This and That

OY VEY x 340,098

I’m feeling a little bit anxious about the new job, new semester, longer commute, what-if-no-one-likes-me feelings of late.  So much so that I declared to R that starting on September 8 – my first day of work – I would no longer commit to any plans, save for when it was my turn to make dinner.  And I hope you think, darling, that cheese and chips make a fine meal.

There is much to be said about knowing your job, knowing that if the phone rings and if it’s a member, reporter, solicitor, etc. that you most likely have an answer.  And if you don’t have an answer, you know exactly where to find it.

I find comfort in routines and anticipating the questions.  Not understanding the rules – where they can bend, what makes them break – makes me anxious.  I fear I will resemble a deer in the headlights for the next couple of months.  And that knowledge in and of itself makes me want to take a very long nap.


  • I bought these shoes and it’s very unclear to me whether they are ugly-ugly or cute-ugly.  My favorite work husband told me they looked like old lady orthopedic sandals and I am oddly comfortable with that information.
  • And also bought a pair of Birkenstocks because everyone in Copenhagen had a pair and I was jealous.  The first day I wore them, I developed quite the blister and googled “breaking in Birkenstocks OMG” and found this gem.
  • I want to live in this apartment.  I can make pictures hang level like a boss but that is where all of my decorating skills end.  I kept looking at these photographs thinking how did she know how to do that?
  • One picture of Iceland to help convince you to book travel immediately, if not sooner.


  • And I’ve been listening to this song non-stop:

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And then…

In no particular order, in the last two weeks I:

  • Finished summer school, which nearly was the death of me.  Sitting still for 2 hours during fall and spring semester after a full day at work is completely reasonable.  Sitting for 3 1/2 hours during summer courses after a full day of work was simply unbearable.  Especially as I missed a lot of evening dips in the pool, outdoor drinking and long bike rides on breezy summer evenings.  And doesn’t that seem unfair?  I scooted out with a cool 3.945 GPA, as my serious lack of effort earned me my first A-.
  • Got my annual summer is-this-a-cold-or-a-sinus-infection-or-does-my-home-have-mold-am-I-dying illness.
  • Went on a spectacular week-long vacation to Iceland and Copenhagen, Denmark (more on that later) with this beautiful girl, my best cousin:


  • Was offered a new job.
  • Accepted a new job.
  • Quit my current job.  Was successful in not crying when I told my beloved boss, remain concerned that I am losing my status as her favorite millennial.
  • Endured days of kind comments and we’ll miss you sentiments from my colleagues.
  • Bought no less than three pairs of new shoes for a little retail therapy.

I celebrated these fetes, all these changes – and I really hate change – by making an illegal left-handed turn on my bike and smacking into the rear side panel of a minivan speeding up to cruise through a yellow light yesterday morning.

First and foremost, I am fine.  I didn’t bleed, didn’t hit my head, didn’t even spill my gigantic tupperware of chicken salad!  Other than a little road rash, the only thing wounded is my pride.  As I knew instantly the whole shebang was my fault.  And it sucks when it’s your fault.

It’s time, as my father says, to get my head back in the game.

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I came home from a business dinner last night and noticed our front lawn was in dire need of a cut.  I traded my dress pants for a pair of cut-offs shorts, donned my cowboy boots as to not get itchy grass cuttings on my feet and went to town with the weed wacker, pearl necklace and all.  R sat on the front porch drinking a beer.  It’s a shame we didn’t conclude the evening with a photo shoot.


R survived our annual family gathering at my mother’s cabin.  Just me, R and 55 of my closest relatives.  Everyone told me how much they liked him and then had a couple of beers and just told him directly.  Having your family like your new boyfriend is like winning the boyfriend lottery, I’m pretty sure.

The cabin was just as wonderful as it tends to be.  The weather was perfect, the water warm (by Minnesota standards) and the brats filled with wild rice, as the Emily, Minnesota butcher and God intended.  I’m fairly certain my mother wins the awards of all awards for churning out so many waffles and blueberry pancakes.

I water skied one morning and epically crashed – out of the ski, face first into the water with one of my favorite stud earrings finding its final resting place at the bottom of lake Ruth.  My muscles were so sore from the lap around the lake that I gave up after I fell and hauled myself into the boat with my shaking muscles.  I then proceeded to complain about my sore body for the next 48 hours because my mom loves the opportunity to coddle and provide comforting, sympathetic comments to her eldest child because she’s out of shape.  Seriously, guys, she loves it.


I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  R and I are going to the zoo and out for ramen noodles.  And then I’m going to strongly consider doing my homework.  Remember when I had a 4.0?  Yeah, me too.

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Some Things on Thursday


My friend Cara has a solo show in this year’s D.C. Fringe Festival and I suggest you snap up tickets immediately and mentally prepare for some vigorous clapping.

Cara’s sister Bree was my boss long ago when I first moved to D.C.  As the story goes, Bree and her boyfriend broke up and the two of us spent the next several months bouncing around D.C. together – typically with alcohol and tacos, sometimes with Cara.  Since then, I have been informally adopted into their sisterly tribe, complete with matching monogrammed beach towels to make it super official.

I’ve never once wished for a sister.  But I am glad I’ve got these two.  Especially since Bree makes the turkey for Thanksgiving and Cara bakes the pie.

The District of Cara runs through July at the Tree House Lounge on Florida Avenue.  Tickets are $17 plus the cost of a Fringe Festival button ($5 at the ticket office, $7 at the door).  I really hope I don’t have to wear the button.

More details here or on the D.C. Fringe Festival website.  The show starts Saturday.


I had the most marvelous time in Minnesota last week.  Such a wonderful time in fact that I bought tickets for R and I to go back next weekend for our annual family day.  I may have failed to mention exactly how many people show up for family day, but he says he’s excited.  And if he’s lying about that – what a smart boy.  I think my mom has more sisters than R has relatives, so this should be fun for everyone!  I told him – quoting the wise advice my cousin Mina gave to her now-husband at his first family day – that when he gets overwhelmed, he should grab a beer, grab a floatie and take a break.


  • I am getting my ass kicked at Words with Friends by numerous members of my family.  I don’t know why I’m surprised.
  • I’ve only got three weeks left of summer school.
  • I have to go to happy hour in Falls Church tonight.  That is WAY outside of the zone, as it is way way in the Virginia suburbs.  I told R that I would go, since you’re supposed to compromise in relationships and shit, but I was doing so under protest.  And that I would probably need snacks and bottled water, lest I get hungry or dehydrated during the 900 minute metro trip.
  • This is hilarious:

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I hated D.C. when I first moved here 6 1/2 years ago.  All of my favorite people were still living and drinking together in Chicago.  I wasn’t sure about my new job.  I knew a grand total of like 6 people on the Eastern seaboard either of non-drinking age or the age of my parents.  And while my mom and dad’s friend John has proved to be an excellent happy hour companion, it took what felt like mostly forever to adjust.  To find my grove.  And my people.  And most importantly, my footing.

But days like this – while long gone in the newscycle – days like this make me so happy to be here.  For during my time in D.C., I was on the National Mall during President Obama’s first inauguration, heard countless Members of Congress speak and walked through the White House gardens.  I was a guest at wedding with a cabinet secretary as the officiant and worried that I gave Helen Thomas strep throat*.  And two weeks ago, I stood in front of the Supreme Court with hundreds of others, as the interns ran and word spread that gay marriage was now the law of our land.  I hugged my friend and chanted with strangers, “USA!  USA!”

*My goodness, has my grasp of proper grammar and punctuation improved since then.

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A couple years ago, I walked into a large church near my house one Sunday morning.  I was feeling lonely and alone and wanted feel part of a community, if only for an hour.  Sneaking in and sitting in a back pew, conspicuously dressed in jeans and a sweater, carrying a to-go cup of coffee, I watched as the mostly black congregation in their Sunday best greeted each other warmly before sitting down.  The priest, a round white man – who in his sermon used the word “amen” like a comma – walked around the church saying good morning.  He found me in the back and shook my hand to introduce himself, noticing that I was a new face.  Before services started, he asked all of the people new to the church to stand so everyone could welcome us.


My boss said Thursday morning, thinking aloud, “How did they not notice him, didn’t he look out of place?”

“It’s a church,” I said.  “Everyone is welcome in a church.”


A Politico artlce I read this morning said, “[Dylann] Roof told police that he ‘almost didn’t go through’ with the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, ‘because everyone was so nice to him.’”

Well, doesn’t that just break your heart.


It was also reported that some of the family members of the victims said to Roof at the bond hearing, “I forgive you.”

The woman who spotted his car, the police that arrested him, the community that rallied, they are all commendable in so many ways.  But the families that forgave someone who did something unforgivable – they are the real heroes in this story.  And that is something I certainly admire in the face of such a devastating event.  Because I don’t think I could ever be so merciful.  And so brave.

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How to: Have stressful meetings with the boss like a professional

1.  Schedule Super Important Meeting with boss to discuss general feelings of discontent.

2.  Remain totally cool when meeting gets pushed two hours.

3.  Sit down with boss and try to convey all feelings with wild hand gestures in effort not to cry.

4.  Start to cry.

5.  Talk about feelings while wiping tears off face and chugging water out of Bubbles Hair Salon water bottle.

6.  Use all of boss’ Kleenex.  Remark that it is actually not Kleenex brand, so should be referred to as tissue and isn’t it weird that we call all tissue Kleenex?

7.  Sit in boss’ glass-walled office with back to the door for one half-hour past business hours so no one sees proof of super unprofessional red, blotchy face.  Talk to boss about the awesomeness of the play Newsies.

8.  Run out of office with sunglasses on.

9.  Vow to only correspond with boss via email until the shame of crying dissipates.

10.  Feel much better.  Mentally high-five boss for being a calm, cool and supportive mentor and woman.

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10 on Thursday

1.  Cabin in three weeks!  Iceland and Copenhagen in two months!  Special to Josephine, do we have a place to stay in Iceland yet?  Anyone got any grand suggestions?

2.  As for popular in the news this week, Caitlyn Jenner, all I’ve got to say is more power to you.

3.  Books you should read this summer:  Big Little Lies, The Boston Girl, The Slap, The Round House, to name a few.

4.  Things you should eat: steak tacos with cilantro and radish salsa.  I’ve made these no less than four times in the last five days, both with steak and rotisserie chicken.  If you cut up the radishes, cilantro and green onions in larger batches, it is a five-minute meal that doesn’t involve turning on your oven in the summer.  And at my sweet house without central air, we will not be during on our oven until the end of September.

5.  Congrats to my dear friend Spano on her baby boy.  It is remarkable to me that we’re now considered old enough and responsible enough to care for another human being, a tiny one at that.  I realized in my mid-20s that I was officially a grown up, as if I were to get pregnant people would congratulate me, as opposed to saying something along the lines of, “Her poor mother, she had such promise.  She got into such a good college, too.”

6.  With that said, I would like to confess I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.  And it was 100% delicious.

7.  We found a new roommate!  Wait, did I tell you we needed a new roommate?  Our basement dweller, K, who will forever and ever complete the tripod of the most peaceful household in which I have ever lived (the frat house was lovely, but I would not necessarily call it peaceful with Roommate A’s very vocal sports fandom and the general debauchery), got a job near Dulles and for some reason selfishly choose to move closer to work than to commit to a roughly three-hour roundtrip commute every day if she were to stay with us.

I am trying real hard to not hold it against her but am unable to restrain myself as introducing her as “the roommate that is selfishly leaving me.”

Anyway, we interviewed one person, a dude in his late twenties named J, and he agreed to move in.  He seems nice and normal and like it’s too good to be true.  Because our other option was a Hill staffer that, according to a quick google search, liked to take family portraits with AK-47s.  Yep, husband (potential roommate), wife, three children, all posing with gigantic guns.

8.  Everyone on Facebook thinks I’m over reacting to this article – Snakes in walls: Realtor accused of selling infested home – but holy fuck, I’m OK living without a snake SUPER HIGHWAY in my home.  And I’m a pretty tough girl, I pulled a gigantic bug out of the shower this morning.  But snakes, raccoons…no fucking thank you.  This house should be burned down immediately.

9.  This made me laugh and laugh: Leaked Republic Campaign Emails, Re: White House Toddler Temper-Tantrum

10.  This song is doing it for me right now, don’t know why, don’t care:

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R is such a better dresser than I am – in a southern gentleman-esque type of way.  He’s always so coordinated and put together and I’m always so wrinkly.

“Why is that?” my dad asked.

“They don’t make a lot of wrinkle-free clothes for women,” I said.  “I think society wants to make sure we don’t forget how to iron.”

I also have a lot of holes in the toes of my tights.

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Five on Friday

1. My company’s website and social media manager very selfishly got married and is currently honeymooning in Mexico with his new bride.  Which means I am stuck doing all of the social media for my organization.  And you know what I hate?  Social media.  My boss likes to joke that I would make a much better 42-year-old than 27-year-old.  Which is true.

Yesterday I managed to code and get our newsletter out all by myself and set my mind to doing a little Twitter outreach to Members of Congress that we currently think are the jam.  I spelled cosponsoring wrong* in ELEVEN Tweets that went out last night.  Just as I was starting to think I was softening towards Twitter, I’ve rightfully returned to hating it now.  It’s for the best.

Luckily, I could delete that shit because it was a harmless mistake and not say, oh, a communications director trying to cover up a blunder.

My two favorite example here and here.  (Although that isn’t the worst thing in former-Rep. Schock’s office that’s going on lately, being that the congressman decorated his D.C. office with a Downton Abbey theme and has since resigned due to ethics violations.  I do adore a good gossipy political scandal.

2.  I was walking into work a couple of weeks ago, standing on the corner at a red light with one of the very conservative, religious older admin ladies from my office when a homeless woman stopped, pointed at me and said, “You look like you’ve got a tight pussy, get on your back and put your legs in the air.”

My co-worker burst out laughing, I stood there in stunned silence waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the light to change so I could walk away.  Livin’ in the city.  Always a dream.

3.  If you need a new blog to add to your list, head over to Camp Patton.  I kind of want to take this woman’s eldest daughter with me everywhere to provide colorful commentary, in the most non-kidnapping way possible.

I nannied for a 4-year-old when I first got to D.C. who looked at me one afternoon and said, dead serious, “Rachel, A-Rock-O-Bama [Barack Obama] is so handsome, no one can stop him.”

I think I also accidentally taught this little one a slight bit of road rage when, stuck in traffic on the way to preschool, she banged on her car seat and said, “Oh, come on!”

4.  Both my little brothers had birthdays this week – turning the grown-ass ages of 23 and 25.  My, how we’ve all grown up.  Joining me in wishing these boys a belated happy birthday.

5.  And a jam to get you through your Friday.  How happy are we that Missy Elliot is back?  Answer: Super stoked.

*Because I noticed the squiggly line and thought it was because spell check wanted me to hyphenate or put a space between “co” and “sponsor” which is not how we roll in D.C.

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