Monthly Archives: March 2012

10 on Thursday

1.  There are still pockets in the house that smell like burnt lentils but overall the smell has dissipated.  The boys could mostly care less and kept asking me to stop asking them if they can smell it.  They can’t.  I should get over it.  Bless living with dudes.

2.  That’s not to say the jokes aren’t coming and I certainly deserve them.  They gleefully remind me to not burn down the house every time I go near the stove, but I can’t even be mad, because apparently I do need those reminders.

3.  In an effort to cook the smell out of my house (seems dangerous, doesn’t it?) I’ve fried no less than an entire package of bacon since Sunday.  And eaten slightly less than an entire package of bacon.  T-Bone came over for dinner Sunday night, so she helped a little bit.  But not enough to make me feel any better about the fact that I cooked and consumed a significant amount of bacon in the last week.  It’s amazing my heart is still pumping.

4.  In case you’re curious– I made and ate the following:

  • Brussels and bacon, fried in a touch of bacon fat.
  • Roasted broccoli, bacon and gnocchi with cheese, cooked in a touch of bacon fat.
  • Straight bacon, eaten straight from the plate.  Normally served with a side of eggs and toast, but man– did that seem like a lot of work to cook too.

5.  The frat boys have started doing the PX-90 workouts, which means we are now in possession of a pull-up bar.  I tried to do a pull-up last week and could not do A SINGLE ONE.  I have made it my summer goal.  I will be able to do at least one pull-up and have super big muscles.

6.  We now have a wellness incentive at work.  I was joking with my mom at Christmas that I was going to make my goal 25 push-ups, so that during my performance review in December I could drop down in front of my former-military boss and give ’em 20.  This prompted my mother to challenge me to a push-up off in my grandfather’s living room, which I’m ashamed to say that I lost very quickly.

7.  That brings me to summer goal #2– beat my mother at something.  She has challenged me to a plank-off this weekend.  I can do a solid minute, so I think I’ve got a chance.

8.  I’m heading to Duluth tonight to spend the weekend with my grandpa, which I’m extremely excited about.  Because who wouldn’t be excited to spend the weekend with this adorable man?

9.  At 95 he’s mastered the art of living.  A cigar or two a day, red wine with a couple of ice cubes and family lined up for miles to keep him company, cook him dinner and hear for the thousandth time how he started WWII.  And it’s a great story each and every time.

10.  Song of the week.  Because it just makes you feel good.

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Weekend Round-Up: (almost) Burning Down the House

My bad, y’all.  Last week was a series of work-related cluster fucks combined with a very long to-do list.  Once I finally got the boss out of town Friday morning, it was all I could do to not put my head down on my desk and wave a white flag of surrender.

But on to my weekend.  I am fairly certain no one will ever ask me to house sit again, as I quite literally almost burnt my house down.  Saturday evening in a fit of domesticity, I decided to cook a pot of lentil soup to freeze.  I had cleaned the kitchen and was waiting for the soup to finish up when I got a text requesting I meet a friend for a drink around the corner.

Deciding that the soup would be fine sitting covered on the stove for an hour while it cooled and confident in my abiliity to get the soup into tupperware upon my return home and thank god, someone to entertain me because I’m so bored– I traded my flannel shirt for a sweater, put on some mascara and biked myself out into the world.  Did you notice what I forgot there?  TURNING OFF THE BURNER.

Completely sober and not in a hurry, I managed to do the one thing I have feared for the majority of my life.  I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve returned home to check the stove or make sure the door was actually locked and not once was that the case, but I guess there is a first time for everything.

When I got home a couple hours later, it took me a full beat to realize what I’d done.  Because I don’t do shit like this!  I rushed to turn the stove off, put the offending pot on the front porch (now with a solid couple inches of lentils burnt to the bottom) and opened the windows.  There was nothing I could do that night, so I just went to bed before sending extremely apologetic text messages to the one roommate that was in town.

The next day I attacked the smell from all angles– I bought a shit ton of scented candles (lavender and clean laundry smell compliment each other nicely, for the record), vacuumed, dusted, mopped, cooked a meatloaf, fried a half pound of bacon and every hour on the hour Frebrezed the shit out of that bitch.  I’ve literally gone through a half a bottle of that stuff.

When I picked Roommate A and B up from the airport last night, I tried to mentally prepare them for entering the house along the lines of– hey dudes, I almost burnt the house down this weekend.  Literally.  But I made meatloaf!  Luckily the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I have been forgiven for the near-miss.

So that is what I did this weekend.  There was also some baby puke, the Hunger Games and another meal that I successfully cooked without setting anything on fire, but all of that is less exciting than a pot full of burnt legumes and my shame.  Moral of the story: put my shoes on and get out of the kitchen.  Order take-out.

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10 on Thursday on Monday– Spring Fling Edition!

1.  I can’t say this enough– fuck pollen.  I wake up every morning and have to choose between taking my allergy crack (Claritin-D) and thus being able to breathe OR having my heart race and feeling slightly cracked out for the majority of the day.

2.  I learned a vital lesson this morning and that is DO NOT under any circumstances take allergy crack and drink 2 cups of the extra strong work coffee.  I’ve never typed so fast in my life!

3.  Turns out I’ve completely forgotten how to dress myself for this beautiful weather we’ve been having.  When I shucked the tights and showed up to the office bare-legged last week, I felt like a harlot.  Bare legs– such the scandal!  I also didn’t remember how time consuming it is to remember to keep your legs together.

4.  If there is one thing I hate more than almost anything else in the world it is changing bed sheets.  I used to pay my old roommate (back when I lived in a civilized environment with girls) $5 to make my bed every time I did laundry.  That’s how much I hate it.

It took me until Thursday to finally take the polar fleece sheets off my bed.  Because given the option at 10PM at night to either A) change my sheets or B) crank on the fan, I choose fan every time.

5.  Again– pollen is the worst thing in the entire universe.

6.  Following my very first day of being at the office wearing no tights, I also had my very first day of Bike Sharing home in a skirt wearing no tights.  Let the flashing begin!  It took me a couple blocks to remember the rules, but I quickly felt back in my element.

7.  One of the keys to biking in a skirt is the “wiggle down” when said skirt or dress is of the pencil variety and goes as such:  stand up on peddles and shake butt ever so slightly so skirt wiggles down to once again cover yourself like a lady.

8.  Last week also marked year #2 that I’ve been living in the frat house.  Boys– we’re so lucky to have found each other.  Now please go buy propane for the grill.

9.  Other things I forgot about spring time: you have to shave your legs every day and make sure your toenails are painted and be on guard for sunglass tan lines at all times.  It’s just so much work.

10.  These allergy pills are also giving me cotton mouth, so I’m off to chug water.  But before I do– the song of the week.  Because I can almost dance like that.  And this may not be not safe for work.  Especially if your place of employment doesn’t appreciate some good booty bouncing.

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Speed dating!

10 on Thursday is postponed a day so I can regale you with my tales of bipartisan speed dating.  My co-worker Kate signed us up last week after our good judgment was impaired by a couple glasses of wine after a work happy hour.  She was less than thrilled yesterday afternoon that we were actually following through with it.  I was super excited for what I could only imagine to be an extra awkward time.

Kate and I walked from our office to the bar in a marginal attempt at exercising before our dinner of beer and a handful of french fries.  We were instructed to show up at 6:30PM sharp and in a feat of all feats, managed to make it there on time.  As I handed my ID to the bouncer, I asked him where the speed dating shenanigans were to take place, with apparently a scowl on my face.

“That seems to be everyone’s feelings towards speed dating tonight,” he said.  “Not excited.”

“Allow me to rephrase,” I replied, “please direct me towards the location in which I will meet the man of my dreams.”

Natalie was also there and I must digress a moment to tell you that hater is moving back to Nebraska next week.  Bad for me, but potentially good for you, as I’m on the market for a new Republican confidant!  Anyone?  Anyone?

While I am truly happy for her and know this move is aces for her career, I’m going to keep up the facade that she is dead to me for at least 2 weeks after her departure.  And then force her to read many many long emails about my feelings until she gets fed up and moves back to DC.  Fool proof plan.

But back to the speed dating.  I was a couple beers in by the time we were seated and after sizing up the crop of men, was fairly certain that no one was going to steal my heart.  Or get me to take my clothes off for that matter– so I just decided to role with it.  These are the things I learned while speed dating:

  • There is a high school program called Scared Straight in which high school students are taken to a prison to straight kick with prisoners.  They are allowed to try on the orange jumpsuits, lectured on the error of stealing, drugs and breaking the law and then have lunch with the inmates.  I had no idea this was a thing and quite frankly, I’m very upset I never got to participate.
  • Not talking about your political affiliations or where you work (which was a speed dating rule) is oddly satisfying.
  • Everyone who signed up for speed dating just moved to DC– which leads me to believe that they’re speed dating because they have no friends.  Except for the 50+ year old man from Baltimore.  But he was just a pleasure to converse with.
  • A Kentucky native told me about the town Former Roommate C is getting married in– there is nothing to do but drink bourbon and look at pretty scenery.  I asked him why he thought that was a bad thing.
  • 3 minutes is the length that all first dates should be.  Just enough time to size them up.
  • Calling your speed dating partners “bro” and high fiving them at the end of the date is a great way to get your point across– let’s be friends.
  • One should not drink many many 312s and end the night with a shot of Jack Daniels on an empty stomach.
  • Touching one of my bartender friend’s hair was JUST as satisfying as I thought it would be.  He’s got this great Dennis the Menace comb over thing going for him.
  • Speed dating is actually really fun when you have zero expectations and a slight buzz.  It sucks a little bit less than online dating (well, everything sucks less than online dating) and was actually a very enjoyable experience.  Although I’m pretty sure if I actually took it seriously, the whole thing would have been not awesome.

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3 things – in bullet point formation!

  • I was straight kicking it on our living room floor Sunday afternoon when I spilled my beer.  I sat my beer upright and stood to get some paper towel when the beer started foaming and spilling out of the bottle.   “Put your mouth on it!” Roommate B yelled.  “It’s foaming!  I’m not trying to be a perv!”  I burst out laughing and spit beer in my hair.  Win.
  • The frat boys organized a live fantasy draft for March Madness on Sunday night and I had the pleasure in being the auctioneer.  An activity in which I get to drink beer and yell at people for 2 hours?  Pretty much my dream.  I will never turn down a social endeavor in which I get to speak at top volume without being shushed.
  • I’m going bipartisan speed dating tonight–we are not allow to talk about where we work or our political affiliations.  Which for some people in town scratches all of their conversation starters.  I plan to grill everyone on their favorite color.  Details tomorrow.

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How-to Guide

How-to:  Put out a toast oven fire

I’ve been obsessed with eating baked chickpeas lately.  It’s my new favorite snack and I’m fairly certain better for me than my second favorite snack– potato chips and french onion dip.  Or beef jerky depending on the day.

I turned on the toaster oven the other night and went about rinsing and seasoning the chickpeas.  When I opened the toaster oven to insert said chickpeas, I noticed that there was something in the toaster oven that was in flames.  What did I do?  I put down the baking sheet, walked into the living room and said to Roommate B, “Hey dude, the toaster oven is on fire.”

Problem solved!  Roommate B put out the fire, made fun of me, I baked my chickpeas and then enjoy my slightly smoky flavored snack on the front porch accompanied by Liza, Brynn and a glass of wine.

How-to:  Disappoint my super bad ass mother

Admit that I made Roommate B put out the toaster oven fire.  And Roommate A remove the dead mouse from my bedroom this winter.

How-to: Fail the GRE

Well, that’s obvious– not study.  It was brought to my attention, via T-Bone, that ALL of your GRE scores are reported when you apply to grad school.  Every single one.  Even that one terrible score you got in March of 2012 because you didn’t actually study.  As T-Bone so succinctly put it, “we can’t just the tip* the GREs to see how it feels.”

So we rescheduled until June.  We’re not sure if we’ll actually study more in the next couple of months, but at least we’re no longer resigning ourselves to failing and have allowed time for a GRE-related attitude adjustment.  Because if the practice test I took a couple weeks ago was any indication of my score, I would have been fast-tracked to Phoenix University online and lucky to be there.

How-to:  Have a progress dinner

Eat all foods when they are finished cooking while standing in the kitchen– green beans (fuck it, eat cold), turkey sausage (around 6:15PM), rice (6:50PM) , chickpeas (7PM) — right out of the pot, pan or baking sheet.  Put in tupperware.  Go to pilates.

*That is why we’re friends.  She used a metaphor about unprotected sex–you can’t just put the tip in to see how it feels– to discuss the graduate school examination.  T-Bone, you’re top notch.

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10 on Thursday

1.  I had my inaugural 2012 morning bicycle commute today and it was spectacular.  Although, if I recall correctly, I used to be able to bike a lot faster.

2.  When I first moved to DC, I worked for a program that taught civics to high school and middle schoolers from around the United States.  While technically our job was to educate, the majority of our time and energy was spent herding mass quantities of kids away from their mommies for the first time from point A to point B.

3.  When it has been a couple of years since I’ve left that position, I feel that I have permission forever and ever to holler at large groups of students that get in my way.  This morning was no exception, as 30+ kids walked as slowly as humanly possible shoulder-to-shoulder across the whole damn sidewalk up Capitol Hill.

I will not allow the best part of my morning–biking as fast as I (safely) can down Capitol Hill with the sun shining, the Washington Monument in front of me, the United States Capitol beside me, the wind blowing in my hair (er, I mean helmet)– be fucked with by 15 year old tourists.  Welcome to our Nation’s Capital!  Now get the hell out of my way.

4.  Speaking of which, tourist season is upon us!  I’ve seen the signs for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  I know they’re coming.  Tourist season is the worst of all the seasons in DC because they take up the ENTIRE sidewalk at all times, stop short to snap a photo when they are in the middle of the sidewalk, don’t understand the stand-on-the-right-and-walk-on-the-left escalator concept  and most importantly– get stuck in the train doors.

Now guys, I know it seems a little strange that we get gangster about metro manners.  I know what side of the elevator to stand on doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but we time our commutes to perfection because we actually live here!  Missing a red line transfer on the weekend can make you 20 minutes late, which is annoying.  And most importantly, you’re all in our way.

But the train doors, oh the train doors.  That is a whole different beast.  I’m going to say this once and once only– the metro doors are not like elevator doors.  They will not pop back open so you and your 12 students in matching t-shirts can get on the train.  In addition, if you get that train door stuck and we have to off-load the train, we will audibly boo* you.  And we will not feel bad whatsoever.

5.  Now I feel a little hostile.  I swear I’m done after this.  I was biking down Pennsylvania Avenue last spring and a guy wearing cut-off jeans and a muscle shirt stopped me, pointed to the Capitol and said, “Ma’am, what’s that?  Is that the Capitol?”  It took all self-control I’ve ever had in my life to nod my head and not be a total dick.

6.  We got Roommate C’s wedding invitations last night.  I sent in my RSVP this morning with the note– Rachel and Roommate B will be attending, we’re hot dates.  Roommate B has also backed down about the corduroy, which I’m OK with.

7.  Courtesy of the Bloggess— still the funniest shit ever.  And yes, that is a taxidermied weasel wearing a dress.  Her name is Juanita.

8.  I sent Josephina the desk statue of Juanita the Weasel and she responded by sending me this mug.  Seems about right.

9.  This is how I now check the weather.  Warning:  there are lots of swears.

10.  I went to the Annie Leibovitz exhibit this weekend at the Portrait Gallery, which made me think of Marky-Mark in his underwear (google it), which brings us to our song of the week.

*For the record, I am 100% against the act of booing during a sporting even or any sort of performance.  I think it’s mean.  But not when I have to off-load a train.  Then it’s OK.

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NYC

IT’S GOOD TO HAVE GOALS

Every morning I arise from my slumber to seize the day and think– this will be the day I get my life together.  This will be the day I acknowledge a bottle of wine and buttered noodles doesn’t constitute dinner.  This will be the day that I decide green beans and carrots and healthy things are more delicious than french fries.  And the day I reacquaint myself with both the gym and exercise*.  This will be the day!

And then I house a 10″ pizza all by my lonesome.  And it’s good.  And think– tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be the day!  Tomorrow will be the day I get my shit together.  And then Natalie e-mails me about our happy hour plans.  Damnit.

NYC

Louisa got into DC late Thursday night– we promptly began drinking and celebrating our togetherness, which continued after last call on my front porch.  A couple of beers and a whole box of goldfish crackers into the early morning, I realized our bus to NYC was leaving in 5 hours and I had yet to pack.  I naturally assumed we were doomed.

But we were not!  Louisa and I, being the grown-ups that we now appear to be, not only made it to the bus on time, but with bottled water, coffee, strawberry smoothies and garlic bagels.  We high-fived, shoveled the food and liquids into our mouths and went back to sleep.

Our NYC vacation was a whole lot of eating, a whole lot of drinking and a whole lot of getting lost.  Adulthood can be measured in this regard by two distinct facts:

1.  After a solid Friday night of drinking and dancing, we spent the majority of Saturday hungover and lost in Brooklyn.  After a delicious dinner that evening, complete with a cocktail and bottle of wine, we took ourselves back to the hotel to watch TV.  We knew we could have powered through that long-lasting hangover and get to gettin’, yet we also knew that a hungover-free ride back to DC Sunday morning would be very nice.  BAM!  We’re adults.

2.  We now order the expensive bottle of wine.

UPDATE ON MY GOALS

Note:  There was a 30 minute time lag between when I started this post and when I attempted to complete it.  The acquisition of lunch was included in that brief break.  As a result of that lunch, the update is as follows–I just ate a grip** of brownies.

*You’d be amazed at how much more fun it is to go to the gym when your sole goals is sitting in the hot tube.

**A measurable unit that means “a lot”.  Which I just had to explain to Josephina.  She responded, “I just imagine you gripping the sides of a brownie pan and pouring the contents into your mouth.”  Not a bad idea, sister.

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10 on Thursday

1.  I went to the gym this morning.  Win!

2.  Then I got to the office and ate an entire bagel with cream cheese (breakfast), soup I made and froze a month ago that is 2 parts cream and 1 part butter (lunch) and an entire mini-box of Chees-Itz (snack).  Fail.

3.  None of that really matters because my BFF4EVA is coming to DC today!  And while I realized she should get top billing, the fact that I made it up and out of the house that early in the day is something to be proud of.  Be impressed, morning people.  I made it up and out of the house before 7AM and only forgot half my belongings.

4.  Als0, I am wearing my really heavy winter wool coat that is a little bit damp from the rain last night, so I smell like a wet dog.  Did I mention it was 65 degrees and sunny in DC today?  Good work, Rachel.

5.  BFF4EVA and I are catching the bus to NYC tomorrow.  Everyone keeps asking me what our plans are for the Big Apple (as opposed to the Mini Apple from which we hail) and the answer is– I have no idea.  Louisa and I have been together long enough to know the drill.  I handle logistics, she handles entertainment.

6.  Normally when we travel together all we do is get lost.  And then we get frustrated.  And then thirsty.  And end up pissing the day away at the first dive bar we can find and forgetting to everything.  We’re trying to avoid that this trip.  She’s got a schedule and I’ve got comfortable walking shoes and a sworn promise that I’ll have to spend no more than 5 hours in a museum.

7.  My friend Gigi goes over to my grandfather’s house once or twice a week to make him dinner.  The other night my grandfather looked at Gigi’s fiance Alex and said, “You like that food? It’s really good – a friend of mine made it. I think you’d like her.”

After he killed himself laughing he said, “oh shit, that’s funny” and went back to his ice cream.  The best man on earth, y’all.  I’m telling you.

8.  I took a GRE online practice test the other day and it didn’t go well, guys.  Anyone know of grad programs that don’t require that stupid test?  Because I think that’s my next plan.  For real– who uses the word mendicant in a sentence EVER?  It means beggar, by the way.

9.  Taking the day off work tomorrow– back Monday with either wild stories about how Lou and I tore up the town OR stories about how we walked in circles for three days straight.  Which we did once.  The Chicago Loop was really confusing when we were 18.

10. Late on the draw, as per usual.

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