Friday, February 28, 2014

left the house at 7:50am, came back at 7:30pm

Uuuugh. No fun getting home from work at 7:30pm. I want to watch the last two episodes of My ♡ From Another Star, but I'm too tired to enjoy it, so I won't. It takes energy to squee. Instead I'll just take a shower and settle into bed with my latest book.

Talked to UD on the phone this morning (one of the reasons why I had to stay late at work). Was a good conversation. Remarkably fate worked out so that I was alone in my office for that time. Guess the convo was meant to be. Anyway, I felt better about the career choice of leaving work for school to go federal again. It's doable. I don't want to go through the depression I did last year. I need to always have a job or job prospects.

Woman at work told me she hasn't read a book for 27 years because she can't concentrate that long. I can believe it. You know how when you're a kid, you go home and tell your parents stories about your friends who they'll never meet. Your parents tolerate you talking to them about Jenny and Jeremiah and Ellie's new hairstyle, and the Jake falling on his face. Kids aren't usually good enough story tellers to make those people actually interesting. And somewhere down the line, kids stop reporting every detail of their life to other people. Well this woman never stopped. Words just pop out of her mouth in a stream, bubbling up from an underground spring. Don't get me wrong, I like her, it's just I read an article about how the person who talks in the office and keeps everyone from doing their job might be a spy. Well I immediately thought of her; God bless her. Anyway, my parents raised us to prize education and reading and using your brain, so I can't empathize with never reading. I read at least a book every 2 weeks.

 a duh. thank you perspective

Thursday, February 27, 2014

paintings are the food of life

I painted! The first was inspired by the print on one of my bras. It looked good when I was drawing it, but the paper is too small, so it doesn't look like much from far away. It's sketches of flowers with a watercolor wash. The flowers are too small. I might try it again with one giant flower.
not that I'm this good
In a traffic jam this morning, I was looking at a tan minivan covered in salt scum and it reminded me of the "Frost" Corelle plate that Mom bought last Saturday. I knew I had to paint it. So I did the frost pattern on black construction paper with white paint and it turned out pretty well. I taped it up over the kitchen light switch. Also, a random yellow paper with blue paint I liked, so I hung that up in the guest room. I tried to replicate it almost with red paper and yellow paint, but it wasn't the same. I was hoping for a kind of orange medium, but no go. Still, I think the random paintings are going to cheer up my apartment. And I should probably buy some more tape. The paper cost about $4, the paints $4, and the brushes $3 maybe (rounding up). I'm glad I got them because the paint brush that came with the paints is the crappiest of crap. I put it in water to maybe soften out the bristles, but I'm probably going to just throw it away.

The painting this is my home improvement project. I went crazy and made an IKEA list, but then I evaluated my budget, what with my rent increase, and there's no way I can afford to drop $500 on stuff I may or may not like. So I settled for seeing what I can get at places like Home Goods, Walmart, Michaels, and going to check out Target too. I just need it to look homey and be mostly baby-proofed before mid-April.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

winter snowy ice glory

I watched some Olympics to get over my withdrawal from their winter snowy ice glory. Women's figure skating and men's short track.

The Queen of figure skating 김연아
Yes, a couple years ago I randomly taught myself to read Hangul b/c I was bored with not being able to read in Kdramas. And I forever love Apolo Ohno, but I now have deep respect for Viktor Ahn. And JR Celski could be in high school - such a baby face.

Dentist tomorrow morning. Commence mad brushing.

Friday, February 21, 2014

phd drama (round 2)

About to get on that highway. Must remember to go to Old Navy and see if their jeans fit me. I don't remember if their clothes are well-made or not, but $14 jeans are worth checking out.

Friday and I got an email from one of the PhD programs I got into, from the close one, asking if I want to start next fall or if I want to not do it anymore. Going to do some thinking before I respond, but I've been thinking a whole year now, so I won't come to an easy decision. I wanted a job for so long, and now I have one, but am I just going to work in administration for ever? I think that wouldn't be fun. At first I thought, wow four whole years. That's a while. But in the scale of your life, 4 years isn't a while. If you take care of yourself and barring any accidents, life is long. 4 years to get a PhD and more opportunities is a good sacrifice to make. To have the lifestyle I want and be able to travel for work and think for a living. I've already come so far compared to the opportunities I would have had a 100 years ago, but I can go further. Should I go further as a girl with 2 masters degrees, or as a girl with 2 masters degrees and a PhD? Aye, there's the rub.

Also, I can only afford this apartment for one more year. There's no way I can take another rent increase. I'm barely earning more than I spend on bills as it is. This next year of $53 increase is going to hurt. So money plays into the decision. Also peer pressure. The friends closest to me are the ones really going for it in terms of their education. They're always learning, always moving forward, and I am definitely not doing any learning or moving forward. I just come home and am tired, so I watch the Olympics while I eat dinner. Or Kdramas. Not that I wouldn't watch Kdramas, even if I was in school. It's been established that I'm addicted to them. I can do away with all American TV (even Psych), if I can keep watching K dramas. Also, I am tired of my one co-worker treating me like I'm dumb. "Do I know what an asymptote is?" Duh! Of course I know! Every kid in high school knows! And then he proceeds to explain to me what it is, even though I was a freaking math major at Hopkins! I try really hard not to dislike people, because once I dislike them I get only negative feelings, and if it's a person I have to work with, I really would rather only feel positive. But he is coming close. Oh, I can feel it. The only thing saving the issue is we don't usually have direct contact, other than a weekly meeting. Still, even if I had a PhD, he'd probably assume I don't know what a limit is. Smh. If I do go to school, I have to do it soon. I can feel myself getting rusty.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

post-exercise burn (+peppermint tea)

The week 4 video of winter shape-up surely was a workout. The video is crazy good.
But the girl who made the workout video is kind of awesome. Usually I get tired of the leader's voice, which makes me only do the workout a few times. But I like her.  Favorite quotes:
Last one. Best one.
This is real life.
I just can't get over how fantastic it is that she's likeable, even while she forces you to sweat. I like the workouts because the exercises change so fast that I don't have time to get bored.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and after that only two more days of winter shape up left. I really needed it to stay active. The hold the cold has on me has been strong in 2014.

Prayers to my coworkers and their families. Prayers to my family.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

water colors

In April, my friend with a baby is going to come and stay with me. Also, the week before that one of my GA cousins is coming. And I just signed the lease for another year in the apartment. I guess I have to actually decorate. Yes, I would like it if I came home to a comfy cozy apt all decked out in a girly fashion, like the apartments of half of all K-drama heroines. I think my first step is rugs and curtains. And a TV stand. I find that rugs really bring together a room. And then I need to start the water color paintings. I like landscapes and I can draw, so this apt is going to get decorated.

Looked at the vacation photos my dad took. Oahu was so beautiful. I look at those photos and I can remember how it felt to be there. And then I look outside... I will love summer this year. I always do, but I need to love it even more. I need to spend every moment I can outside. Other moral from vacation photos- I seriously need to only by v-necked shirts. Like seriously; the chest area just makes me look chesty, and not even in a flattering way. And I only worse that green tank top because it's so damn comfortable. Sigh.
I heard the complaints that military people had about living in Hawaii, but I think I would still do it. Yeah, I'd miss the seasons and I'd hate the traffic, but I'd live there for 3 years. Keep your house/apt bug free, be willing to budget, have your own assigned parking spot, and forget about shoveling snow. I'd turn so brown just sitting on the beach, away from all the crowds. Funny how my idea of relaxation always comes down to away from all the people sooner or later. Please, God, don't make me live in a city.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

snow day 2014 :-)

Code red at work, which just means it snowed, so don't go in to work. Unfortunately, I had to telework. Are those extra hours? I hope it snows a buttload tonight so that I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  Upside, no commuting, I got to have the Olympics on in the background, I did my workout in the middle of the day, I drank like 7 cups of tea and I think I'm going to make some more, there's nothing like tramping through a foot of snow in waterproof boots, my neighbor helped me shovel out my car, and of course hearing everyone's snow day stories.
and i'll love you (platonic) forever
Saving on commuting time means I get to watch dramas. I'm on a total rom com kick, so I already squee'd over the latest two episodes of "My Love From Another Star." And after my tea, I'm going to watch episode 4 of "I Need Romance 3." I never bothered to watch 1 or 2, but Sung Joon is in the third one, and there's something about him that does it for me. I'm basically in love with his voice and his acting. I know it's not his looks b/c he looks like a very tall 17 year old. I'm a sucker for a good male voice, not the high ones. Take Jang Geun-seok for instance, he is (or was) pretty like a girl, but his voice is delicious. It goes the opposite way too, like Kang Ji-hwan who looks attractive, but his voice is just so darn high that I can't get behind him.

This also goes for real life. I come from a family of skinny people. I think all my cousins, which is like 30 people, are skinny except for 2 (to my male cousins, skinny/muscular in some cases). My parents are skinny. I am for some reason, the only one of my 3 siblings that has to struggle with eating and exercising in order to stay thin. I flirted with chubby, but now I'm a size 6, so smaller than the average woman around these here parts. Anyway, all I'm saying is I'm preconditioned to love skinny  people. I do not go for husky guys. And if you're a husky guy with a high voice, oh it'll never happen. I mean, I can't force myself to be attracted to you. This is my trouble, I need to meet some guy that I'm actually attracted to. No, friends from high school, don't make me online date.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

playing hard to get with me all night

It's black history month and all, but I'm fresh out of living black authors who I've actually read. If I can make it over the river and through the woods to my parents' house this weekend, I'll look in my old book of books I've read. There have to be some black authors in there. The trouble is that I don't set out to read black authors. I just read authors. I just read good fiction, and some of those people are black. Some are Indian. Some are Japanese. You get the picture. Speaking of books, I need to check out out on my kindle from the library, juuuust in case the power decides to go out. Why are there so many trees? My car. My apt. There are so many trees that could land on them. What if I'm in the car or apt? I read an Anne Tyler novel where the main character's wife got killed in her own house because a tree fell through the roof and then the main character started hallucinating her.

Anyway, looks like it's going to be a code red tomorrow, but I have to work anyway b/c Friday is a due date. It's the first time in a long time that there's been a traditional due date and I think everyone's a bit rusty b/c they keep asking me all the questions. I mean all the questions. And I can never articulate them correctly. Why can't I talk? I can only write. Only write.

Mike Posner is stuck in my head. I don't think it's cool to like him anymore, if it ever was cool. I've never been that cool. I read Glamour articles about Taylor Swift.

can i have a reading room full of light and books, like this?

Monday, February 10, 2014

short track! short track!

I always forget how entertaining men's short track is.  People going down left and right. Everyone graceful and controlled. Pulling off spandex suits. Yes, I should be asleep by now.
Men's 1500m, final heat

Going to cut down to one scoop of sugar per cup of tea. I drink a lot of tea. I dreamed about ice cream, so I made the dream come true and bought it.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

feel the Olympics addiction coming on

Been struggling to churn out a post a day on black writers for Black History Month. Mostly struggling because I don't make an effort to remember author names and I'm trying to stick with living writers. I think it would be so boring to rehash the same classic authors over and over. I mean, I love Chekhov, but the man's been dead for years; give me someone who's heard of the internet and used a cell phone. Yes, I know Chekhov is Russian and definitely not Black. He was just the first dead author I thought of, is all.

Still doing the Winter Shape Up 2014 program. I've almost made it through 2 weeks. Tomorrow I just need to do the workout video, take a shower, and then it's off to the Wizards game with AC. I also want to buy some Turkey Hill ice cream, which I just realized is $1.98 this week. I went to Shoppers today, but didn't even look down the ice cream aisle. I had eaten only a biscuit all day, so I was weak. I couldn't even find it in me to have a pleasant bland look on my face. It was that situation where you stand and your vision goes red and you feel like you're swaying. Why did I do that? I woke up and read a book for hours instead of sensibly eating something. In my delirium, I accidentally bought pork sausage. Ew. I wanted turkey! I didn't realize it until I'd eaten two. I was wondering why it tasted different. Ew. Ew. Ew.
Sochi opening ceremony

Olympics time differences are throwing me off. I guess watching the Winter Olympics was easier the last time around when they were in Vancouver. You could watch it live then. I read that Sochi is 9 hours ahead of EST, but for some reason I can't get my head straight concerning when I should actually watch. Does all the action happen while I'm asleep? So far I've managed to watch only reruns, but at least since I'm so anti-web surfing these days I'm not getting spoiled. I really just care about the figure skating (not ice dancing), the snowboarding, and the speed skating. I caught some athlete stories and also saw Apolo Anton Ohno, who isn't competing but announcing this time around. He got ridiculously famous thanks to the Olympics, and I used to have a crush on him back in 2002 in Salt Lake. I thought he was so much older and cooler than me - turns out he was 19. My mini-crush has stayed steady over the years, but will always be mini due to his facial hair, haha. I'm superficial like that. I also caught a rerun of Evgeni Plushenko skating in the team event mens short program, and it was cool to hear his name pronounced with a Russian accent. I'm totally saying it wrong. So wrong. He's 31 and I hate how they're calling him old.

Loving the Kdrama You From Another Star/My Love From Another Star. I've gotten into the ritual of watching the week's episodes Friday after work. I sqee'ed so hard after the end of episode 15 yesterday. I adore the female lead (she makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me jealous that she can pull off so many avant garde fashion choices). I adore the male lead (he's a grumpy old man in a 26 year old's hot body, always grumbling about kids today). I adore the second male lead (baby!). The best scenes are the ones where the two leads are together. I love when the occasional super-addicting Kdrama comes along. I've been wanting to watch "I Need Romance 3," only because Sung Joon is sexy in every picture I see from that show, and I liked the female lead in Two Weeks, so it must be good. I've always thought Sung Joon was kind of tall and awkward, and the only thing that made him sexy was his voice. Even in "Can We Get Married?" I thought of him as kind of awkward and adorable more than someone who gets your heart thumping. I'm sure hoping those pictures aren't lies because I am prepared to adore his character.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl XLVII... and here I keep thinking it's 34 every year

Half-watching the Superbowl. Or I was. Not much of a game this year. I mostly turned it on b/c it reminds me of my father. He doesn't watch sports as much as he used to, but he always watches the Superbowl. This year he's stuck in San Fran.

Was 50 and cloudy and a gorgeous day to be outside today. I meant to run for 30 minutes, but I wound up walking/wandering around outside for an hour and 15. I covered 4.78miles. I needed it! Tomorrow it's back to cold and snow and slipping around.

Spent the weekend engrossed in Tartt's "Goldfinch" novel; still not done, but I'm moving along. The main character frustrates me sometimes though - it's hard to put myself in his place and think of his actions as reasonable. At the point in the novel I've reached, I'm tired of him b/c his first instinct is to lie. Lie. Lie. Lie. He's no good for the people in his life, a screwed up childhood only gives you so much leeway.

Tomorrow's plan is to make it through work as best I can. Looks like it'll be a boots kind of day again, as another snowstorm blows through the East coast. Meh.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

velvet... purrrr

It's very rare that I taste coffee and think it's awesome, but I had Zeke's Coffee for the first time this morning, a light roast, and I was surprised into saying out loud "This is good!" Why was I drinking Zeke's coffee and reminiscing about the NPR news story I'd just listened to on the drive up? B/c I was being an ambassador for EG's book reading in April. It got me out of the apt, I met a friendly person, and the rich parts of B-more are so gorgeous I just gawk at all the cool houses. And then on the way back, I stopped by Arundel Mills and their Loft outlet. Got 5 awesome pieces from the clearance section that I can't wait to wear; even a black velvet pencil skirt, although I'm not sure how long the velvet trend will last. And it seems to only be a trend in men's suits,
Choi Jin-huk at the Blue Dragon film awards
Lee Seung-gi at the 2013 MBC awards

And Mackelmore(right) at the Grammy's
but hell, it was 99 cents! Okay, $4... Then I went to Naturalizer and finally found a pair of black shoes I can wear with dress pants for work. They're a black patent leather menswear affair, and they cost more than all the clothes, but I'm willing to pay more for good shoes. My feet must be pampered! All in all, basically I spent the Christmas Benjamin my mom gave me. I do want to head out to the Lancaster outlets in mid-February to check out Pendleton - their coat sale last year was To. Die. For.

In Winter Shape-Up world, today was yoga day (for flexibility). I appreciate when I'm forced to relax. Tonight will center around my hair.