Because I can

Since I graduated from grad school, R and I have been in a full-blown travel sprint. We spent 10 days in Minnesota, complete with the annual family day experience. Visited his parents in Southern Virginia. Floated down a river in Asheville. Spent a weekend in Chicago commemorating one of my finest friends with beer and shots at our favorite college dive bar. Flew to Michigan for 25 hours to attend my second cousin’s wedding.

I’ve also read roughly 13 books. Repinched the nerve in my neck. Spent a couple weeks in physical therapy and finally, finally was able to start biking to work again this week.

BFF4EVA and R met for the first time. I starred at them for three days at my mother’s cabin asking if they were friends yet. I think they are.

I’ve taken so many naps and eaten to many pizzas and participated in so many impromptu happy hours, walks and dinners just because I have no homework to do or class to attend.

Being done with school is just the greatest. And now, with a whole summer between me and presenting my senior project in the last time spot on the last day I can finally say: grad school was totally worth it.

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Summertime and such

R and I have been tearing through summer. Thus far, we’ve been to New York City on a post-graduate school victory tour (I was victorious in graduating from my master’s program with a 3.96 GPA, R was victorious in putting up with me for the semester*), which really should be described as a New York City eating and drinking tour. We ate: dim sum at the oldest running dim sum restaurant in New York City, did extensive research and then consumed bagels and New York pizza, inhaled the world’s great french fries and burgers at the Spotted Pig, all the tacos and prosciutto and cheese at Eataly. Just to name a few meals.

And we drank: at a wonderful dive where we took shots at 1pm with the 23-year-old girl bartenders who were way cooler than we are, champagne on the glorious 4th floor bar at our hotel, Manhattans in Manhattan at a dark bar in Midtown and shots of Jameson at an Irish bar next to Penn Station before hopping a train home Sunday night.

R is lovely to travel with and A-OK with the travel style my family is accustom to: go, go, go, go, go, nap, go, go, go.

Since mid-May, we’ve also been to Virgina Beach to see R’s pals, where I attended my very first baby shower. And likely one of the few baby showers I’ll ever attend with an after party.

We also spent last weekend in Atlanta for best cousin Jo’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. I failed at googling “maid of honor” duties and learned the week before that I was responsible for recording all the gifts received at the bridal shower. I did an excellent job, if I do say so myself, and I got to snuggle a chunky, happy baby with the most amazing thighs.

Next weekend, we’re off to see R’s parents in southern Virgina and then meeting Jo and her fiance and a gang of folks in Asheville for the 4th of July weekend. There will be patriotic paraphernalia, there will be river tubing, there will be some light day drinking. We’re flying an airline I had never heard of until I bought our plane tickets (Allegiant). It might be a bring your own cabin pressure type of situation but I am hopeful.

So that’s what’s new with us. How about you?

*R gets the winner of all boyfriends awards for serving as my short order cook during my last semester of school and not smacking the empty coffee cup out of my hand every time I shook it at him while doing homework and said, “It’s a coffee emergency! It’s empty!” but instead, getting up off the couch to make me another latte.

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Some Things on Thursday

Remember me? Me neither. The last couple of months has been a blur of homework, homework, homework and some light stress crying.

I drank three (OK, four) glasses of wine at happy hour a couple of weeks ago with a girlfriend on an empty stomach. When I got home, R inquired about my day and I responded by bursting into hysterical tears. Being the thoughtful boy that he is, he patted my arm and ordered me two pizzas.

Listen up, gentleman, when your lady comes home slightly drunk and starts sobbing, always best to go with two pizzas.

But I’m almost done with grad school! Like ten days almost done. I don’t know who I pissed off this semester, but I am presenting my final senior project in the last time slot on the last day of presentations. (A lot of people, probably.)


There are often tour groups in our office space and with an open office plan, sometimes you feel like the tour groups are spectators here to watch you in your natural professional habitat.

A group just walked by while I was shoveling whole handfuls of Skinny Pop into my mouth (because how could you not open a bag of Skinny Pop and shove whole handfuls into your mouth?) while bopping to Missy Elliot in the pitch dark. Oh hi!


Anyone getting married soon? Here are some tips for success. I am Josephine’s maid of honor and suggested we start Facetiming each morning for practice.


Stolen directly from Facebook:
Scene: Your coworkers hands you a sympathy card because your other coworker’s cat died and you write “Sorry, buddy!” because what else do you write in a sympathy card for a cat?

And then you look at the other notes of condolence and realize the cat’s name was Buddy. And you desperately try to squeeze in the word “about” to seem like less of a jerk.

OK, back to work. Updates on life once my arm tires from fist pumping on May 9th at 8pm.

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The anatomy of a cohabitation 


In early December, R and I, tipsy on Christmas lights and champagne, decided to move in together while drinking at a basement speakeasy bar in Chinatown.


We had originally planned on March 1 for our cohabitation, but after I paid my $100 utility share for a house I hadn’t spent the night in since early November, we decided maybe Feb. 1 was more fiscally responsible. Then the first week of January, my old roommates found someone who was looking for a room as soon as possible and 10 days later, I was packed up and moved in with R exactly 11 months after our first date.

I sold my bedroom furniture to the new tenant, sold the rest of my furniture in the common space to the household and packed up my clothes and many many pairs of shoes and moved six blocks down the street to R’s apartment.

I only cried once during the move, which I’m calling a win. Even if it was while texting my girlfriend “IT WOULD BE A BAD IDEA TO PICK A HUGE FIGHT WITH R WHILE WE WE ARE MOVING IN TOGETHER RIGHT.”

I didn’t, for the record.


A couple weeks after I moved in, I got home from class at 8pm, took off my pants in the hallway, ate a ham and cheese sandwich standing over the kitchen sink and crawled into bed with my computer to watch old episodes of “Homeland.” I told R he could join me in exactly two hours and not a minute sooner. He obliged. Bless him.


Do you want to know what’s pretty great? Walking in the door after a 12-hour day and someone handing you a grilled cheese sandwich. Or someone else stopping at the store when you’re out of milk and toilet paper and paper towel and tin foil. R cleaned the bathroom this weekend and I wanted to write his mother a thank you note.

So yes, things are quite well. Thank you for asking.

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And Here We Are

A much delayed post that I wrote sitting in the Minneapolis airport after Christmas. After the two feet of snow we enjoyed this weekend – with the school closures and metro closures and corresponding anxiety D.C. locals felt for a little bit of snow – it made me homesick. Updates on snow days, life, liberty and other things to come.


As I write this, I sit in the Minneapolis airport waiting for my flight back to D.C. As per usual, my carry on roller bag is so swollen with my belongings I doubt I will be able to lift it into the overhead bin. The gate attendant just announcement, “If there are any Packer’s fans on this flight to Arizona, you will be boarded last.” There are no delays despite the couple of inches of snow we got last night.

Christmas Eve at the family funeral home was everything our family holidays promise – 70+ people, cannelloni, fried chicken, babies running in circles around what once was my grandfather’s apartment and now is my uncle’s home. The older kids running up from the basement hollering, “We just saw a body!” with the corresponding, “My wife is going to love this” from my cousin.

The fights this year never made it above a tense conversational volume. No one cried, which might be a family first for my brothers and me. Specifically, my brother Tim, who has a special knack for bringing me to tears in 30 seconds flat. It’s his special skill.

Also as per usual, we ate and ate and ate until we could eat no more. We drank red wine and binge-watched episodes of “Homeland.” We irritated my mother by raiding her alcohol stash and by leaving our belongings all over her house. We all sat around the same dinner table for the first time in months.

It was good to be home.

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The Frat House Gets Grown

We had a frat house original reunion a couple weeks ago for Roommate A’s wedding in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Look at us. We all look so cute. And I can barely fit into my dress, but I am still not ready to talk about that.


If you ever find yourself in Gulf Shores, Alabama and no – I have no idea why you would ever go to Gulf Shores, Alabama – except for FLORA-BAMA. Which is only the best people watching of all time. And my mother and I have made a sport out of people watching (and eavesdropping).

I’ve never seen so many multi-generational drinking situations – grandma, mother in skin tight dress and gladiator high heels, daughter in equally confusing yet more age-appropriate outfit, 18-year-old granddaughter because it’s 18+.

I bought like eight beers for $20 and the bar advertised a mullet toss. Which we all thought was like literal mullet wigs that you threw at each other until Sunday afternoon when we were heading to the airport that he realized there is a mullet fish and that’s more likely what they were talking about, which some light research confirmed.

Seriously, they throw fish at each other in Alabama for bar entertainment. How could you not want to hang out there.

Former Roommate A and his bride put up their respective wedding parties in a beach house which was about 17 feet from our hotel. The beach house had a pool and numerous fridges that just happened to be filled with beer and I think we successfully drove every bridesmaid away by the end of the weekend with our (super responsible, grown-up, respectful, quiet) shenanigans. Because we’re fun like that.

The standard information: Former Roommate A’s bride looked gorgeous, Former Roommate A also looked pretty handsome, the food was incredible – and I don’t mean just for like a wedding good but I want to eat those shrimp and grits and mashed potatoes for every meal good – the 80’s cover band was amazing.

R has a firm set of life rules that include 1) no dancing and 2) no karaoke. I kindly suggested that if he wasn’t interested in dancing with me, I’m sure I could find someone else to grind on and then refilled his wine often until he was ready to cut a rug. He even continued dancing with me after I knocked a whole glass of red wine onto his white dress shirt during a particular vivacious dance move during the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.”

After the wedding, we went back to the beach house and I proceeded to take off my dress and jump into the pool wearing nothing but a bra and boy short underwear. Which, in my defense, covers more of my person than my bathing suit.

There were two crucial issues with this decision, the first and minor of the two being my friends lovely parents were standing on the deck. And the second, I was in the pool wearing the only bra that I brought to Alabama.

Behold, how to dry your bra you washed in the hotel sink while on the way to the airport:


Worked like a charm.

The wedding night conclude with a vigorous game of Marco Polo and me serving frozen pizza to those still in the pool. It was all around classy and wonderful.

Former Roommate A + Wife moved to Atlanta a couple weeks later. I only cried a little. And then Former Roommate hauled out and moved to San Fransisco. A decision we mourned by karaoking R. Kelly’s Ignition (Remix) on a Tuesday night.

Former Roommate B and I are the lone holdouts in Washington, D.C. at this point.

(And this without a doubt the song of the wedding weekend for your Friday listening pleasure.)

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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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