Category Archives: tid·bit

Two things on Wednesday

Why I need a vacation–

Amount of media advisories I sent out last week without a time for the teleconference: 1
Amount of media advisories I sent out last week with a combination of my personal and professional email address for RSVP: 1 
Amount I overpaid my rent check, because math: $100
Amount of emails I sent to one R. Willis, reporter, as opposed to one R. Wills, co-worker, with internal documents: 1

Phone call with my grandmother–

Me: I’ve got good news!
Grandma: You’re finally engaged!
Me: Um, no.  But I am coming to visit. 
Grandma: Oh, that’s good too.

She use to tell me–often– that she was never going to be alive long enough to see me get married and have kids.  I kindly told her that I spent $100K on my college education and it’d like to use it, thank you.  I’m going to have a career and shit first and then I’ll think about giving you great-grandchildren.

So then she started telling everyone, including my cousins that joined the military after high school, never went to college and had kids in their very early 20’s that “Rachel’s going to wait to have kids.  She’s going to have a career.  She’s going to be smart.”

Thanks, gram.  Helping me to win the hearts and minds, as per usual.


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August 7, 2013 · 9:07 am

Two Things

My excellent friend and walking/wine on the front porch companion Liza (who most likely made you jealous here) is heading to Borneo on Tuesday to complete project she started working on last year.  The decision to go was very last minute, therefore, she’s got an extra long to do list and is slightly on the overwhelmed side.  

Me: What’d you do today?

Liza: I worked until like 2AM this morning and am starting to freak out because I need international medical insurance and can’t find my cell phone charger converter and have to fit three works of work into 5 days!  What are you up to?

Me: I just cased Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropologie for my summer wardrobe.  We’re both doing our part for society.  I’m stimulating the economy and you’re saving the rain forest.  I’d say that’s a draw.


Also, I just got the following g chat from Barrington–

Barrington: Haha, you blog is blocked at my job now because it is in the web category “pornography.”

Me: Tumbrl is blogged at my job.

Barrington:  Yeah, but it isn’t blocked because it is a blog.  It is blocked because it is “pornography.”

My bad, mom.

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60 Degrees and Sunny

The weather was beautiful this weekend (sorry, Minnesotans).  The second I stepped out the front door I was like OMFG SPRINGTIME!!! and spent the next couple of hours walking and biking and sitting outside at the Big Bear Cafe hipster watchin’ (a favored summer activity). I drank my first ice coffee and sneezed from my first bout of allergies* and acquired some raccoon eyes from my sunglasses and a scoop neck t-shirt tan line on my chest.

You guys, it was blissful. I ran to the gym Sunday afternoon and by the time I got there, was literally giddy with a combo runner + weather high that made me unable to pause between sentences or stop grinning. “Hiiiii it’s so nice outside I’m so happy this is amazing how are you I’m great!” I said to J, who spots me on the bench press sometimes. And other times takes me out to dinner.

I’m not mentally prepared for 105 degrees with 145% humidity.  But I am certainly ready to sit on my front porch reading my book, to sleep with my window open and ban my tights to the back of my closet until next year.

*Have I mentioned? A doctor told me once after allergy testing that I’m allergic “to pretty much everything outside” in D.C., so that’s great.


I told J stories about my grandma Jean, my mother’s mother, last night. She was one classy lady—the best way to describe her– and we adored each other.

She’s one of those people you can feel the miss for deep in your bones.  I sat down at my mother’s kitchen table a couple of years after she died, put my head down and burst into tears because I missed her so much that day.  “Oh, honey,” my mom said.  “I cried the whole way home from work yesterday.”  Sometimes, there must be something in the air.  Springtime maybe.

I have one of her sweaters buried deep in my closet. I refuse to wear it, because when I bury my face in the wool I can almost smell her.

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At it’s finest–

Online dating, at it’s finest:

I emailed a 29 year old guy last week on OKC who’s profile I clearly didn’t read all the way through the first time around, as I later realized that he had two young girls and an ex-wife.  I didn’t respond when he emailed me back, but still received the following message yesterday morning:

This is Tim’s wife. He is not divorced. We were actually trying to work on things. I met him online and he left his exwife for me. We have two girls and now he’s trying to do the same thing to me. Trust me for your own good stay away. 

Whoa, nelly.


In person dating, at it’s finest:

I attended a house party in Bloomingdale Saturday night with many many D.C. hipster kids.  There was roughly 100 deviled eggs (I ate about half) and a three man band that included a drummer, guitarist and a dude with a banjo that only sometimes wore socks and shoes.

We sang and danced to a wide variety of cover songs– everything from “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places” to R.Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” and did a whole shit ton of foot stomping, because that is the preferred way to dance a couple cocktails in.

Once the band finished and the Pandora station turned up, the dancing continued.  The banjo playing dude (with his shoes back on) started to dance himself over to me, and in what can only be described as a hipster mating dance, lassoed me to him with his blue flannel shirt.  Essentially, the most hipster way to hit on someone.  Ever.

Dating mixers, at it’s finest:

A bunch of the boys– frat boys and frat boy friends alike– have decided to attend the Living Social Cupid bar crawl this weekend and invited me along.  As I’ve learned in the past, going out carousing with the boys is like an (pardon my language) automatic cockblock.  No one wants to hit on the lady surrounded by many many dudes.  I’ll stay home, thank you.

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Survival of the FNG


I’ve survived two whole days at my new office.  I met like 20 people Monday morning and then promptly forgot all their names.  Every time someone walks by me they greet me by name and then I feel like a terrible person.  But quite frankly, it’s not fair.  They only have to remember one name– the name of the red headed terrified looking girl that wasn’t there before.  There is only one of me.  There are many of them.

And I only look slightly terrified.  Like when acronyms are used (it took me MONTHS to learn all of the acronyms in my last office) or when trying to use the printer.  There are three so far that I’ve located in the office.  I tried to print to the one near my office unsuccessfully multiple times today, decided it was broken and returned to tiny printer in my office that was out of ink (pro tip: shake the cartridge).  Hours later I found the document I’d printed on all the other printers.  Huge win.  At least I know they work now.

So– so far, so good.  At least I haven’t flashed anyone yet.


I’m sitting on my front porch with a glass of wine typing on my brand new fancy million dollar Apple computer. I’ve both saved and spent a lot of money in my life but handing over my credit card for a 1K+ charge made me nervous.  I’ve never at least spent that much money in one swoop before.

Unless you count the fact that I gave my mother a check for 8K the day I left for college.  And all that did was make me want to unpack all my boxes, not go to college and take all that money back.  It looked so nice in my savings account.

P.S.  I can’t figure out how to make the words on the screen bigger, so if there are a lot of typos in this post it’s both because I haven’t located my magnifying glass or figured out how to spell check.

THE 612

My time in Minnesota, as well as my brief “funemployment” was lovely.  After a couple of days in DC my house had never been so clean, my clothes never been so properly folded in my closet or dry cleaned and by 4PM every day I was staring at the door waiting for someone ANYONE to come home from work to hang out with me.  A Comcast employee with decent conversation skills would have even been sufficent.

My pal Gigi’s wedding was beautiful, the food amazing, the bride gorgeous.  I stood up in front of 150 people and gave a witty–yet appropriate speech given the grandparents in the room.  And didn’t even fall down the stairs getting off the stage.  I’d give that a 100% win.

So I’m surviving and thriving.  That’s my point.

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Icebox is a girl!?

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned, but it’s been my summer goal to be able to do ONE pull-up.  A goal that I’ve mostly failed miserably at.  But I’ve still got a couple weeks.

T-Bone and I were at the gym last night taking turns benching the bar, as we do (45 pounds!), when this 5 foot nothing blond girl with solid muscles pumped out ten pull-ups in a row a mere 10 feet from our person.

Let me tell you how it feels to be only physically able to bench the bar, the bar specifically designed to hold the additional weights one is supposed to lift, with a girl banging out pull-ups like it ain’t no thing next to you– intimidating as hell.

We watched her do her various impressive things for a couple minutes before I looked to T-Bone.  “Screw this,” I said, “let’s go drink some wine and eat some salami.”  And prayed we don’t see her in the locker room because she could have totally kicked our asses.  Show off.

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I’m still feeling content from my weekend in Chicago.  It was one of those delightful weekends in which everything works out as planned.  Everyone enjoys each others company.  The hangovers are manageable.  The food delicious.  All of a sudden you’re having so much fun you drunkenly agree to move back if you don’t have a new job by Christmas.

My brothers and I spent an evening on the patio of a bar I once frequented.  A bar I realized, while paying my tab, I’d started patronizing 7 years ago (don’t do the math– it wasn’t entirely legal).  The bar is mostly the same, save for the bartenders recognizing my little brothers before they recognize me.  The EL train still spits water onto the patio when it goes by every couple of minutes and the noise forces for a pause in conversation.  I’m still only charged for a fraction of what I drink.

I insisted my brothers to pose for a photograph.  The man drinking next to us, a dentist who graduated undergrad the same year I did, the photographer.  “You’re a beautiful family,” he said.  Slurring his words slightly, while smoking  a bummed cigarette.  We smiled.  We tend to think so too.


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Athlete Monday

The Olympics have been everything I’ve wanted them to be and more.  The competition, the Patriotism, the athletes that all look like they could kick my ass (save for the ping pongers and the speedwalkers), a swimmer’s mommy accidentally claiming her son has lots of one-night stands.

And while I will never ever have the athletic ability to be an Olympian (if my run/brush with heatstroke yesterday was any indication) and have yet to reach my summer goal of doing ONE pull-up (Hey, there’s still August!), at least my super badass mother and aunts can do this.  At the same time!

P.S.  Go google speedwalking if you missed it Saturday.  Quite possibly the dumbest sport ever.

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Family by the Numbers

When I talk about my mother’s side of the family, it’s usually in terms numbers.  My mother has 2 brothers and 9 sisters.  She’s number 7.  I have 37 first cousins.  And that doesn’t include their spouses or the great-grandchildren.  4 of us graduated high school in 2005.  I was the first girl born in 10 years.  We often have 60+ people and a buffet line for Christmas Eve dinner.  There was a “small bunch” at this year’s annual family day.  Just 40 or so.

At a family wedding a number of years ago, as we do at all family events, we congregated for a family photo.  First the aunts and uncles.  Then just the cousins in attendance (we’re missing a handful here).  Then all of us together, spouses and babies too.  The photographers always have to take many many steps backwards to fit us all in the frame.

When this photo was taken, my grandfather was impatient to return to his cigar.  We were moving too slowly for his taste to get organized.  He made his opinion clear that we should all hurry up.  My cousin Megan responded, “Hey!  This is all your fault!” sweeping her arms at the 30-some of us standing around him.  He laughed.  That we are.

My grandpa will be 96 years old in December.  He believes in the medicine of a good cigar and a glass of chilled Carlo Rossi.  The importance of having an excellent sense of humor.  The benefit of family and friends.  Red Lobster at 4PM on Sundays.  And that a good story is better than the truth.  That scar from where he got stabbed during WWII?  Actually his appendix.

My cousin made this video of my grandfather telling his favorite story.  Did I ever tell you my very own grandfather started WWII?  This made my whole day.  Thanks, George.

Papa from goodie pocket films on Vimeo.


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Happy birthday to me!  Yesterday I turned 25 years old– one whole quarter century.  I spent the weekend in Chicago following a work trip to Wisconsin and left feeling exhausted and full and slightly hungover after 4 days of excellent quality time with friends and family.  I’m a damn lucky girl.


Wisconsin was as you can expect Wisconsin to be– full of cheese curds and Leinenkugel and locally made meat sticks.  It was mostly uneventful, but involved a highlight or two.

There was a net set up in the backyard where we were staying.  After a BBQ Monday night and a handful of beers a piece, we decided to try our hand at a friendly game of volleyball.  First play of the game, old co-worker KT hit current co-worker K smack in the face in an overhand serve.  They were on the same team.

It’s a good thing K wasn’t hurt because it was a whole 5 minutes before we’d composed ourselves to ask if she was OK.  Another 10 degree turn to the head and she would have had a broken nose for sure.  And none of us were the least bit curious about seeing the inside of the Wisconsin hospital.


We rented out a bar Wednesday night for a work party.  Part of the deal was that we were in charge of manning the door, so I got to try my hand at bouncing.  Which was not nearly as awesome as I’d imagined it to be.

The cops came mid-way through the night.  Not because we were causing a ruckus, but because there was a black Mustang that needed to be moved.  I was sitting at the door, minding my own business a half hour later when an old man came up to me and got all up in my face.  Might I add, he’d recently eating a whole shit ton of crackers.


“Huh?” is what I responded.  Because yeah, there were a lot of people in the bar, but I’ve seen worse.

“There are people everywhere!  There is no aisle to move!  The cops were here!” he yelled angrily.  Crackers flying everywhere.  Mostly into my face.

It took me a minute to realize he wasn’t fucking with me and then as politely as one could be when one is getting spit on and within 4 feet of one’s CEO, mumbled something about the Mustang and that he should maybe leave if he didn’t like it.  His buddy pulled him out by the shirt collar mere seconds before I lost my patience.

I know one thing.  If that old man, I believe Ernie is his name, shows up on the same red polo next year I will 86 him before he steps foot in the door.  No one over the age of 2 is allowed to spit in my face.  And that’s final.


Chi-town was everything I needed it to be– fun, relaxing, fun, drunk.  I like to joke that Chicago is where to go when I need to be around the people who love me the most (save for my parents) and this weekend did everything to support that statement.

Lou and I had a whole tartare course (steak and salmon!) at a fancy restaurant located directly across the street from where they park the city garbage trucks.   I drank beers at my college hangout with my little brothers.  Took shots of Jameson.  Read my book in bed until late in the morning.  Enlightened by my 9 year old cousin that when she grows up she’d like to be either a singer, Broadway performer, lawyer or president of the United States.  Watched She’s All That on the couch.  Gifted a wonderful pair of new boots.  Smiled until my face hurt.

Essentially– an excellent excellent weekend.  I left feeling completely whole.  And damn, did I need it.  Thanks, friends.

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