When you are new at the office, people like to gawk at the stuff you have on display on your desk. Thus far each time someone has been checking out my cube, he or she has said some version of, "Who is the handsome man in that picture?" and I get to say "THAT IS MY HUSBAND." And then my soul makes this face:
And I think, "TAKE THAT, PEOPLE WHO WERE MEAN TO ME IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL! YOU SAID I WAS FUG AND NOW I AM AN ADULT WITH A HAIR STRAIGHTENER AND A HOT HUSBAND!" There is a 100% chance that none of those people even remember me, but whatever.
I've been really trying to step up my weight loss game these past few weeks - sticking to my diet, getting in at least 4 workouts a week, etc. Mostly it's going well, but OH MY GOD I WANT TO CRAM MY FACE WITH ALL THE CARBS.
On a related note, there was a toddler next to me on the train this morning who wouldn't stop staring at me, and we had the following exchange:
Me: Hi there!
Him: I just ate a big big muffin!
Me: F*ck you.
Just kidding! I said, "Oh yay, you're so lucky," or some garbage. But in my head I was like F*CK YOU, you stupid little baby who can eat whatever you want and chub actually looks CUTE on you!
And then I decided I needed to have a little diet break and eat myself some carbs before I actually cursed at a child.
Sam and I recently took the plunge of buying actual tissues to keep in our home. We'd been using toilet paper for nose-blowing for years - as a lady on a budget, Kleenex seemed to me to be something for rich people. Well, with my new job came an increase in salary, and not only did we spring for the multi-pack of tissues, we got the kind with LOTION! Here were Sam's thoughts on the change:
You really feel like a grown up when you stop blowing your nose with your own butt.
When you can finally get a Pandora station to play things you actually want to listen to almost exclusively, it is just so awesome. Recently when my brother-in-law was shithoused, he started yelling at me about how passe Pandora is and how I need to use Spotify instead. Quite literally, he was hollering, in a restaurant. It was not so great.
This all leads me to my point, which is that I have gotten myself a truly great Pandora station that plays Blackstreet's "No Diggity" a lot, which was my favorite song in about 8th grade, although I thought the title was "No Dignity." It really didn't change the message of the song at all.
A year ago today, I stopped smoking. It was rather by accident. I went to bed a smoker, and woke up the next day assuming I'd be a smoker indefinitely. But that day I was not feeling well, and went to bed early, having had zero smokes. That night I had two seizures and woke up in the hospital. Because the doctors had no idea what caused the seizures (and indeed, never figured out why it happened), they told me not to drink or smoke for six weeks. And at the end of that six weeks, I thought - why not just keep not smoking?
In many ways, I loved smoking. The physical act of lifting the cigarette to my lips, of inhaling and exhaling, was so satisfying to me. The social nature of smoking with someone was so appealing. And, as embarrassing as this to admit, the whole reason I started smoking in the first place was to be a rebel, and a badass, and break the rules - and as someone who is now a boring old office drone married lady, I liked that connection with my more wild days.
But there was also a big part of me that hated smoking. I like to think of myself as an intelligent person, and every single day I was making the really stupid decision to endanger my health. I was disappointing my parents, the people whose approval I most want, which made me deeply ashamed. And as the years passed, I realized that this habit I was holding onto, something I started to try to make myself seem more adult and independent, was in fact wildly immature - and it was time to grow the fuck up.
It wasn't easy, especially at first. I'd be lying if I said I don't still miss it sometimes. I don't know if I would have had the strength to quit if a health scare hadn't provided the impetus. But it did, and I'm proud of myself, and I hope that I'll never go back.
THE END! Here's a pic of a corgi. He doesn't smoke either.
Rachel: Is The Smithsonian as classy as I imagine?
Me: Probably not.
Rachel: In my head, there's a plethora of witty and creative mugs, people prefer tea over coffee, and everyone is wearing tweed.
Me: Well, there IS one of those electric teapots in the break room.
I've got a long post in my brain space about this magical wedding I attended recently, and reflections on life, and friendships, and other stuff, but I've also got a lot of other things taking up real estate in my brain space that are making me look like THIS:
Too many things! They are getting me down.
But on the brighter side, I live in a gorgeous city, and it's starting to be fall and it's really lovely. Here is a corgi who lives here too, and is also finding joy in these changing days:
So both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions took place over the last couple of weeks. There were some truly remarkable speeches (MICHELLE!), and plenty of barf-riffic pontificating (that freak Paul Ryan), and a veritable avalanche of blog posts, tweets, and articles. Here are a few of my favorite politically related thangs the internet gave me over the last few weeks...
This screencap from before the conventions, but I'm throwing it in here anyway because it's hilarious:
This Tweet from concerned American citizen, Lindsey Lohan, to our esteemed leader President Barack Obama:
This truly unfortunate photo of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:
And finally, I have saved the best for last... this incomparable photo of Joe Biden campaigning in Ohio and about to charm the pants off a lady biker, much to the chagrin of her biker man friends:
Y'all, PLEASE vote Obama/Biden this November, if only to ensure that we get four more glorious years of my Bro-seph Joseph.
It's no secret that I've been neglecting The Blog over the past few weeks. It's probably a combination of the laziness that comes with the hot summer months, and some general ennui I've been feeling in my life. Almost a month ago, Pete sent me an article from Yahoo with the results of a poll about the worst town names in America. I meant to share it with all (seven) of you immediately, but I let it fall by the wayside. So now I am going to do a full review of these UNUSUAL TOWN NAMES, and try to find some facts about each place! We'll start with number 10 and work our way up to the grand poobah of lousily named places:
10. Monkey's Eyebrow, KY - A classic unusual town name! Proving that I'm always on top of my game here at OEIA, I've already written about Monkey's Eyebrow! You can get all the scoop you need here.
9. Squabbletown, CA - As is the case with a lot of these, there's not a lot of info about Squabbletown (which, frankly, doesn't seem that bad a name to me, but whatevs). A Google search yields statements like "Squabbletown is a populated place." Didn't even make it onto Google Maps. I'm calling bullshit on this one, Yahoo. Try again.
8. Loveladies, NJ - This is another totally weak entry. Loveladies is located on a barrier island off the coast of New Jersey, and is populated with fancy homes where celebrities vacation. I'm beginning to think Yahoo wouldn't know a quality unusual town name if it bit them on the ass.
7. Roachtown, IL - Now this is more like it! Roachtown is in western Illinois, quite close to St. Louis... and that's about all I can find. I can tell you that its elevation is 541 feet and they are currently experiencing light rain.
6. Belchertown, MA - Belchertown is in central Massachusetts, and I have actually been there! The wonderful pastor Vicki who married me and Sam lives there, and we spent a lovely afternoon there in 2010. She joked that it was located next to Fartsville. Gotta love a woman of the cloth who still appreciates toilet humor. Other B'town facts - it's home to a Little League field called 'Mini Fenway Park,' and it was also the birthplace of Porter Rockwell, who was Joseph Smith's personal bodyguard. YIKES!
5. Assawoman, MD - This seems to be another screw up, as there's a lagoon called Assawoman Bay in Maryland, but no town known as such, but let's just go with it. What does it mean? According to the book The Place Names of Maryland: their Origin and Meaningby Hamill Kenny: "Assawoman...The name is Indian and the two opening syllables (assa-) seem to be from either Algonquian acaw- 'across,' or Algonquian asaw- 'brown, yellow.' For technical reasons the rest of the word cannot be satisfactorily solved, and the full meaning of assawoman remains unknown." The full meaning is a woman with a fantastic ass, Henry. Get with the program. 4. Hooker, OK - Hooker is in the middle of the Oklahoma panhandle, and its population is a little under 2,000. They have a really pathetic website where none of the links work, so let's just assume that everyone in town is a prostitute. 3. Boring, OR - I love Boring, because they have a sense of humor and are making the effort for some self-promotion! Their sister city is Dull, Scotland, and their town motto is "Boring, Oregon - An exciting place to live and work!" Two thumbs up to Boring. You guys are really working with what you've got.
2. Climax, GA - Oh, God. What kind of joke am I supposed to make here? My PARENTS read this blog. Let's just go with the facts - Climax is in Decatur County, GA, has about 300 residents, and is home of the Swine Time Festival! The event is attended by 35,000 people annually. Contests & events include best
dressed pig, corn shucking, hog calling, eating chitterlings, pig
racing, syrup making, baby crawling, and the great greased pig chase. Another fact: My brain read "syrup making, baby crawling" as "baby making," because what the hell else is one supposed to do in Climax? 1. Toad Suck, AR - I have to agree that this is a top-notch unusual town name. According to the article... What does "Toad Suck" mean anyway? Well, the answer is quite simple...
Long ago, steamboats traveled the Arkansas River when the water was at
the right depth. When it wasn't, the captains and their crew tied up to
wait where the Toad Suck Lock and Dam now spans the river. While they
waited, they refreshed themselves at the local tavern there, to the
dismay of the folks living nearby, who said: "They suck on the bottle
'til they swell up like toads." Hence, the name Toad Suck.
Well, Yahoo worked up to a big, ah, climax at the end there, but a lot of these entries are just lazy. I think I can do better. I'm going to find a truly unusual town name in every state in this great nation, and share them all with YOU (Mama, Pete, Syd, occasionally my sister)! LOVE YOU, READERS!
I just saw a link on Twitter for this piece in The Atlantic about how Brazil is dealing with the ongoing issue of cars blocking crosswalks. Our wise South American friends are sending beefcakes in to teach these box-blocking morons a lesson!
Take that, you arrogant bastards! I certainly wish we had these gentlemen here in DC. I walk almost everywhere, and it really burns my biscuits when people do things like this. I'd also love to unleash these guys on all the a-holes who ride their bikes on the sidewalk...
My hump day has really been off to a lousy start, but my spirits have just been lifted by this fantastic little girl. This is Carina Castro, beautiful daughter of San Antonio mayor Julian Castro. While watching her daddy speak at the Democratic National Convention last night, she flipped her hair with levels of grace and panache I can only dream of reaching:
Get it, girl! Carina Victoria has inspired me. I will now go forth and attempt to tackle my day with even a fraction of her class.
I was talking with Pete last night about how quicky McKayla Maroney's marvelous bitchface, one of the best things to come out of the London Olympics, had turned into a viral internet sensation. He pointed out the obvious next step was to combine her pouting mug with that of the best thing put forth by London in 2011 - the miserable visage of royal wedding bridesmaid, Grace van Cutsem! As is usually the case, I told Peter his wish was my blog-mand, and set out to see if anything could impress McKayla and Grace or cheer them up a bit.
On Sunday evening, Sam and I headed to 2Amy's with our good friend Doc Boyle. It was raining and there were no buses in sight, so we decided to splurge on a cab... AND THANK GOD WE DID! We were treated to one of the most friendly, convivial and delightful cab drivers I've ever encountered. Here is the conversation we had:
Driver: Where are all of you from? I'm from right here in the District, I bet you are not!
Sam: I was born in PG County, but I grew up in Northeast.
Me: I'm from Mississippi.
Driver: Oh my goodness. You are far from home! That is so far away I can't even think about it.
Me: Wait til you hear how far away our friend's home is.
Doc Boyle: Guess where I'm from.
Driver: If it's farther than Mississippi, I can't even think about it. I cannot even guess.
Doc Boyle: I'm from California.
Driver: Well that's where OJ lives!
Me: OJ SIMPSON?
Driver: Yeah, that's where OJ lives! He lives in Brentwood, nice neighborhood.
Sam: I think he lives in prison now, actually.
Driver: Oh that's right! They finally did get him, didn't they? You think he killed Nicole?
Doc Boyle: Well, what does the evidence suggest?
Driver: It didn't fit and they had to acquit. You know what I heard, that they didn't talk about? His dog was there! His dog was in the house when she was killed and he saw everything.
Me: How unfortunate for the dog.
Driver: And they got that dog up on the stand, and they said - 'Dog, who killed Nicole?' - and the dog says 'AROOO, WOOF, AROO-OO-OH-OH-OH.' He got out the O, but he could't say J - so it didn't fit, and they had to acquit!
Me, Sam and Doc Boyle: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
Unfortunately by then we had arrived at our destination and had to part ways with this gentleman. We gave him a 120% tip.
For an entire week now, there has been a livestream Corgi Cam on the internet and I didn't know about it. This is just so wrong on so many levels. How did I not hear about this on my long journey across the internets? How did no one TELL me that this existed? How did I not just sense that there were corgi pups being broadcast 24/7?
I could ask these difficult questions all day and get nowhere, so I'll just share this marvelous, magical Corgi Cam with you all now.
I've just about grown weary of the Olympics, folks. I watched the women's gymnastics team finals and thoroughly enjoyed them, and got emotional when the 'Fab Five' won gold. But that was a week ago and this crap is STILL. GOING. ON. NBC is also airing the events in a maddeningly idiotic fashion, showing you 10-15 minutes of one event, switching to another, then another, and so on before finally getting back to whatever it was you turned on the television to see in the first place. I want to watch diving, NBC. I do not want to watch beach effing volleyball.
Anyway, here are a few of the things still bringing me pleasure as the Olympics drag on:
1) McKayla Maroney's fantastic bitchface.
She literally causes jaws to drop with her cutting looks (and, you know, incredible vaulting skills).
This young woman is strong, beautiful, self-possessed, at at a mere 16 years old SHE WILL CUT YOUR ASS IF YOU MESS WITH HER. Love this kid!
2) The continual display by Michael Phelps of wonderfully moronic facial expressions.
Another complaint I have about the Olympics is that there is way too damn much swimming (look, it's the 50 meter! and the 100 meter! and the 458 meter! WHO WILL WIN?! WHO GIVES A SHIT, GET OUT OF THE POOL AND DRY OFF.), but all those breaststrokes do give us the opportunity to see Phelps look like a total goon.
"BLEEP BLOP HERP DERP DORP." - Michael Phelps, 2012.
3) The delightful Dong Dong!
Look at that sweetheart! This year I learned not only that trampoline is an Olympic sport (as opposed to being the backyard death trap moms everywhere insist it is), but that its greatest athlete is named DONG DONG. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see this live, because after suffering through about three hours of events I didn't give a rat's ass about and hoping NBC would throw me a bone (a dong dong, if you will!) and show some trampoline, I gave up and watched some Say Yes to the Dress. No dongs of any kind on that show, just FYI.
4) This photo that's been making the rounds on Facebook of divers mid-execution photoshopped onto toilets.
Speaks for itself.
5) Ryan Lochte's interview skillz.
By far the best thing to come out of the London Olympics is this video of Ryan Lochte.
Ryan's got to go now, as he is late for his Mensa meeting.
I signed up for Groupon, like everyone else, but mostly I ignore it. My experience with it has been that I buy the coupons and then never use them, so I've started just deleting the emails without opening them. Today, however, one just popped up in my inbox with the subject line "SIX BOTTLES OF WINE."
Needless to say, I opened that one. Way to know your audience, Groupon!
As embarrassing and disheartening as it is to totally screw something up, sometimes I think it can be worse to get everything nearly right and just barely miss out on your goal. I thought that last week as I was watching those poor sad Russian gymnasts weep over getting a silver medal in the team finals at the Olympics.
It's a gross day in the District, folks. Not only is it Monday, it's kind of rainy and damp and hot and just naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarshty. A friend of a friend posted this on a friend's Facebook, and as a possessor of curly, frizzy hair (thanks, Daddy!), I really relate to it:
Off to find a ponytail holder and some bobby pins...
Someone in my hometown got married recently and had a really stellar groom's cake.
That is an Auburn University Tiger. From this we can conclude that the groom is a smart man, as Auburn is a good school, but not a genius, as he made the decision to have a cake that looks like it's touching itself.
I really, really enjoy the 4th of July holiday. It is a holiday that is largely without any pressure whatsoever. With New Year's Eve, there's the expectation that you must party hard and have the most memorable evening, which rarely happens. Valentine's Day does nothing for me. Thanksgiving usually brings family drama of some sort, plus it makes you fat. Christmas is pretty nice, but you have to spend money on gifts, and you want to get people wonderful gifts because you love them, which gets expensive and stressful. But with the 4th of July, pretty much all you have to do is sit around and do nothing all day, and then make a half hearted attempt to see some pyrotechnics. If you miss them, no big deal - they'll be doing the same thing next year. I had a lovely 4th this year - I hung out at home with my husband, ate some hot dogs at a cookout, and then watched the District's fireworks display from a friend's rooftop. The 4th of July is the best!
In honor of perhaps my favorite holiday, here is a video of a dog saying 'America' and an excellent compilation of failed attempts to set off fireworks. Enjoy!
I just signed up for Mint.com, a personal finance tool recommended to me by my trusty partner in crime Syd. It puts together all your accounts - checking, saving, credit cards, etc - and helps you budget for all your expenses. It's really quite fascinating if, like me, you are not in the habit of keeping close track of exactly what you are spending on what things. It was at once enlightening, depressing and horrifying. What it all boils down to is exactly what I knew before - I don't make very much money, and I have a lot of expenses. While there are a lot of things I could cut out (new clothes, movies, expensive dinners), there are also things that won't go away, like rent, student loans, and credit card debt. The solutions for this problem are so incredibly overwhelming - get a higher paying job, find a cheaper apartment, stop going out to dinner so much (that one will never happen; in fact I am going out to dinner tonight!) - that I'm just going to watch this video of baby pandas going down a slide instead.
And now I feel better. Phew! That dinner out tonight will be delicious.
Summer has hit the District in full force at last, and I am loving it! As someone who grew up in the Mississippi Delta, where it's said that temperature-wise "there ain't nothin' but a screen door between you and hell," I love a nice hot day. I've been wearing sundresses and flip flops, sipping Arnold Palmers, and hitting up the pool... but one thing is sorely missing from my summer, and that is snow cones. I don't know of anywhere in DC that has snow cones, and I can't figure out why! In my hometown we had a snow cone truck AND multiple snow cone stands - and this is a town of 15,000 folks that doesn't even have a movie theater, not the capital of America. And no, an Italian ice or a Slurpee or a slushie is not the same thing and will not suffice.
Do you know where I can find one? I need to look like this guy:
And please, don't call it a snow ball. That ain't the same either.
I was just reading an article about a small historic village called Zoar, located near where I went to college in Ohio. The piece was about the very real possibility that this one-of-a-kind place may be washed away due to a leaking levee. Here is the first comment posted on this article, by user 'reelbigdave':
I've been on a visit to Zoar. Went to the Zoar Store. Paddled a canoe
with a Zoar oar. In the museum, the even had a picture of the
Zoarchestra. Then my wife stepped in dog poo and it smelled all day. We
made fun of her.
Thank you, 'reelbigdave'. Clearly Zoar is exceptional and worth saving.
Are you sad? I am very sad, to be honest, but here are a couple of photos that have been helping to lift my spirits.
My awesome friend Lindsey sent me this gem. This hippo is totally laughing at this dweeb.
This one I found myself, somewhere on the internet, and it's just brought tons of laffs my way. I broke it out last night at happy hour with my dear buddy Dave, and I seriously couldn't stop giggling over it. It is a doggie who is half basset hound, half Saint Bernard.
I recently was chit chatting with my friend Lindsey about Kirk Cameron, and what a great show Growing Pains was, and how lousy it is that old Kirk has turned out to be this crazy right wing fundamentalist, and we had this exchange:
L:remember how his character had a friend named boner?
the 80s, man
erections had to be called boners then too right?
like, that didn't happen after growing pains, right?
i think boner has been around a long time
i'm gonna go with since neanderthals
i would agree
Me: since they finished dinner one night around a fire