxi back near the cruise ships. Went back though rush hour traffic to the Intercontinental.

Back at the hotel, the girls didn't want to take a last walk on the beach, but it was supposed to rain tomorrow, so I went out for about 45 minutes and just walked with my feet in the sand until it got too dark. I watched a cruise ship float past, nothing but lights in blackness. How are they not all scared when they look out and see nothing but the blackness of the ocean? It's like being blind a little when I did that activity in Atlanta with Amy and Mary back in spring of 2010. Anyway, the other people were mostly couples, guys drinking, a lone middle aged man doing the same thing I was only with a drink in his hand. I went back and my hair was all thick and salty from the seaspray. I showered and dressed up in my pink Target dress and we went out to an expensive place to celebrate AC's birthday! We walked, which was fine because it was close, but she was having allergies because of the cats earlier and PP and I both had heels on. Totally worth it as I can stand to walk a few blocks in heels. The restaurant was my first time at a super fancy place where the waiter explains the meal to you and there are courses and a bunch of presentation to eating. We had the popcorn soup to start, which was like potato soup. And then something with chicken that was so rich. Had a signature PR drink that wasn't very strong. Had pumpkin donuts for dessert. The waiter brought AC something with a candle in it and PP and I split the bill. AC wondered if the cats had been rabid. I thought she meant the pigeons. We found this extremely funny, probably thanks to the alcohol. Walked back to the Intercontinental where the people held the doors open for us again. I loved that.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Must Record PR - Day 2

First I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying the Kdrama Modern Farmer. At least once an episode I debate on whether Lee Hongki is appealing as a man. No definitive answer on that, but Park Minwoo is. And I watched the first episode of Pinocchio, which I expected to be bored by, but it made me feel, ya'll. I was crying by the 25min mark at the sad back story, despite the fact that it was predictable.

Also, last night I was brave and went to DC on the metro all by myself at night to meet a friend who is in town for a couple days. I even changed trains! Many thanks to her for putting up with me and my lateness. It had been 5 years since I last saw her, so I had to go though. I'm a country girl, in cities I spend half my time mourning the lack of trees. I'm always surprised that homeless people sleep by the metro stations. There aren't homeless people in the country much (at least not visibly homeless), mostly because there aren't many people period.

Okay, PR day 2.
Sunday. I woke up at 8:30am for no reason. The girls were not awake, so I just did stuff in the bathroom for an hour. Then AC woke up and opened the curtains and it was the brightest summer day. It was our beach day! I wasn't brave enough to wake up PP, but eventually AC and I were ready so we went downstairs and talked to the towel guy and got wristbands and sat around by the pool until PP came down. The the hotel staff called us a taxi and we were off to Condado and a brunch place called Cafe Marquesa. It was our second choice, but the cabbie couldn't find the first place. AC turned on gps on her phone and we all figured it out. We got his card so we could call him for a ride back. Anyway, Cafe Marquesa was cute and reminded me of Caffe Fontaine in Alexandria, VA where I had crepes with my cousin a couple months ago. At Cafe Marquesa we had cafe con leche (I'm a serious addict now). Also soursop mimosas - delicious. And tamarind mimosas for the second round. Mimosas are like candy. It's like drinking no alcohol at all. Breakfast was an omelette to get protein for the beach day!
soursop tree in Jamaica

Went back to the hotel and changed into bathing suits. Down to the resort to pick up towels. A man set up beach chairs for us for free and we rented an umbrella for $10 and charged it to the hotel room. I read my Philippa Gregory book, The White Princess and sipped a drink from the bar. AC and PP went jet skii-ing for a half hour and I watched as people fell off their jet skis, took pictures of them where they're tiny. We left the beach for the pool. Cramps, so I didn't get in, but did some more reclining and reading. Ate a margherita pizza. Then just sat around until we went inside and showered and laid around and ordered room service and watched a really sad Eagles game where they failed in every way. I ventured to the ice machine. It was far and there were elevators in there - so that's how the staff gets around. We had a message from the front desk because we'd left something on the balcony. Oops. The girls called me weird for not eating again, but I wasn't hungry so I didn't.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Must Record PR - Day 1

How was Puerto Rico? Before I forget.

Day 0 - Friday
I left work at 2pm so I could stop by the bank, pick up a beach book, pack, then sleep early. My beach book was Philippa Gregory's The White Princess. But when I got home, I was so nervous that instead of packing I stalled and ate and watched tv. I didn't wind up sleeping until 2am because I forgot I had to shave parts. Anyway, during my stalling, I finished the 10th and last episode of Gracepoint. It had a really sad ending and I never once suspected the one dad because I was so busy being suspicious of the shifty son. Gasp. Gasp. Gasp.

Day 1 - Saturday
I set my alarm for 5:40am so that I could get to the airport in the 6:30-7am range. I wound up leaving late and speeding up 95, dressed in 2 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, and a coat. I parked in long term lot A. I didn't drive far enough at first because I saw a lot on the left that I thought might be lot A even though there was no sign. Well it turned out to the ee parking lot. Anyway, I could have parked in B, but I chose A for Aryanne. The lot was vast. As I parked, I saw the shuttle in the far part of the lot. I thought I'd never be able to catch it, but it was going around slowly, so I got out of the car and hustled over. I noted that I was parked in row I. I got on the shuttle, I even saw a man with a NASA hat. Luckily he said he didn't work there, but had visited over 10 years ago and bought that hat. The shuttle filled up and then when it came time to leave the parking lot the plastic gate wouldn't open. So we sat there for 15 minutes as various men tried to override the gate by hitting the control box. The other people on the shuttle got restless and wanted the bus driver to drive right through. A young, smarter looking man came and opened the control box and pressed a manual override button and the gate lifted up and we went to the airport. I got off with all the rest of the people at the first stop. I used curbside check-in at the Southwest counter, after asking one of the people if I was flying domestic. I was pretty sure I was since Puerto Rico is a US territory, but I wanted to be sure. He said I was in the right place, so I got my luggage receipt and went inside. 
The security line was really long. I was now worried about making the flight. But I got lucky and was diverted to the TSA pre-flight line, so I didn't have to take anything off. They swabbed my hands for some reason though. I just googled it and it's a search for traces of explosives. I was gate A2, which was right in front of me down an escalator. There were a lot of people waiting. I didn't see AC and I'd never seen PP in person, so I sat down at the edge of the people and called AC. She came down and we hugged and she said that PP was still in the security line. The call for boarding happened. I was B8, so I went to the boarding line ahead of Amanda and walked down that fake airplane hallway that I don't like to contemplate how high off the ground it is. And it's always cold in there. And I saved a row of seats since they were 3 across. PP knew we were saving her a seat, so she went to Chipotle and bought 3 bags of chips with guac. I was nervous and was thinking she'd gone to Chick-fila and that the chips were fried in peanut oil, so I didn't eat many because I was afraid of breaking out. Hours later, I remembered that those are two different restaurants. The window was in a weird place - mostly in front of me - so it made me feel sick to look out of it. There was a sassy airline hostess who entertained by threatening the passengers, but in a jokey way. We mostly talked, then towards the end of the 4 hour flight I read the beach book. The book isn't any great feat of writing, but it holds your attention and blood/betrayal is always riveting. I didn't google the characters since it was historical fiction and that would spoil it.
We landed in PR and the airport was very white inside and under construction. It wasn't like the Oahu airport, which is open air. It was more like an emptier version of PHL. We walked pretty far to get to baggage claim. My bag came out right away - a carry on because that's the only suitcase I own. The other two girls had packed standard sized suitcases. We walked outside to the taxi line and felt the warmth and humidity right away. The taxis are all white mini vans. For $15 we went to the Intercontinental San Juan hotel. It was gorgeous. Elegant. The fanciest hotel I've ever stayed in. It was also a resort with a few pools, a jacuzzi, a bar in the pool, a restaurant/bar, and if you walk past those it's the beach with complimentary towels, chairs, and umbrella rental for $10/day.
We went upstairs to room 1214, changed into our summer clothes, and used yelp and a taxi to get to To Ma Te, a Mexican Fusion restaurant where the best waiter - Julio Cesar - translated the entire menu for us. I got the tacos el pastor and we all got watermelon mint margaritas. Then we had chocolate shots and he told us to go party at La Placita and to go to the restaurant a few doors down and ask for his friend Lion. Then we walked on the beach back to the hotel. Then we explored the hotel more. Went to Levis for dinner in which I had chicken soup that tasted like bbq sauce. Then back to the hotel where we did midnight jacuzzi instead of La Placita because we were so tired. I saw two shooting stars.

Strangely throughout this SC was texting me. It felt like more than normal. Is it just because I wasn't as focused on work? I like him as a person, but I don't feel attracted to him. I guess the only two people I've felt that attracted to were BB and TB. Even R whose last name recently escaped me, even he was more of the novelty of the experience. R I think would have grown on me eventually though. Anyway, the great love so far aka BB, I remember only thinking he was 'kind of cute' the first time I saw him. Wow how that 'kind of' snowballed fast. Is it with age that I'm being attracted to less people? Probably because most people are married/practically married so I shut it down unless I find out they're single.

I'm so tired. I'll do Day 2 tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2014

nervous nervous nervous

But not as nervous as I was earlier, because my appetite came back. What could go wrong? Well. I could miss the flight, in which case I'd be to embarrassed to go to work and would spend the time I was supposed to be away sobbing. I could get lost trying to find the long term parking. I could give my apt-sitter the wrong key. I could get the airline wrong. I could forget the boarding pass. I could forget to pack my contacts... I am being ridiculous.

I got the cutest family Christmas card in the mail. My friend, MB's has the cutest children of all the people I know. Yes, I have friends with cute kids, but MB has two... so she wins. MB is really pretty and so are her girls. I don't know how I have never actually met her husband, but she got a good egg!

P is holding off. Dare I say will fail to show up until sometime next week? It will be much easier to deal with P during the Hobbit movie. Oh yeah, driving all the way to PA to be able to see it with the crew. It's our tradition. Sadly, we can't do the midnight premiere this year, but we only did for LOTR3 and Hobbit1 anyway. The bro will be absent again as he's still in Miami, but it'll still be awesome. Legolas alone is enough.

Anyway, tonight I want to:

  • finish sorting through my mail
  • watch the last Gracepoint if it's onDemand
  • pack
  • upload some music to my phone (?) eh, I have my iPod 5Gen
Also, I have two bottles of wine because at the RA holiday party at work yesterday I won a door prize which was a bottle of wine. And then there was the bottle I already have. I want to make some sangria out of it. I love sangria. 

Peace and love everyone.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

aldi, late lunch, hair and tv

Big things in my immediate future. For today, the only thing I did was go to Aldi for the second time. I lost a coat button there. It wasn't a button I needed, but still. And then I went to MW's for a delicious late lunch. I never did eat anything after I got home but tea and 7 honey twist pretzels. 7 is a serving. I have to restrict myself, because those things are my addiction. And I also did my hair and caught up on Gracepoint and Haven while doing it. LB, one of my friends, had a baby this year and said she started watching more tv because there's nothing else to do while nursing. Years of doing my hair has conditioned me for that. Not that I want to have a kid and start nursing any time soon.  Need to lay off the spearmint leaves, because my chin is red. Boo! It has to be them. I haven't eaten anything else unhealthy. That I know of.

Going to get my lunch for tomorrow together quickly, and then wash my face and head to bed. Trying to leave the house on time because I don't like having to stay at work later because I got there later. This weekend was the first time all week that I got to see my apartment in the daylight. It's actually pretty nice upstairs. I'm busy for the next 3 weekends, so I won't get to enjoy it much. I'm not going to Philly for New Year's after all. Too much back and forth in my December. I'm going to need a break by then. If I can just convince MW and/or AC to go somewhere fun with me, or even just to burn logs in MW's fireplace, then I'll be set. No way am I having a repeat of last New Years.  I learned that lesson.

Wish me luck at my last full week of work in 2014!

gimme gimme! yum yum

Sunday, November 30, 2014

time does dull emotions

The last day of November. I got to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my mom's side of the family. My immediate family usually goes to my dad's side in Pittsburgh, but this year my maternal grandparents are too sick to be left alone. My grandmother is still the same from her stroke. It was very hard to see her at first, but now I think the family has gotten used to how she is, which helps us cope. I also feel like I'm being desensitized, which disturbs me, but that's what time does - dulls emotions.

I got to spend time with family and my sisters and 2 cousins even went Black Friday shopping in kop. I must be growing up because I actually started to buy only Christmas presents. That may have degenerated into 3 tops and a pair of pajama pants for me, but I started off well. Three nights of sleeping on my parents sofa and my knee hurts. Yeah, I think my running days are over.

My sister and I also got new phones since it was time for both our upgrades. They came with free tablets. Is there such a thing as too much technology?  Probably. I don't actually watch tv in bed. If I want to read a book in bed, well I read a book, and if I wanted to read a screen, it would be the kindle. Saw Maleficent last night. It was a nice twist on the traditional Sleeping Beauty story. I also watched the first season of The Bletchley Circle, which sounds like a horrible disease, but is actually a suspenseful girl power show.

So this is the last day of November and have I learned anything? That I want to avoid S. Not SH (we're cool, although I am not like his other friends). I think he was fishing to meet up, but he didn't ask, so I just went and did my thing. It's probably for the best. Other things: I don't like the cold. The fastest lane in slow traffic on 95 really is the right lane.

My new fashion mission is elegant lounge wear. That's the last gap in my wardrobe (okay, besides a cream blazer, work pants, and bikini top that actually fits). I wear as much make-up as I ever will, so no purchases needed until something runs out.

Goodnight, November. The Christmas music can now commence.

Monday, November 24, 2014

in the arp groove. i miss my bed.

So far I've been able to keep up with posting to the arp blog every other day, but I don't know how much longer this is going to last. I'm staying in the groove by always thinking up the idea for my next post before I stop. Then after I log back in tomorrow or the next day and finish it, I'll be in the writing groove and able to find another blog idea. Right now, a lot of my blogs are inspired by other blog posts. Not feeling my most creative. We definitely need another content provider. I don't know how much longer the two of us can hold out before falling into another slump. They keep saying it'll snow the day before Thanksgiving, but I don't quite believe it. However, I am lazy so I'm not travelling until the actual holiday. So tired all the time. And then I might have to drive for 5 hours after I get there? Ugggggh. I miss my bed already.

Both my mom's parents are in the hospital. It's not easy being 80-something. They're supposed to get out soon though. We'll see. At least over break maybe my dad can get my car trunk to unlock.

The tornado painting doesn't quite terrify me now. It's something about the shape of the tornado about 2/3rds of the way up that starts to scare me if I keep looking at it.

Again, I love my bed. Going to sleep now.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

muhahahahahaha ...aha!

My new goal is feel stylish while lounging at home. For too long I have lounged in the sweatpants from kmart that I bought 6 years ago (I bought 4 pairs in different colors). Ew, has it really been that long? Anyway, I will take a note from the kdrama heroine who lounge around in oversized sweaters and comfy skirts and fleece-lined tights. It's what I tried today, and I love it. Maybe a thrift store clothing run is going to happen, because this does wonders for my self-esteem. Also, I look really good in mint green. Why do I not own more shirts/sweaters in this color?

Day 3 of me having sand storm colored nails and the chipping is constant, but at least the color is close enough to my actual nail color that you don't really notice. I've always admired this color when I saw it on a girl in a kdrama or a model. And now it is mine. Muhahahahahaha! ... ha ha!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

after that disappointing coffee event which was vaguely disappointing for reasons I don't even quite know

New goal is to try to be better to the ARP blog and write more for it. I'm trying to find interesting articles or at least a topic for when I have the energy to write. Every so often I just do a google news search on books, but I really have to wait a week for there to be new articles. I think what I need is a few blogs that I go to for inspiration. We'll see.

Went to the second contractor event today and I wasn't really wowed. Maybe later? I'm only doing it so that I can make some friends, but everyone is in the early polite stage. You cannot rush friendship. I mean, how long did it take me to become good friends with AC anyway? I need to send her a check for my hotel portion now that I think of it. I should write that and get it into the mail. And darn I was just at the post office today.

New person at work, so there's training involved. And I'm doing part of it. Why did that happen? It feels weird. And then she mentioned that what she really wants to do is procurement so after a year she might just go and find another job. And then I can see it happening again - having to train a new person. Gosh, that's not ideal. No ideal at all. I hope it doesn't happen actually. B won't be around to explain all the things I don't know. Goshhhh. Ah well, just trust in God and try to eavesdrop to be able to train the next person I guess. There are tutorials.

But I don't like to bring work home. I prefer to turn it off actually. Which usually isn't hard as I'm not really that interested in work-related things. Now whenever I see the logo I cringe. I bought myself a mug and I never use it because it makes me cringe and think about work. Now I see why I don't own a work t-shirt or hat or hoodie.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

spices versus herbs

"I think we're close enough / can I lock in your love?"

Still on my Sam Smith kick. Gosh, why? I should be in bed right now.  I made a stew with chickpeas in it. I kind of want to eat it for lunch tomorrow instead of the lentils/rice I made on Saturday, but I've already filled the lunch containers. I only have 2. Pyrex, baby. Anyway, tomorrow it's supposed to rain, so definitely no post-work trip to get that bookshelf. Tuesday? Wednesday?

I made it to the Aldi, which was fine. I forget that they don't give you bags there. I was determined not to pay extra, so I just put the things in the passenger seat of the car (b/c my trunk won't unlock) and then brought out bags from the apartment. I have so many extra ones from the other grocery stores. I will put the reusable Old Navy bag in the car though. Maybe if I leave it in the passenger seat, I'll remember to bring it in. Also, I was driving back and a bunch of stores are opening like a 5 minute drive away from me. I could now potentially go to a Regal Cinema even! I've only lived this close to a cinema once in GA and then I had no money to spend on movies. Not that I really do now. We'll see how this new benefits and such affects my paycheck. Either way, I should be set to go to Puerto Rico, but that trip isn't for a while, so I need to forget about it for now.

I have trouble with spices in recipes, so I made some cute lists and put them on the kitchen wall. One is spice substitutions and the other is herb substitutions. They're cute because I drew little cartoon animals on them in colored pencil. I also learned that there is a difference between a spice and an herb. Just what makes that distinction, I'm not interested enough to google.

I need to come up with a catchy name for the brief newsbites that I write for a blog I'm actually paid to write for. Newsbites is taken. OMG post is taken. ONTD is a livejournal (very entertaining one). What happened to my creativity?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I debate self-body-shaming and Joo-won's increasing appeal

So I actually cooked today and am enjoying all this warm food. I made the best hard boiled eggs I've ever made. I love biting into them when they're warm. I had two. Yuuuum.  And then I made lentils in chicken broth and rice to go with it. And now I'm having seconds. Now this isn't unhealthy food, but I feel really greedy having seconds because I'm so full. I'm mostly full because I also drank 2 cups of tea and a glass of water. So as I was spooning the lentils into my bowl, I laughed and said, "This is why you're fat." Is it healthy to say that, or do I have body image issues? Of course I have body image issues. For the record, I'm not fat, but I used to be overweight. About 25 pounds over weight. Anyway, I lost the weight and it's been kept off for over 2 years. Honestly, the only way it's coming back is if I get pregnant, because I changed the way I eat. That means I'm not on a diet, I just made new habits. Also it took me 5 years to gain 25 pounds, so one meal isn't going to do much. It then took me 3 to lose it. Fair. Anyway, I'm super conscious about what I put into my body and I don't have to track my food anymore, like I did religiously for the first year. So, I'm not fat. Why did I say that to myself, then? People who I haven't seen in a while comment that I've lost weight even since I started my desk job.

Watching Cantabile Tomorrow, 10th episode. This is my third Joo-won drama. And now for some reason I love him? When did that happen? Granted, he was hard to love in Gaksitaaaaaal. All my Gaksital love went to Park Ki-woong. But I did love him and Uee as a couple in Ojakgyo Brothers. There it was more about Uee though.

I am of course the blonde in this scenario.
When did Joo-won get so cute?

Friday, November 14, 2014

it's all so magical

I used to like alcohol a lot more. I mean I used to like the taste. Now it just makes me sleepy. I see no reason to waste my time with beer, so I normally head straight for the vodka. But it's just making me tired and vaguely dissatisfied with life in general. Guess I'm done with all this.

Did some more dreaming up of my story world. I think this is going to take longer than I thought. At this rate my writing process is dreaming up the whole world via freewrite before I ever write a sentence of the actual story. And I think I'll write the end first, because it's what I'm feeling the most powerfully. I only have the youngest son's name. Everyone else is only defined by their relationship to him. I've always hated naming. It's so final. I did decide to give them astrological signs as well as relationships. So far I have a 3 kid/2 parent family, a babysitter, and the girl who meets the oldest son on page one. But I guess that oldest son needs a friend, and so does the sister. And I need to know what the deal with the babysitter and her husband is first too. Basically she was the babysitter years ago, not anymore. In order for her to have babysit both the youngest son and the girl who meets the oldest son, I'm going to have to do the ages carefully. I think before I'd put him at 8 and the girl at 12, but then I put a 10 year age difference between the two brothers, so that might not work for him and the girl. Although I guess she should be younger than the sister to establish the power dynamic. Magical realism takes more attention to detail in that you must carefully explain the rules of the world so that you don't betray your readers. This is a mistake that dramas make all the time.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

blah mess blah

Lots of paperwork this week. Benefits switching. Blah mess blah.

I'm going to not bring a book to work to see if it will force me to keep imagining the world of this story I'm thinking up.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

i think i watch too much tv

I am scarred. Mentally. I cleaned the bathtub and then decided to clean around the faucet. But I couldn't get to the area where the faucet meets countertop so I decided to pour hydrogen peroxide there and then clean with a q-tip. It started fizzing and bubbling. And then whatever that is came right off in such a gross disgusting way that it almost triggered the gag reflex. If I see a spider, I'm going to gag. I might throw up. Save me. I should just go to sleep before I see something I don't want to see and I puke all over the carpet. How am I going to get that out?
I can never regard that bathroom as clean again. How can I get the mold out? The trouble is that the stuff you put to seal the gap between tile and tub is peeling off. It needs to be redone. What is that stuff called? I used to know back that one day when I helped redo that house for a whole Saturday in April, but now I don't know. And I remember that it's no use putting that stuff down unless the area is clean, so I'd have to scrape away the bad stuff first and then put the new sealant on. Anuksunamon, sebowei (I had no clue how to spell that).
Bought the tickets for the PR trip in December with AC. Oh yeah! It's going to be a fun 4 days of joy. You can't know when though because it's a well known fact that someone will come and rob my house if I post the days I'll be gone. If they do come, they'll be real disappointed because the tv is super small. It's like 15 inches. The blu-ray player is new though. It's probably worth the most besides my laptop. And I don't think my laptop is worth all that much because I've had it since 2008. Oh yeah, 6 years now, baby! I just Googled my laptop - Dell inspiron 1525 - and the most expensive one was $230 on eBay. Psst - you're ripping yourself off if you buy it for that much. Back in 2008 I paid $500 for it, it runs Vista, one of its screws is forever lost, and it has a crack on the left. But it still works! It's never given me any hardware problems either, unlike my first laptop, which had to get a video card replaced before I'd had it a year.
Watched 5 episodes of Cantabile Tomorrow, so I clearly have a problem. I only stopped because there aren't any more yet. It's Joo Won's new drama. This is only my third Joo Won drama. The last time I saw him was a few years ago when he was the star of Gaksital. Before that was Ojakgyo Brothers, which I quit watching at ep45 because that was right before the makjang set in. Anyway, I like Cantabile Tomorrow, mostly for the music. I saw the Japanese drama years ago, called Nodame Cantabile. All I remember from that is Chiaki Senpai, haha. That's a testimony to the drama because I usually never remember the character's names, only the actor names. Same with all cinema.

Other shows I am watching -
Three Musketeers, a Kdrama with Lee Jin-wook, who I know from Nine is a stunningly good kisser, which I wish I could experience, but I'm not really into this show yet. And Jung Yong-hwa is lucky he's such a good musician because I never enjoy seeing his boring face in a drama - he has about 2 expressions.
Grace Point, a FOX miniseries that stars one of the guys who played Doctor Who, the weird looking one with the crazy eyes who I can never find attractive. I'm halfway through and I have a character I hate with a vengeance. She must go down. The dad is dumb and easy to manipulate. I like the mystery.
The Mindy Project, because Mindy Kahling is awesome. Can I read her memoir again?
Brooklyn Nine-nine, not that I particularly like Andy Samberg, but I like this type of humor.
Modern Family, I also like this type of humor. It's mostly sarcasm. Hola hola!
Sleepy Hollow, but only while I cook or do something else that means I don't have to actually watch the tv or fully pay attention. I wanted this show to be so much better than it is. And I will never like the evil witch wife. Or that they wasted John Cho.
The Big Bang Theory, because a long time ago my mom got me addicted, and I like being able to talk about a show with her because I love her.
Haven, because Audrey from season 1 was so badass that I respected her, and I will keep on respecting her until this show dies.
We Got Married (Song Jae-rim/Kim So-eun), because Song Jae-rim is a hilarious cute flirt with no shame. I first saw him as the pen killer in the Lee Jun-ki drama Two Weeks. He didn't impress me at all because his character spent all his time looking steely and killing people in efficient ways with the pen his father gave him. But then he was funny in Surplus Princess and he has a lot of hilarious fan girls, so it got me interested enough to look up the half hour episodes and they are the most hilarious reality tv I have ever seen. I think there's going to be something like 40 episodes and I am in this one for the long haul. I smile and laugh every time.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

relive a memory; story brainstorm 2

Story brainstorm one is when I wrote the dream into a notebook the moment I woke up feeling blessed by it. I'm going to turn this dream into a story. Light and memory and sadness. It's beautiful in my head. I know the ending. I know the reason the parents travel away from their oldest children, that they're closer to the youngest, but I don't know why they were driven to leave and search for the youngest in places he's never been. The oldest son, he's the one left behind to take care of the grey building by the ocean. Is it always about to storm there? He seems like he's always the root of it, like Calypso, controlling his small slip of ocean. And the girl, I don't know what made her come to stay. Nothing to do with the oldest son, something to down with her own problems, although she wraps herself in his family after a while.

On a more practical note, since I'm returning to my first real love of magical realism, I need something else to be out of the ordinary or the parents coming in the end will be out of left field, like a deus ex machina, and I definitely can't have that. I mean, the parents are there in phone calls and skype calls and emails because they do love their other children very much. But they (parents and siblings) all loved the youngest so they understand the need to search. So the parents are present, so it won't feel like them coming in the end is weird because they'll have been there all the time, if not physically. And then they have this gift, this trick. This community trick.

And what does the sitter have to do with it?  Hmm. Maybe she's the rest of the magical realism? Maybe she's found the opposite of what the parents go looking for, so there's an absence in their lives where she used to be, which they can feel, but can't know? And this sitter, she knows the girl. She's in the girl's life, didn't consider that important enough to be wiped, or loved the girl and couldn't bear to be forgotten somewhere in the girl's neural network. Love, the motivation for all the characters when it comes down to it, love skewed by money and by loneliness and by all the other things that can skew it, which are:
opinion of others
goals for self
family ties
past experience (both good and bad)
relationships with others
other drugs
perception of the person/thing loved
any of the 7 deadly sins

Sunday, November 2, 2014


I bought a comforter. Those things are more expensive than I thought. I walked into the store and a down comforter costs $400. Yeah, I went with the faux-down on clearance. The pattern was my second choice, but who cares. I saved $214 on that thing! Next in my step to make my apartment warm near the windows: curtains. Another day.

My friend's 30th birthday Puerto Rico trip is in motion. It's going to cost more than I'd hoped, but whatevs. Like I told my friend, I really don't buy that many things, so I can afford it.

Dinner was a turkey patty, broccoli, and cauliflower. Tiny bit of that soju I bought weeks ago. The novelty wore off. I think soju is an acquired taste that one bottle didn't make me acquire. Same as with coffee - in undergrad I kept ordering a white chocolate hot chocolate and the baristas kept giving me a white chocolate mocha and one day instead of telling them their mistake, I just drank it. And thus I was converted to coffee. Now that I'm in my advanced 20s, my body has decided to reject concentrated amounts of caffeine. The coffee phase didn't last long.

Yesterday, I finally walked my giant bag of plastic recyclables up the hill. My apartment looks like it has more space, but I have more recyclables (cardboard) taking up that same space, so it doesn't really look any better. Maybe if I could get rid of that crappy TV my dad shoved at me... I'm really not a fan.

Watched the last half of the NYC Marathon. Those people are fast! Still addicted to Prada Candy and to Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

you're the one

Also loving the last track on Sam Smith's album:
It's called Make it to me and I will go to sleep now, so that I can make it!

maybe i am just not enough

All this listening to Sam Smith during my morning commute has got me crying in the car 3 times out of 4 so far this week. When the "I'm Not the Only One" song comes on, specifically the line about Maybe I am just not enough, the tears are cued. And then I just start thinking about Nana and they keep coming. When I go to work, I have to show my badge at the gate, so I pull it together before I get to the security guards.  Was listening to an old Car Talk episode last Saturday where a woman called in saying that other people can see you in traffic jams. She was complaining about how she always saw these men picking their noses, thinking no one could see them. When I drive, I look at the car, not really the people inside unless there's a 4-way stop and they wave their hand. So does this mean random people are watching me cry, and is it sad that I try to hide it?

SC is sad that he'll be alone on Halloween, really that he has no one to "go out" with. Going out means drinking too much. I don't know what to say, because I've always been fine alone. I realize that there are people who can't deal with it though - maybe he's one of them? One of my cousins is like that - she has to be gone doing something at all times. I get exhausted just thinking about it.

Was a nice, warm day. I got to go outside because I had a training in another building that I walked to. It was surprisingly warm, although the wind was cold. Saw some good trees, which I can no longer identify as easily - I need that book again! The clouds have been great this week, so epic, like video game clouds, you know, in the gorgeous video games. The sky yesterday leaving work was so pretty - many gray clouds that weren't high and hazy but distinct, actually roiling (slowly). I'd like to say I'll never forget them, but who knows?

There's a tree at HU that I'll never forget. One morning I was walking back from the gym and it glittered with dew in the sunlight. I swore on the spot to remember that image forever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

please get stronger

As I listen to the 6th World Series game (KC is winning):

I keep crying in the car on the way to work to Sam Smith's cd as whichever song makes me think of Nana and pray for her. If he and Adele ever do a duet, I will be ruined.

Work is busy and somehow more chaotic. I know it's just because of the due date, but I miss having my department chief around. He's relaxing.

It's hard for me to get out of bed in the morning because it's so dark. I used to have the willpower to get up though.

The fact that I can't hide the expressions on my face was revealed to me again. My face must have registered disappointment when learned of my semi-pitiful raise. I said something like "at least it's something."

I am or am not going to Puerto Rico for my friend's 30th. She's flip-flopping, but I think it's on again. I'm going for it. She's hilarious.

I don't deal well with self-pity in myself or in others. If you're going to feel sorry for yourself, which I do sometimes, deal with it yourself or talk about it and what you're going to do about it. I have a hard time with general self-pity which is expressed to me and then a shooting down of everything I say. If you want comfort, say it. If you want a kick in the ass, say it. If you don't know what you want, Imma leave you alone for some self-reflection.

I got 5 new books from the thrift store. Their books were not organized as well as last time, but I needed a set of 5 to get the deal. It took a while, but I did it.  I made a list of all the things I like, which I got myself or was given this birthday month:
new books
dark chocolate with sea salt
pretty clothes
green tea ice cream
diamond candle
day off from work
warm sunny weather
Thai tea bubble tea

I can't think of any other material thing I want for my birthday month. What I really miss is the story Nana told me every year on my birthday, the story of the first time she saw me in the hospital and of me supposedly feeding the ducks but actually eating their food. She's never going to tell me that story again with the same warmth and light in her eyes. When was the last time I saw her before her stroke? I can't remember a specific day. I only regret that I didn't visit more. Bobbi taught me to always visit, always stay with the person, not to take it on faith that they won't die because you're not there. As if anything that major changes whether you're there or not. Please get stronger, Nana.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

last weekend of my birthday month: 2014


Friday night, I hied myself over to the CVS on Rt1, but their photobooth was closed. The "photobooth" is just a white screen that they pull down. So fake. So I went to the other CVS on Rt1, which is a quarter mile away and much less busy and got the photo taken there. It may be one of the worst photos of me ever taken.

Saturday I took my application to the post office and applied for a passport. Who knows where I'll be going, but soon I'll be free to move about beyond the country. The man who processed my application flattered me by telling me that I reminded him of the main lead of the movie Dear White People, which I have never seen. But I think the lead is Tessa Thompson, who is gorgeous, so I'm flattered. If they dressed her frumpily in the movie, then I'm totally offended.

Then I took myself over to LB's house, where I got to hold the baby as we made apple pies. LB has been working a lot longer than me, and I always learn things from her. She's like my peer mentor/friend. We made 4 different apple pies. So much peeling that my hand cramped for a good 5 minutes. And then before I left I helped her coordinate an outfit for her son's baptism next Sunday. She invited me to come, which I may do since I've never been to a Catholic service and I'm curious about how they go. The only reason why I wouldn't go is if something happens with Nana. We'll see. She can't swallow on her own any more. Mom said if her body is shutting down, then it doesn't look good.

After LB's, I took 2 of the pies and stopped at my apartment to pick up the card and gift for SH's 30th birthday house party. I saw AC there, so it was entertaining. She and SH were really the only people I knew well there, so it forced me to socialize, but I think I talked to all of the people there are one point. The food was good and they ate an entire apple pie, so I call it a success. The gift I gave was a blue glass bowl that my youngest sister made, and also a tiny glass mouse that she made. The card had a pun in it, as all cards for SH should. At one point I wondered how SH and I are friends because I don't seem to like any of the things that he likes. Why does he even talk to me? I'm his total fangirl though. Fangirl for life!

Today I slept in, continued reading Stones from the River, and then made it over to Arundel Mills before it got so late that I had to troll for a parking spot. My main goal was to spend the $25 coupons I got for my birthday. I parked and went in through the Bass Pro shop, which is hilarious because it's such a spectacle for me. And if elk are really that giant, I had no idea.  I found a really cute skirt from the Loft outlet.
this skirt in a different color. size 4, yo
Where I also bought a couple pairs of black tights for the cold weather. And I finally bought black leather ankle booties from Naturalizer to be my go-to for work this winter. Why are most of the ankle booties suede? How will suede help me in the snow? 

When I was in Loft I saw a discarded bubble tea container, so I knew I had to have it. I went on a long journey before I found the bubble tea store. On the way the Champion outlet had a 40% off sale and if it was your birthday month, you got an extra 20% off. All you had to do was show your driver's license. The guy behind the counter was going to let me get the discount without even showing it, haha. Is it because I'm pretty? Anyway, right after I bought a sports bra and a pink hoodie, I found the bubble tea store! Got my thai bubble tea.
love thai tea flavored bubble tea
Then I made the long trek back to the Bass Pro outlet, where I gawked at the indoor rock climbing cliff and wondered if anyone turned fishing lures into jewelry. And then I got back to my car, put on Sam Smith, and drove home through the bright sunny highways, sipping my bubble tea with the windows down. Thanks for not killing me, 95.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

happy birthday to me

Happy birthday to me! I am 20-something once again! Thank you, God.
I always forget how smart Google is. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

sings "i don't have money on my mind"

So while I wait for my current favorite drama to be subbed/finished (aka My Secret Hotel), I've started watching a ridiculously cute drama called Surplus Princess, which is notable because of the lust the main female lead as for the apple bottom of the guy she has a crush on, played by Song Jae-rim. It's kind of hilarious because I've only ever seen him in Two Weeks, where he played a psycho killer with no visible emotion, so to see him act ridiculous is even more ridiculous than the show intended.
much cuter with a smile than as the Two Weeks pen-wielding murderer
Long day, which started off with the gyno trip I put off for 7 years. I liked the doctor, didn't like the procedure, but I'm glad it's over for at least a year, and pending an abnormal test result, I'm healthy. Still, no wonder after I had my very first pap smear I came away feeling violated. I don't know the details of the exam that men have to go through, but surely it can't hurt as much - or am I wrong?

Burning my diamond candle. This one has more staying power than the others. Haven't even seen the foil, but I feel the need to burn the candle because when I came back here after those days in PA, downstairs smelled as impersonal as a hotel. Not cool! I like to spend time in a nice-smelling apartment. I should have put up more of a fuss about them redoing the carpet before I moved in. Much too late now.

Tomorrow is the last day before my birthday. It's the fun run at work, which I'm going to walk if it happens. Supposed to thunderstorm and we'll all be lightening magnets because the course is in the open. Not trying to get struck, ya'll. Loving the Sam Smith cd - it was a good decision to buy it.

How will I spend my birthday? I should start it with a workout on that stair-stepper machine... after I sleep in for a reasonable amount of time, of course.

Monday, October 13, 2014

feeling clean and smelling good

Columbus Day. I downloaded the Sam Smith cd after I got back to my apt and took a shower. I really needed a shower because I was jumped on and brushed against by 5 different dogs since my last shower. Then I put on the Prada Candy perfum that smells so good and makes me happy. Also burning my new diamond candle that I thought was too smelly, but seems fine now. I'm not getting the ring out today because I want it to be a surprise for as long as possible. I need the small things.
tigers always scare me
Tomorrow it's the gynecologist for me. Also, I was super scared about Nana on Thursday. I thought she was going to die for like 2 hours. Rushed out of work. Rushed to pack. Thankfully, she's not. She's turned around. She's very weak and yet my mom telling the nurses that Nana was coming any way helped. Nana is talking more and it's because of mom. There needs to be someone else in the family who knows medical things so the burden isn't always on her. I'm useless.

How gorgeous is Dianna Agron? So gorgeous. If we were friends, I'd be just like Amy Farrah Fowler towards Penny in the BBT. Other girl crushes include Angie Harmon, Yoon Eun-hye, and Yoo In-na. I'm sure there are more, I just can't think of them right now.
Angie Harmon being awesome

Sunday, October 5, 2014

she woke from unsettling dreams

I knew it would happen! Bad dreams from watching that Denzel movie last night, even though I followed it up with the penultimate episode of "It's Okay, It's Love" (IOIL). I don't know why I thought that show would save me - the male main character and his small family were abused by his step-father when he was young, which is the whole reason for the show really.  Constant flashback scenes and there was definitely violence.

How did I treat myself today? Treating myself because October is my birthday month. Well, I went shopping with LB and baby, which is always fun. He's such a pretty baby, and so happy. LB found more shirts than I did, but I did pick up a pair of dark magenta work flats and a cute blazer. I wonder if I can figure out a way to wear both of them tomorrow. We hit up the Burlington Coat Factory which is new -  not as new as I thought though, b/c I asked a cashier who said they'd opened in March. And wow, I just noticed the place last month.  Babies have such soft skin, hard to believe my skin was once that soft. How can I get that to happen again?

Also, I bought a diamond candle. This one should arrive right around my birthday. Oh shoot, I hope I'm here. If it comes when I go on vacation, it might just sit outside and then someone will steal it. Hmm. Is it too late to go back and pay for the standard shipping? I wonder if that was 10-15 days or 10-15 business days. Well, that's already done so...

I finished the IOIL drama. I can't say I loved it. I didn't connect with any of the characters, but they were all so crazy that I watched for the hot mess factor. By the end of the drama they were still crazy and just remained happy and lived with it. The male lead had schizophrenia which caused him to hallucinate a high school sophomore. He was able to live with his illness once everyone realized he had one in 3 episodes. Does this mean he had a mild form of schizophrenia? I have an uncle on my dad's side who has it and he's never been able to make it on his own. He always has to live in a facility. I think I've seen him maybe 5 or 6 times in my conscious life. He's been released a few times, but he always relapses. So I don't think the show was very realistic - mostly they glossed over his treatment and every character was pretty and clean and dressed well.


Saw the latest Denzel movie with my friend. It was so violent that I must have closed by eyes for 5 minutes combined. Maybe more. 5 to 10. I used a gift card, so I don't feel that bad about it though. Maybe I should have bought popcorn after all. Nothing like that liquid butter.

On the way back I drove by a car crash with shattered windshield in the road, and I didn't realize until too late and I had to drive through it. Slowly. The car seems to be fine though. But that's probably really bad.

It's only been this day for 31 minutes so I'm really tired and will just go to sleep now.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

so freaking good

The weekend was so full. Friday night I went with MW to a place with the best crab cakes and that was one huge crab cake. I felt full until past lunch the next day, so it was probably 120000 calories. Saturday was lunch with the Hopkids and AK's boyfriend, who was very nice, presentable, and AK was happy. Then Sunday was brunch with my cousin YM, where we discovered the best savory crepes I have ever tasted in my entire life. That might have been plainly the best food period I ever tasted.  Here: Fontaine Caffe. So clearly, this was the place to be. I had the Moroccan crepe and it was so freaking good. We both literally stopped talking when we tried our first bites. We had to eat slowly in order to enjoy all the goodness in our mouths. And throughout our meal, we'd stop talking to each other just to savor. That. Freaking. Good.

That was a lot of driving. It was a great weekend - beautiful weather. So hot and nice. The highways I was on: 95, 695 (Baltimore Beltway), 395 (Baltimore), MLK, 295 (BW Pkwy), 495 (DC Beltway), 395 (GW Pkwy), 695 (DC), 110 (I accidentally wound up on this road and saw the Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon).

Friday, September 26, 2014

crab cake itis

Crab cakes at G&M tonight because I wanted them. I am still so full. Had one crab cake, kale, and fries. By fries, I mean I had 3 fries because I was too full from the giant crab cake. Definite food baby. Going out for lunch in Baltimore tomorrow, so I'm going to have to go on a walk tomorrow or something to work it off.  Need to get some cash to pay for parking.

New song recommended by sissy - okay new to me.

I really need to google the words to it. And then I need to listen to the Spanish version.

S didn't text me at all today, which kind of bothers me. I texted him last, so it's his turn though. I've got stuff to do every day this weekend, with rest time thrown in, so I guess I'm fine with it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

so dogsbody is a word

I had no clue that dogsbody is a word. I need to use it in real life. At work, I sometimes feel like I could be one. Definition - a person who is given boring, menial tasks to do. Okay, not at this work really, but at other works. And yes sometimes at this work too, but thankfully not most of the time.

How do my fingernails grow so fast? I used to have problems with them breaking off, but now they never do and one day it's weird to type so I know I have to cut them. Back when I used to play the piano all the time, I'd hear the clicking of them on the keys and know it was time. Should I buy a keyboard?

Was all rainy today. I was tempted to break out the fall boots, but that was getting ahead of myself. Plus it wasn't that cold. Tomorrow AK flies in with her boyfriend, so I'm meeting up with the Incredible HopKids for dinner at 8pm. So really late and I know I'm going to eat before then. I can't help it. MW and I are carpooling up, which works because I know she doesn't really like to drive at night.

Yesterday I went to the 2nd Chance thrift store place and found some books and some really pretty shot glasses. I don't know if they're actually shot glasses, but that's what I'll use them as. I poured soju into one of them and drank to try it out. :-). There was really no reason for me to buy them, but I just instantly loved them. They have a bamboo trunk painted on the side, and if you stack them all up you get one tree. One of the books I got, I read in one sitting. I thought it was going to be a funny chick novel, but it had the cover of a funny chick novel while actually being a standard crime novel. It's the kind of novel I don't like that I can inhale. If you skim, you're fine. I only kept reading to find out whodunit.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

failed shopping trip

Before I went to the grocery store, I stopped by my local TJMaxx, and let me tell you, that store has gone down in quality since I've moved here. They had barely any dresses; I spotted not one blazer; and the skirts were all leftovers from the summer. Is it just a weird time to shop? No, this store doesn't get the best stock.  Their shoe section for the 8 and a half sizes was pitiful. Pitiful, I tell you! I know that TJMaxx and Marshalls are owned by the same company, but Marshalls is so much better.

I'm being influenced by My Secret Hotel a little: My Secret Hotel, which is a currently running Kdrama on TvN. "Influenced" means I went shopping in a jean pencil skirt (H&M - bought Black Friday) with a chambray shirt (Kohls a couple years ago), tucked in. I was really looking for some shoes, but saw naught, so I went looking for interesting pieces, but again zilch. I did try one on interesting dress from the teenage section, but it didn't flatter my figure, so I didn't get it. No need to pay for something I don't even look that good in.

Came back and made those Lipton Onion soup potatoes that my mom got me started on. I don't make them often because I have no self-control. I have to eat them ALL. It was hard going with those last four bits of potato, but I did it. Now my pee is going to smell like onions. TMI, I know. TMI.

Also, ew, I saw overalls in the store. I wore those in 1997, and you can't make me wear them now. No one can.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the shell collector

Why do I not own Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector. It's the most fabulous short story collection that I have ever read. So why do I not own it? I'm going to go to the thrift store tomorrow and get some books and if I don't see it, then I'll go online and buy the hardcover version. I've read it twice, so it's not like I need overnight shipping. I can wait.

My grandmother was moved to a different rehab facility. It's hard, I can feel myself drifting away with time because I'm not able to see her every day like my mother does. I was invited to a bratwurst picnic this weekend. What is bratwurst? Is it some type of meat in a pigskin like a sausage? I don't even like beer, so this doesn't seem much like my thing, but then again am I supposed to go so that I can find some single friends? Help me rhonda, help help me rhonda. Okay, I need to stop bursting into song.

Last night I tried to make lentil chili in the crock post, but it's way too tomato paste-y. I don't even want to eat it, but I have a grand total of 8 cups of it left, so I am going to be eating it for a while. Maybe there's  away I can make it taste better. I should  have put less tomato paste in. It made me work too, because I didn't start the crock pot until after 8pm, so I had to set my alarm for an unGodly early morning hour in order to turn it off. And the whole apt smelled like cooking food, which was really distracting when I kept waking up from sleep. Boo to onions. I swear I smelled like them when I went to work today.

Tomorrow I cannot get any Amish food until I take that check to the bank. At least the bank is open until 6pm on Fridays, as I recently learned via google. For the first time in months, I wrote a brief post for E's company blog. I really need to do that again. And not being able to watch a drama until I write a page has made me write 3 pages so far. No sugar in my tea is not that easy. I'm kind of cheating by using this flavored creamer, but I'm measuring it out so that I then have to use half and half. More fat, but less sugar. I loaned several dresses to L so she can pick two to wear to a wedding this weekend. I miss them. Why were most of them blue/green/tan? Don't I own dresses with color?

S depresses me. I need to just forget about him. He's not even a good friend.

Monday, September 15, 2014

pain, so i vow

For no good reason, my right shoulder hurt all day. I'm talking pain, not ache. So bad I had to take ibuprofen and now I know why people get hooked on pain medication. I only hope it's better in the morning.

I vow for the entire week to put no sugar in my tea. I am also not allowed to watch dramas unless I've written a page or read 30 pages.

Tomorrow I'm going to try some different crock pot food. We'll see what happens with lentils, tomatoes, and chicken.

Friday, September 12, 2014

bunch of crock pot food

Yesterday I bought a crock pot from walmart for $15.92. This morning I put in the random food I had in the order the crock pot company said I should. Then I put it on Low and went to work. I confess I worried off and on all day that the crock pot would malfunction and set the apartment on fire. When I got near Rt1 I was relieved not to see smoke billowing up over the trees. So yeah, basically when I walked in the pot lit was doing that thing lids do when there's pressure built up underneath, so rattling basically. I came in and turned the crock pot off. It did make the whole apartment smell like food. It's a little weird because I used these ingredients:

1 can condensed mushroom soup
4 red potatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 a green pepper
1 pack of chicken breasts, cut into chunks
thyme dumped on top

The food cooked perfectly and nicely, but I think I needed a bit more water because there were a couple too dark potatoes and the meat on top was a bit dry. It also needed more salt. Maybe I needed to come back sooner? It cooked for 9 hours because I stopped at the grocery store on the way home. Anyway, it was good enough that I stuffed myself with at least 2 servings in a big bowl. Then I put away the leftovers into microwavable dishes. So I've got lunch for Monday already, plus 1 meal each for Sat/Sun. I look forward to experimenting. I need to put in more veggies next time, but I think this is the start of me eating a lot better than I have since I moved in.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

i don't feel permanent

I watched the first episode of "It's Okay, That's Love," a Kdrama that's actually been on for a few weeks. I think next week is it's last week if it's a 16 episode show. The reviews that I've read on dramabeans were a little mixed, so I didn't start it before, but I think the consensus is that it's worth my time, so it's now on my Watching list. The only other thing on that list is Joseon Gunman, which has become a little less exciting as the episodes go on, but I'll still finish while doing my hair or something.

Had one of those long meetings today, which make the work day go by super fast. And then I got a bonus check for winning those awards last month! So yay, when that comes in the next pay period I won't have to worry about maybe moving funds from savings to pay the bills. I'm trying to make my attitude about money be more holistic, as in I think lifetime rather than month-to-month. That may mean that I have to move somewhere else when my lease is up because this place is a great central location, but the rent keeps creeping up, and I now live in a non-rent-controlled state. Does this mean I need to save money in the 401(k) to use to buy a house? I don't feel that permanent yet though, what with the PhD thing not laid to rest. Should I just do it?

Stroke Update - Last weekend I went home so I could see Nana. I'm talking I woke up at work time on Saturday, so I was heading up 95 by 7:22am. I was north of Baltimore by 8am, the time when I'm normally just getting to work. Traffic is crazy, peeps. So I got home and Mom and my middle sister were just getting up. Heck, even Darcy was just uncurling from her rug. Turns out she rejected the pillows I gave her, but is all for bathroom rugs. Anyway, Aunt Shauna came over and then Mom drove to visit Nana. Pop went over to 913 to help Poppi put in a mailbox. When we got to Nana's room she was sitting up in the wheelchair like normal. It shocked everyone I think. For a moment I thought she was cured. But as we were there she started to lose her energy. And by the time Michelle tried to help her choose her meals for the next day, Nana was confused again and hear head progressively lowered. We got to watch as she ate lunch though - she had solid foods, but not too solid as she's still having swallowing problems. Mom says that her insurance is going to run out, so they have to send her home. Mom had a meeting with the doctor on Monday, but I don't know how it went since when I called no one was home. I guess I can ask my middle sister.

My brother hopped a train to FL and my parents keep telling me (in a very laidback way) to make sure he's still alive. I think they're worried, but they're not going to say they're worried. And I get it. I mean, the only money he has is the security deposit from moving out of his apartment. He only got to FL because my dad bought him and his car a train ticket. Mom says I was born with my hands in fists and he was born with his hands wide open. If that means anything, I save money and he spends it. Example, yes I got that bonus check, but I have no plans to buy anything. I don't have anything I want to buy, except I know I'm going to have to buy a new laptop in the next year or so and a new cell phone when the one I have craps out. My brother buys people things and gives people the expensive things he bought but doesn't want to use any more because he wants to use some other thing. I think I could use a little more generosity and he could use a little more selfishness. My middle sister spends and saves, so she's perfect. My youngest sister is just like my brother. Looks both of them are going to need someone to reign them in from spending when they start earning a lot of money. Budget.

My apt is putting new siding on my building and it looks awful because first they rip off all the old siding. They started on the edge of my building and haven't made it to my actual apartment yet, but I'm not going to like it when they do. I foresee a lot of awkward conversations with random men in hardhats in my future. I hope they're attractive men in hard hats.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

yeah my mama she told me don't worry...

May have a problem. I know I have to cook so I can eat. I don't feel like cooking, so I'd rather go to bed hungry. That's what I did last night. Can't today - I need to cheer for myself! I need to be motivated to cook the tomatoes my grandfather gave me from his garden. He grew them himself, ya'll.
from MD, not PA, but close enough
Meghan Trainor's All About that Bass song is stuck in my head. I really haven't listened to the radio much this summer, so I don't know the new songs. Somehow I picked up this one though.

Praying for my nana.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

live well

Nana is doing a lot worse than I thought. I didn't know what a stroke could do to someone. And everyone at the rehab facility has been hit in a different way. Why does my nana seem the worst off? It's so hard to leave her there after visiting. I was upset, I had indigestion and she asked me if my stomach hurt. That felt so good. She didn't talk before unless you ask, but she'll sing a song she knows with you. Her skin is so soft and she's so frail. She can hold a glass and drink from it though. Before going I told myself the stroke wasn't that bad, that she'd be almost back to normal by the time I saw her, but I was wrong. When I first hugged her, I started crying and got her sweatshirt all wet. It's cold there. I need to go see her again this weekend. I can't leave her there all alone, even if all I can do is hover uselessly. My mom visits every day she can except for Tuesdays.

I also saw my brother, who is going to take the train to FL, along with his car. Didn't know you could pay for that, but you can. I won't see him again until maybe October. But that's not very far away. I hope he doesn't injure himself playing basketball and lives well.

I discovered the secret to perfect chocolate milk made with syrup. It's half and half.

Friday, August 29, 2014

something about me I don't know

What happened today? I finally cooked. First time since I came back from Ocean City. I've been surviving on left over Indian food, spicy and so good. Of course, I made the easiest thing - lentils and rice. Been spending too much money on grocery shopping, so from now on I'm limiting myself to once a week. I think going in and out for quick trips prevents me from realizing how much I'm spending.

Labor Day weekend plans are just to go home so I can visit my grandmother who had a stroke two weeks ago and is now in a rehab facility. She's the one who tells me the same story of the first time she saw me every year on my birthday. And how as a toddler I'd eat the bread I was supposed to feed to the ducks. No one else is going to tell me that. It's too hard, living without people.

Went to the autopart store to buy a bulb because I realized the day time running light on the driver's side is out, but the girl there told me that was a dealer part. Really? It's a bulb. Is it the same as a headlight? I only noticed this morning when I was at a red light checking out my car's reflection in the bumper of the car in front of me and I could only see the one light. I don't want to be one-eyed sally.

Feeling sad the past few days. One day I did nothing after work but sleep, then watch an hour of BBT reruns, then sleep again. I am doing better at waking up though. The horrible traffic and the school zone that comes on just after 7:30 motivated me. I've had to start eating breakfast at work, and I still get in traffic, but I'm on time so I can leave at 4:30. Leaving after is the horror. I don't know why I'm not used to it by now. It's happening right now!

S stopped talking to me, which is what I wanted. But still isn't a good feeling. What is it with me picking immature people who just stop talking to me? Okay, it was only twice, but still. Not a pattern I'd like to repeat. Is there something about me that I don't know? Probably.

This dude is supposed to be a guest judge on ANTM at some point.

His nickname is Beaky, but he has a fabulous voice (okay his real name is Lee Soo-hyuk). He was in the classic White Christmas where was depressed. Honestly, he looks depressed so it probably wasn't much of a stretch for him to play that role. But then more recently he was the second lead in High School King of Savvy, which I was obsessed with. His voice is wonderful and he cracked me up. Apparently he hangs out with the YG people in real life, so he must be even cooler than I thought.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

there's serenity

Does 20/30-something US vacation culture = drunk culture? How are people able to do that without gaining weight? My body likes to hold onto the weight and let go only when I pry it from grasping fingers; I can't participate in consuming empty alcohol calories.

Meditation on Thursday night at Seacrets and Friday night at 2 bar/clubs near me. I get that people go to clubs to dance with strangers, and with whatever friends they go with. From TV, you'd think people went primarily for random hookups, but that can't be the reality. For girls, it may just be so random guys tell you you're pretty and you get free drinks. I can never enjoy those drinks because they come with strings attached. So may strings there's a net woven to the ends of them. I'd rather save us both the trouble.

This isn't to say that I didn't have fun at Seacrets because I did. I really like that place. You walk around in sand. There are 3 different bands, so there's something to suit everyone's taste. I'd never been to a dance floor where they regularly drop confetti on you. I had fun jumping around to the music blasted by the cover band. Most people around me were drinking and trying to flirt with the frat boys who blocked my view by being tall and standing directly in front of me. The frat boy look is such a direct turnoff for me.  Except if Dave Franco is doing it.
Yeah, I said it!
Anyway, do I have anything special to say about drunk culture? Only that it's physically exhausting. I don't like being tired. It was a nice change of pace to go out a couple nights in a row and stay out past 1am. It's not really my thing, but I can't know what my thing is if I don't try a bunch of different things.

Also discovered that standing by the ocean or walking in the deep woods are equally as calming. There's serenity.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

oc recap 2014

I'm back!
JGL waves hi.
Had a lot of fun on my Ocean City trip! No need to read all of below. Just writing so that I remember this later.

Day One:
That was my first time crossing the Bay Bridge. Super impressive bridge, I have to say. I drove. We stopped at a Walmart for beach chairs and when I went to try out the chair I missed it and sat down on the ground instead. It shocked an old lady to whom I swore I was fine. We stayed at a Best Western, which smelled funny at first, but they said it was because of the cleaning chemicals and they must have been right because the smell was gone after the first couple hours. My friend doesn't like to walk far, but I do, even in flip flops. We put our feet in the water, then took the $3 bus to the boardwalk and walked up until we stopped at an Italian place where I had a crab quesadilla. The cheese taste overpowered the crab, but it was still good. We were going to go out, but were really exhausted by 9:30, so we accidentally fell asleep instead.

Day Two:
Continental breakfast, followed by a 45 minute workout, and the beach! I wore a bikini to the beach for the first time since I was a kid! (That week of arm training YouTube videos really helped because there's a picture of CS and I at Seacrets and my arms look not flabby. Still going to keep up with the arm workouts b/c they're a nice challenge.) We had beach snacks and ate a late lunch/dinner at Macky's. I had an awesome beach cover up dress on that I'd bought at Target for $7.48 the day before. I think I can wear it in the winter with layers. We ate outside in the sand with some palm trees. Then we went to Seacrets, where everyone and their momma told me I had to go, and drank fruity drinks and danced. Would have stayed until 2am but CS couldn't hang! Drinks were constantly splashing my legs, so I guess it was time to go. Always flattering to have people offer to buy you drinks though.

Day Three:
Continental breakfast. Checkout. Return of the one-piece bathing suit. Parked at 30th St dune crossing and hit up the beach until it rained a little and everyone left super fast. Walked to cute shops. Ate outside on a dock with palm trees at a restaurant called Blu. Had yummy fish tacos and stretched out. Super windy. Got my picture taken on top of a turtle. Saltwater taffy quest. Postcard quest. A little boardwalk. A meditative farewell to the ocean. Drove back to MD. On the drive a big rig trucker flirted with CS instead of concentrating on his driving. Downpour. Plastic sounds near my left wheels, but I checked the car and it seems fine. Went out to Looney's Pub and Nottinghams. The first was live music but no one really dancing. The second was in an office park and a little too street.

Slept in. Saw CS off. Laundry time. Korean drama catch-up time.