Wednesday, December 31, 2008

i've been obsessed with boots

for a long while. five years ago it was uggs (still rocking them, still don't listen to the haters), four point five years ago it was cowboy boots (still wear these many times a week, still grateful that awful trendy phase has passed) and then four years ago i became obsessed with finding a PERFECT FLAT LEATHER BOOT.

they'd look a little different from the norm, make me feel like an elf, and go with everything.

but they were nowhere to be found. and whenever i'd finally track down an acceptable pair, they'd be twelve jillion dollars and too pradalicious for my tastes. yet i didn't give up hope. i searched and hunted and stalked and obsessed and along the way purchased a whole slew of not-quality almost-but-not-quites. (the calf was too fat, the zipper bunchy, the color too astronautish.)

in the past couple years this flat boot thing has really taken off. especially in san francisco, especially in my current office. while i still enjoy the look, they are by no means spesh anymore. dime a doz, left and right.

but cc, who's lived through all my boot trial and tribulations, was determined this christmas season to help find (and fund) me my treasure boots (to go with my treasure pants) and put out, once and for all, the fire that's burned my innards for months and years.

i wanted to wait till after the big day to avoid crowds and find some sales, so yesterday we hit the stores, scoured the racks, peed in lots of public restrooms. (what in the hell is wrong with women, btw? why is every single toilet seat covered in urine? are we not ladies, ladies? dee-sgust.)

and after all our research, i learned something important, friends. something i hadn't realized from simply perusing ebay four hours a day for four years: i'm after a little something different than i thought i was. something a little more solid, a little more classic, a little more this-will-hurt-if-i-kick-you.

and so, behold! the frye boots i just ordered! that will arrive in 2-3 days! that i will wear over and over and over again, over pants and under dresses and through rain and fog, and will kiss goodnight and make coffee for every morning!

thank you, dearest hubs, for making my dreamiest, bootiest dreams come true.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a girl definitely wrote this post

back when i was really skinny, back in the high school and college years, contrary to popular public opinion, there wasn't an eating disorder involved. just an overall lack of appetite, an overall lack of food interest. it's hard to explain/remember because i certainly don't have this issue now, but lots of times i just didn't get hungry. and when i did, a few bites of whatever i could find would fill me up.

the thing is, i wasn't really happy with how i operated. i knew i was too thin - i was cold all the time, sick all the time - and going out to dinner with friends or dates was embarrassing. i wanted to eat like a real person - cram a few pieces of pizza down my face then beg for an ice cream cone. but most of the time i felt too nauseated to even pretend. of course people assumed i was hungry but denying myself - which really helped female friendship relations. i'm not entirely sure what the deal was, but i know it had something to do with my underlying anxiety issues. because while some people shove packs of twizzlers down their throat when they worry, i had the opposite reaction.

back in those days, i lived in a mild state of panic - butterflies in my stomach, dizzy spells on the subway - and it constantly undermined my appetite. when something bigger happened - a breakup, a move, whatever - instead of just the annoying minutia of everyday life, i would completely lose the ability to eat for days on end. and it scared the shit out of me. this wasn't a "i need control over this largely uncontrollable situation so i'm controlling my calories by not eating but i'm really starving" thing. i had no hunger rumbles in my stomach and couldn't swallow food without gagging.

the end of my freshman year of college i created some intense drama for myself, a dawson's creek scene involving breaking up a four-year-long senior couple and cheating on my clueless macrobiotic boyfriend away in connecticut. it was thrilling and sexy and nuts, but the whole thing also filled me with guilt and terror. i barely ate for eleven days and was convinced i would die. (i didn't.)

after many more scenes like this, where i subsisted exclusively on boullion cubes and tea, i slowly pulled my act together - through therapy and thinking and yoga and walking - and got down to eating. i don't suffer from the panic anymore, (obsessive worrying? yes. thundercloud depression at times? yes. panic? not really.) which means i don't suffer from the appetite suckage.

it also means i go home for christmas now and step on the scale and faint because i weigh a full twenty more pounds than i did back then. i left the bathroom and immediately put away the mashed potatoes i'd heated in the microwave and pouted on the couch.

because while i'm happier now, the weight gain is still complicated.

i wasn't healthy then and i wasn't loving food then and i was that girl people resented then because i was skinny. because people are crazy and think that skinny = ecstasy. (wrong, wrong, wrongness.) and it was just such a thing, such a defining feature of who i was. which is creepy. i love (love) to eat now, i love that i can eat a huge, fatty meal and still want dessert, i love that the first thing people say when they see me isn't "you're wasting away!"

so for the most part, for the stuff that matters, i'm sticking with what i've got going on. i'm a fox and i work it.

but i know i could/should exercise more, and i don't need to eat quite so many grilled cheese sandwiches or drink quite so many glasses of grape juice. (and that's not "grape juice" meaning wine, that's grape juice as in the official drink of kindergarten.) and the sad truth is, i know i'd feel a little better if i were a little thinner. but i hate even typing that, hate that i even care, hate that i have to give up some of that food bliss that was so hard won.

as my mom and i like to say: poor humans.

Monday, December 29, 2008

some ho-ho-ho highlights

well hello! it's been a few days, hasn't it? i hope you all had a relaxing and goody-getting holiday week. the hubs and i traveled afar to the wilds of massachusetts for christmastime funz and yesterday returned to the strangely-not-much-warmer bay area. we had a lovely time filled with turkey and cranium whippings and delicious babies and boomerangs lost in the snow.

would you like to see a few fotos?


my little brother is into barefoot running. but that type of thing doesn't exactly go hand-in-hand with snow and salt and ice and such sooooo - he asked for these strange rubber ape-foot things that make it feel like you're running sans shoes but give you protection. i think we can safely assume we were the only house on the block opening these puppies up.

again - pretty sure i'm the only kid on the block making an expression of pure joy/disbelief/ecstasy over a cd-on-tape narrated by hugh laurie. swooooooooooooooooooon. (p.s. these are what my bangs look like now. i think i like them more side-sweepy like this vs. straight-hanging-down. but we'll see.)

that's cc with the coffee cup i bought him. (in a presh target shirt we found in texas. me heart.) you were thinking he just went to 'bucks and ordered a grande, right? you're wrong! it's a ceramic cup made to look like paper one. sn-ap.

my lil bro also received a boomerang because, well, he asked for one. this is cc and t in our driveway about to throw it...

uh. and then it was gone.

still gone. crocodile dundee we are not.

after opening presents at home, we headed up to my cousin christie's brand spanking new house for a family par-tee and gift exchange. we really had a fun time and i loved getting to see everyone at once - just wish it was for longer. here's cc helping the little ladies and little man put together a crazy game with lots of sticks they eventually stuck inside my ear.

um. heart = stopped. cc holding christie's brand spanking new baby girl libby. made my uterus do somersaults.

i thought i'd zoom in so you could see 1) HOW CUTE THIS BABY IS. 2) them holding hands. 3) her foot in his hand. he's a natural, right? RIGHT?

cool shot cc took of my front yard/street before we headed back. bye bye home! hearts and waves.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the dude who lives downstairs

is named mike. we don't know his last name so we call him mike neighbor. it's actually pretty catchy if you say it enough times. try it!

about a year ago, mn was having a lot of funz smoking the dope and playing the reggae. just as i was getting cozy in my jams, snuggling under my covers with sherlock holmes and soy crisps, he was pumping the volume. a couple times i snuck down the stairs and sort of stared at his door before turning around and running upstairs quick like a bunny. it all seemed very freshman dorm and not in the fun, eat a pound of mozarella sticks every night from the late night cafeteria, way.

eventually i got cc to do my dirty work and talk to mn about his noise pollution. mn said he'd turn stuff off by 11 if i stopped jumping up and down by 11. i think this was in my tae bo days, but you don't have to ask me twice to stop exercising; a deal was a deal. and we had a really nice run of things, mr. neighbor and me.

but lately, he's creeping back into his old ways. liiiike right now, 12:12 in the a.m., he's got some serious surround sound action going and i can hear actual dialogue. i think it may be signourney, i think it might be alien, i think i have work in 8 hours.

it all feels too intimate, me knowing what he's watching on a wednesday night, probably in his own sets of jams. i already know what he's smoking, i can't handle anymore detail.

so if you'll excuse me, i've got some sneakers to put on and some hop scotching to inflict. bye!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a little known fact about cc,

who's generally cool as a cuke, is how afraid he is of me getting hurt. of course all (good) h'bands worry about their wives, but his is definitely kicked up a notch from the typical. (sorry to blow your cover, buddy.) i have a feeling it comes from how much he travels and the resulting inability to be here instantly if anything went wrong. but it spills over into lazy saturdays, too, when a big bottle of shampoo falls in the shower and he runs in to make sure it wasn't me biting the dust. ("you okay??") i'm the worrier in our relationship, so for him to have mini panic attacks over potential paper cuts makes me grin.

i'm not particularly clumsy, i don't think, so i'm usually rolling my eyes at (while secretly enjoying) his hand wringing. but i can be a bit, uh, hasty in my tasks and sometimes, suddenly, i'll get it.

like late last night, all ready for bed, in my sock monkey jammies, contacts out of eyeballs, hungry for a snack before zonking. i found a half-eaten loaf of french bread, grabbed a big serrated knife, and got to hacking. and cut right into my thumb. couldn't see a thing, but hell that hurt and the blood was aplenty. strike one for my left hand.

then today i'm in the office kitchen, mid-afternoon blood sugar/caffeine crash. i grab a handful of peanut m&ms and drop a tea bag into my mug. then proceed to pour the hot water directly onto my left hand, completely and inexplicably missing the cup. hurt like a bitch and i lost a bunch of m&ms to the floor. double whammy. strike two!

strike three hasn't happened - yet dum dum dum - but my left hand is super nervous and keeps hiding.

to tie this theme into my evening's activies, let me remind you of this spring when i read the novel twilight. i finished it and liked it fine, but only because the plot - human chick falls in love with vampire dude - was great; the writing made me hurl. (er, sorry ms. meyer, says aspiring young adult author on her public blog...)

one part i especially didn't get was edward's (the vamp) total obsession/dedication to bella (human). he'd get all angry at her because she wasn't careful and tripped a lot and might die. get a grip, ed.

but then! i saw the movie. and seeing his mini tantrums on screen totally reminded me of my own vampire and how worried he gets when i slip or drop a fork. it made me giggle like a tween. and it made total sense.

oh, also - this movie rocks! super true to the book in terms of plot, but about 152 times better. totally, utterly threw me for a loop that i liked it, but i did! and my writer friend who accompanied me tonight, and who's picky about similar things, also really dug it. run don't walk!

Monday, December 15, 2008

you know that old adage

(may or may not be the correct usage of this word) about boiling a frog slowly? as in, if you put a frog in lukewarm water and very slowly increase the heat he’ll just sort of hang there until he dies of boil-dom? many times i = frog.

like my sophomore year of high school. every morning I’d wake up and hop into the shower (not entirely true – I’ve always been an every-other-day type of gal, but you understand the use of hyperbole in narrative, don't you?) and soap up before beginning another day of algebra 2 and eating ice cream sandwiches from the vending machine.

at the beginning of the school year, the water pressure in said shower was fine. I didn’t really notice it one way or the other. hop in, hop out, put on my l.e.i. bell bottoms. as the year progressed, the water pressure very slowly, slowly, almost imperceptibly, became weaker. again – I just went with the flow. since my dad used the downstairs shower, and my mom takes baths (is this too much information on my family’s former bathing habits? apologies) and I have no idea what my little brother at age 11 was doing, there wasn’t much intra-family discussion on the water situation.

one morning I woke up, tho, and holy s*%t. one small drip of water was exiting from one of the shower head holes. one small drip. one hole. and it was cold. the scary thing is this seriously didn’t happen overnight, it had taken like six months to boil me.

eventually the plumber came in, checked out our situation, turned to my mom and said:

“you weren't living.” amen.

I bring this up, because I’ve had a slow simmer going in my lower back and right leg (simply put: b/c of the way I’m built and I move, my pelvis gets out of alignment, making one leg longer than the other, making everything along the way from knee to hip flexor to feet go into excrutiating spasms) for a long, long time. I was just starting to get it fixed 4.5 years ago before a trip to india. I thought the physical therapist would be able to fix it in a few visits, but after her assessment – come in once a week for lots of months, you’ve got lots of damage to reverse – I just got discouraged/bored. she’d made me feel better in the short term and in my just-graduated-from-college mindset, that was good enough.

but over the past 4.5 years, it’s gotten worse and worse, making me squirm on the couch and live with an electric heating pad down my pants. and since I almost popped a leftover-from-an-ear-infection vicodin before heading to work today and my name is not gregory house – it’s time to get some help. I’ve got an appointment lined up in two weeks and I’m looking forward to it more than christmas. (I kind of wanted to make a tiny tim joke there, but I couldn’t figure it out nor did it seem very nice.) the end.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

as the new year approaches

i've really started to think re: life priorities.

and when i say life priorities, i mean the commencement of american idol in january and whether i'll find a way, sans cable, to watch it this year. i've followed the past seven seasons (hi, i'm old) with rabid (except the fantasia year, that was more along the lines of tepid) interest.

but dedication has been waning over the past couple years (there was nowhere to go but down - we used to tape - vhs - every song clay aiken sang...) and without my own cable i'd have to procure a fellow fan and then glom onto them and their couch twice a week? unlikely. also i'll be in classes tuesday and wednesday starting january. also that new songwriter judge chick is going to ruin everything.

hmm. thank you for walking me through this. it has been cathartic and informative. i do believe that seacrest...i'm out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

my fourth grade teacher,

mr. hayner, taught in a regular school but wasn’t really a regular teacher. i think we only used one textbook (math) and we were allowed to go through it at our own pace. (i finished very early if you’re wondering. and yep, i’m bragging about my age-9 math skillz. we gotta grab what we can in life.)

he was really into projects and “real life learning” - for example, to learn about money/budgets/planning, we were divided into groups, given a few triple a books, some maps, (life without the interwebs!) and told to plan a trip to new york city for x amount of dollars. usually i hated these fakey construction paper type things - just give me the damn worksheet so i can fill it in and hit the playground to work on my made-up play. but for some reason – i think it was the use of real travel books, etc – i lived for this s*&t.

one day he took us to the supermarket down the street. another “environmental learning” math class opportunity. we all had clipboards and i think we had to price check stuff? compare products? not sure, but it was fun. ben maxwell slipped a pack of gum into his fanny pack and i’m still horrified. he also wrote on his leg that he loved me. equally scared still.

my mom was a chaperone for this excursion and fell in love with a certain classmate of mine named jenna. something about the studious way she held the clipboard and got down to business, i think. (she went on to graduate second in our class. mom wasn’t surprised.) after all this post-trip raving, i decided to give this chick a chance. we became besties pretty quickly and yada yada yada had lots of fun together for many years to come.

i bring this story up because a) we all like to think our past lives are charming don’t we? and b) i just got back in touch with jenna and holy god, she’s a licensed ship captain traveling around the world on boats?!?! like, as i type she’s cruising around australia and then falling asleep in a bunk bed after eating a sandwich and seeing some fish swim. and in her emails she uses all these boy/military words like “head” for bathroom and such. i’m in awe. of both her vocabulary and her kick-ass-edness. i heart my life and live for on-land coziness, i just think it’s pretty neat my former fellow ballerina friend might have to fight a pirate one day.


this isn't like when i discovered npr and caffeine and frasier. i've always loved a good movie. but with our new netflix sitch, i can think up a movie i want to watch and without leaving my couch or fumbling with the dvd player it's abracadabra! playing without previews or commercials and damn that's rad.

i'm especially finding the easy access to old movies intoxicating. like right now - i'm watching the way we were. i've always wanted to see it - especially after the sex+city girls reference it way back in the day - but not really enough to walk to the rental joint or move it to the top of the queue. but this is super low risk - i press a button on my laptop and then i continue to sit some more. and if it's good, i watch the whole thing and if it's not, i don't.

i said to my brother, film geek extraordinaire, tonight: "movies are great! they don't have commercials!" mostly joking, but also serious because wow! when all i'm watching is movies i sure appreciate the lack of all those bullshit blah blah blahs. (i was a model account executive.)

okay but a few quick comments on tonight's feature.

**forgot to add spoiler alert here last night and sorta ruined the end for a friend. sorry sharon! other readers, proceed with caution.**

a) barbra streisand is a good actress! who knew?
b) i totally identify with robert redford's character and despise barb's. except for when she hates hanging with the uppity crowd because well, who doesn't.
c) why did this have to take place in the 40's? gratuitous and boring. she could have been a 60's activist and worn snazzy bell bottoms with hair down her back.
d) even in his prime time, bob just doesn't do it for me. he always looks a little red?
e) lame soundtrack.
f) they have a baby together and he's totally okay with some other dude raising it and casually asks after her when he accidentally bumps into barb at the end? uh.
g) "your girl is lovely, hubble." i get it now!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

in which i'm a jerk and point out 3 words lots of people use incorrectly. just because it makes my brain leak

what it really means: confused.
what it doesn't mean: amused.

what it really means: totally perplexed.
what it doesn't mean: un-perplexed or unimpressed.

what it really means: torn between doing/feeling two opposites.
what it doesn't mean: indifferent.

annnnnnd scene.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


tough to find a movie scene that makes me happier.
must ice face; too much smiling.

do you watch house hunters on hgtv?

because i do. (that is until our cable gets shut off, of course...8 days and counting...) and you should.

i deeply enjoy it. the 1, 2, or 3? formula, suzanne wong's blunt bangs, the snazzy little tune.

a few things about it enrage me, tho, giving me a chance to purge the day's tensions, puking them all over my tv screen:

1) people who walk into a cavernous room and say. "it's a liiiiiiiii-ttle small." then shake their heads in disdain. no wonder furr-eners hate america. get a clue! a family of four could live comfortably in your pallatial bathroom.

2) people who comment on the paint choices of a potential house. "i don't know...there sure is a lot of yellow." followed by a heavy sigh. are you serious? that will take 1/4 of a day to fix. and i wonder who voted for bush.

3) people who worry about their furniture. "i really love the whole house...but will our bedroom set fit?" ridiculous.

4) people who call golf courses "great views!"

5) people who are obsessed with stainless steel appliances. sure, they're attractive, but also just a phase - just like that avocado laminate from the seventies. making this a deal breaker is insane.

but i hope no potential participants read this because i really don't want any of these things to change; i'd have nothing to yell about and yelling makes me happy.

Monday, December 08, 2008

bja's small/random/affordable gift guide

things i like that you might want to purchase for people you heart (including yourself):

a) kiehls is famous for its essential oils, especially the musk. for 16 bucks you get this teensy (but not too teensy) vintage-y glass bottle filled with enough oil to last you a long time/lifetime. (one small drop = a lot of scent.) they’re all supa delicious/pure/clean, don’t give me a headache (rare) and are unisex. i rock the musk and have my eye on cucumber.

b) unclear why these boots get so many mixed reviews; if you order them online perhaps the picture is misleading? i bought mine in person and was beyond psyched when I found them for 30 dollas. they’re a dull/matte black (I hate a shine), completely flat, made of a strange moon boot material (it’s really not pretending to be leather, which i appreciate) and have a small opening/circumference for skinny calves. they’re comfortable, and cute with a dress (like today) or over pants/leggings, etc. my best find in a long time.

c) yes, i work for them, but i’d love this stuff no matter what. doesn’t matter if you’re a grownup, a baby, or a grownup with a baby - i do believe you'll enjoy it. this lotion is creamy, moisturizing without being greasy and smells incredible. if you could bottle that “baby smell” it’d be this; sweet, delicate, homey. i like to rub it into my neck and temples before bedtime.

d) my mom and I found this at cvs, during one of a few makeup trips pre-wedding. i had no idea what it was for, but it looked delightful and i do enjoy me some carmindy, so i dropped the 11 bucks. i don’t do foundation, so i use this on its own – if you do wear foundation, you’d use this stuff first.

after (or sometimes instead of) moisturizing, i use one pump and rub into my whole face. i have no idea how, but it adds 1) brightness 2) a tiny imperceptible shimmer 3) serious softness. it doesn’t bring any color, but it just makes me look more awake and dewy. love, love, love.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

san francisco is so expensive

that the discussion of relocating becomes inevitable. not relocation = inevitable, just the constant, ambivalent debate of it all. pros of this place = natural beauty, liberal peeps, lotsa stuffs to do, temperate climate. cons = expensive as f*&%, far from family, kids raised here can end up super spoiled.

so we'll go back and forth and talk about goals and puppies and baking cupcakes with more counter space and such, but bottom line it always come down to: panic! we could never live outside a major metropolis! we would wither and die and probably start wearing pleated pants!

but then it's saturday, and i listened to my podcasts and drank tea with a heating pad on my back, looking out my window, while clay listened to his podcasts and played video games with intermittent breaks to make coffee and read a magazine. then i made pasta and we watched a netflix. then we drove to the liquor store to buy frozen yogurt, drove back and ate it. and now our headphones are back in place, we're across the room from each other, plugged into our respective podcasts again. (don't frown; these things make us happy.) at moments like these, which are often, of course we think WE COULD NEVER ENJOY THIS LIFESTYLE OUTSIDE A CITY!


Friday, December 05, 2008

me in white

i think i posted a link awhile back of 20-ish shots.

here are 162-ish.


every time i wear a dress

instead of pants my day goes about 120 times better. and at end of those days i swear to myself that i’ll wear one everyday! all day! but i never do. i think it’s because i don’t have the perfect boots yet. even tho i hunt and bid lose and bid and bid and hunt and bid and lose on ebay. moving on.

you see, tho i have skinny limbs and a smallish frame, i was blessed ("") with a buddha belly. i think they call this body type an “apple” instead of a “pear” which is okay with me since apples + peanut butter is one of my favorite snacks and pears always taste mealy. every little kid has got one of these bellies – round, rubbable, pokey - it’s just that mine decided to stick around after i turned 4, and 14, and 24. so dresses drape over my little tum. while pants dig and ouch.

of course, katharine hepburn and others worked hard to make pants acceptable for the ladies, so i don’t want to ignore their labors.

i found these pants, but frankly those sound/look even worse than regular pants. I don’t want a tuck, fools, I want comfort that’s attractive. those = discomfort that’s fugly. nooooo thanks, crazy pants.

my point is, do you have any ideas for me? about these things called pants? that might be comfortable and cute?

and if you’re about to suggest these, please don’t: I already have them, love them, fall asleep in them. clay has named them “treasure pants” because of their special, magical, unicorn qualities. but am I doomed to elastic pants forever? i’m only 26, people. how about something with a zipper?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

he gets me through my day

jesse thorn. host of the podcast jordan, jesse, go! i listen to hours of this show in my left ear as i make fedex labels. it keeps me alive.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

i never feel so yankee

as i do after a trip to texas. i can't pinpoint exactly what's different except - i definitely am. i talk a little too fast, can't pronounce pecan (i say "pee-kan" instead of "pah-cahn"), and i still don't understand football. i worry for the day we've got kiddos to bring 'round, because wow those southern babies are done up so cute. i'm fairly certain ours will be clad in onesies + barefoot + koolaid mustache.

but dang those texans can cook! yams with brown sugar, sweet rolls, sweet tea, sweet potato pie (noticing a theme?), cheese grits, green bean casserole (i could eat this everyday, all day), ham, cheesy rice, turkey, gravy, buttermilk pie, red velvet cake, and oh my god ---- potato chips sprinkled with chocolate and caramel. geen-ius.

later on in the week, we ate cajun (red beans + sausage + rice + banana pudding) then bbq (beef brisket, mac and cheese, cole slaw, toast: a wedding flashback!) i hurt myself/jammed myself with all the choosings. and don't feel a bit bad about it. power yoga x 7 days = start now.

tomorrow it's back to my dry pita sandwiches and grape juice eaten quietly at a quiet desk. self-pity binge swapped out for a food binge! a low-cal option fo sho.

Monday, November 24, 2008

cc's on the road again

so i took him to the airport this morning. this was our little routine when i was unemployed: wake up early, enjoy a nice ride together, he flies off into the sunrise, i drive back to a soundtrack of npr then sleep for 3 more hours.

now that i'm working, i'm a little nervous for the crash that's going to happen around noon (or nine) today. i'm fortified with caffeine and the knowledge of a short week, but that can only take a girl so far. if i'm going to be a teacher one day, as i'm seriously considering, i'll have to get used to earlier hours eventually though, right? do you think it's possible to rewire your natural body rhythms so that waking up early is actually enjoyable for a night owl like myself?

because i can really see the benefits of it if i could make it work: up before anything is clamoring for me, traffic is none, fog's creeping in, a cup of tea and a couch. maybe a walk and some oatmeal? i would like that.

but to swing that i'd have to be asleep by 10, which doesn't quite compute with my brain. that's when dirty jobs starts! oh but wait, amy, wait. these timings are not relevant to your life anymore, silly girl. have you forgotten that you and your hubs-band have embarked on a cable-free adventure soon as they turn off our box? (we've canceled, but are milking it for all its worth.)

too much caffeine = i talk to myself.

you see, now that we've got netflix streaming into our xbox, which brings us tons of stuff with just a click (awkward phrasing i still use after doing ads for comcast, brain = poisoned.), i feel a lot less nervous than if i'd just signed up for me + aladdin on vhs. we'll have plenty to watch, just no commercials and less channel surfing through dumb things (parking wars anyone?) when i should be writing/reading/cooking/pumping iron. weeeeeeeesh us luck!

Friday, November 21, 2008

as much as i pee

my new coworkers most definitely think i'm puking up all those string cheeses. the ladies room locale is very un-feng-shui. it's right near the lobby and front desk so both guests and receptionist are privy to my frequent visits. it's also directly across from a glass-walled meeting room, always filled with senior types. and i have to walk from the way back to the way front of the office, passing every single person's desk on my journey.

and now, i go even more frequently because of my new addiction. yoga in the stall.

i get so sleepy and cramped at my desk and as much as the english breakfast tea and npr podcasts help, it's not enough. so i sneak into the handicap stall and do a bunch of poses until i hear the outside door squeak and i saunter out to wash my hands. a must after downward dog on a bathroom floor. disturbed that i'll do that but won't use a sponge? so am i.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i'm always delighted after our laundry is done


a) not fun!

but mostly

b) i realize oh! i kind of have clothes!

because you see, before going out to sushi with the hubs or brunch with the book club ladies i have lots of mini nervous breakdowns when i look in my closet. i can't find anything i like or anything that fits or really anything at all.

but then i throw some tide on top of things and my raincloud dries up. (or, really, just moves along to something else - like seeing all those dead pigs piled up inside that same truck in chinatown every morning. and you were jealous of my commute.)

this whole america's-po'-now-so-try-shopping-in-your-closet thing is a mind-blow. combine my recent much-needed staple acquistions from target ( i used a gift certificate + $34 of my own dollars, don't hate!) with my current stash and turns out i've got black leggings and skinny black stretchy pants and blue jeans and plain tanks and tanks with stripes and basic dresses for layering and a few colored cardigans and stretchy/soft turtlenecks and even some accessories. i won't say i'm rocking my dream wardrobe or anything, but after all is washed and folded - i'm not mad at what i got.

(except comfortable black ballet flats for everyday wear -- any recommendations!? i'll spend as little as a penny, as much'ty?)

add to this my rabid library usage and my store-brand spaghetti sauce purchasing and it looks like i'm one step away from making potholders out of old jeans. my family should be getting very excited for their upcoming christmas presents.

Monday, November 17, 2008

doesn't everyone think i need one of these?

your heart just stopped for a minute, right?

i found an online quiz that analyzes your lifestyle and matches you with your perfect breed.

apparently, a bulldog is:


"a couch potato"


"very good with children"

"appreciates a lowkey daily outing"


"prefers not to exercise"

in other words, me.

will you help bat your eyelashes at cc for me? thaaanks.

Friday, November 14, 2008


if a thief hadn't thiefed us, i would take a pic of my new 'do. i'm hard at work on a pinhole camera, but until that's complete you'll have to use your imagination. i'm happy with the new look, although my stylist cut the bangs a little too long - which is better than too short of course, so i'm not crying. i can wear them down and completely straight across - my preference - but then i'm stuck blowing hair out of my eyes all day. so i'm wearing them down and straight across but also sort of pushed over a little. i think the whole thing looks especially cute when my hair is up; sort of ballet-dancer-from-1977-ish?

wow. this is boring even to me.

i might as well start typing what i ate today. (cinnamon swirl oatmeal and english breakfast tea in the morning + sweet and sour chicken with an iced tea for lunch. i'm making chicken enchiladas tonight. the end.)

in summary: i like them, cc is adjusting, i think you'll dig, and at my free bang trim in two weeks i'll get them cut shorter.

i'm sort of short on other news. except that it's 78 degrees and sunny here in san francisco and my internal thermometer is very confused. holiday starbucks cups + tank tops?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

i don't feel well

but i needed to tell you about my new favorite show.

if you enjoy/enjoyed mystery science theater 3000, you should watch whatever martha (on the fine living network.) martha stewart's daughter alexis and her friend jennifer sit on couches and watch old episodes of martha's show together. they make witty quips and talk over the narration and try to make the crafts along with her and make fun of the mom jeans. it's genius.

okay i'm dizzy and nauseous and stuff. carry on.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

he could have just opened the door

just as i was flapping my yapper about how pretty and lovely and smart this city is, cc and i woke up to a broken-into car. sad face, upset tummy. some bad guy used a key (?!) to get into our lobby and then our garage, spotted our schmancy nikon camera strap only sort of hidden underneath a sweatshirt, and bashed in our sweet little v-dub's back window to grab it. he also found my new not-schmancy-but-still-loveable camera tucked into a side pocket. he must be a photographer.

the frustrating part (aside from the fact he got into our building uninvited and took our things) was the car = unlocked! the glass-bashing, which will run us about two-hundy to fix (thank you cc for hunting down the deal), was completely unnecessary, and made my car look all undignified and frumpy. ack.

the locks will be changed and we'll be extra-careful now about a) letting anyone non-tenant into the building and b) leaving anything in our car, but it's still creepy and unfair. ah, city living.

in happier news, i'm debuting my cooking skills tonight for non-family-members. we'll sit around our little white table by the window and enjoy the view of the bay, visible through the small space between two mansions. would you like to hear the menu?

tomato and basil (homegrown!) soup
garlic bread for dipping
green (spinach pesto i'll make in my processor) gnocchi
homemade ginger snaps (amy sedaris recipe)
pumpkin pie ice cream (cc is in charge of this one, "as long as you buy me the ingredients")

nom nom nom, says cookie monster.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

looks like my uk passport will stay dusty

a) didn't the air smell better today? everything just seems a little different and i hope it doesn't stop. 1000% thrilled and happy and inspired. !gobama!

b) shame on you, conservative californians. as cc said this morning, we can only hope someone doesn't arbitrarily decide to take our marriage away.

c) i just made hot chocolate from scratch and added cayenne pepper. do this and thank me later.

d) yoga in the a.m. helps sleeping in the p.m.

e) showing around visitors (cc's dad and stepmom - hi guys!) always makes me heart this city even more. it really is one of the coolest (and prettiest and smartest) places on the map. i'm a lucky gal.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

quick question

while i'll eat a doughnut off a dirty floor, wash my hair only when i remember, and wear the same t-shirt five days in a row, i have a really weird germ-a-phobe thing with sponges. as in i really, really don't like using them.

i feel like i'm just wiping around e coli and salmonella and dead skin and egg yolks every time i swipe the counters. they stay perpetually damp and smell strange and i can’t imagine they’re actually making things less germy than they were to begin with. i have a scrubby brush thing i use for the dishes, but when it comes to counters and stovetops and every single one of my bathroom’s surfaces, i just cannot find anything acceptable.

i know (i know) it’s horrible to keep using paper towels, but sponges make my brain explode. cc tells me i just need to have separate sponges for separate purposes and squeeze them dry and air them out and all that. and i know those are all good ideas. just, ahem, maybe not the best ideas?

and so i’m here asking you, dear reader, for different suggestions: more eco friendly than paper towels, please, but thoughtfully removing any mention of sponge, spongy, spongee.

bja and her sidekick, ocd, thank you kindly.

Friday, October 31, 2008

backwards and forwards

4 more days!

(i think i need to clean our mirrors.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

1982 or 1928, part 2

i just got the most sudden/stabbing ache in my right knee. like, hold onto the side of the couch and grimace while i watch reruns stabby. i headed over to to confirm what i already knew: the next two days are going to be cloudy and rainy. why oh my must my joints predict the weather?

also: all you hydrox lovers! run, don't walk to your local grocery store aisles. the usually-discontinued cookie has been reissued for a 1908-2008, hundred year celebration. nom nom nom.

also: i borrowed all about eve from the library and have already started my under-the-quilt fest, tummy filled with taters. i even took out my teeth to get extra cozy.

i'm in the middle of an experiment, friends

it's called working + maintaining the new cleaning and cooking standards + all whilst cc is out of town and no one is here to monitor me. the first couple days...weren't so hot. i may or may not have flung clothes everywhere and left the peanut butter jar open and my makeup all over the bathroom floor. i may or may not have gone grocery shopping (20 points!) but then only unpacked the refrigerator items, leaving the rest of the bags and goodies on the floor ( 25 demerits!).

today at work (doesn't that sound funny?) i couldn't stop obsessing over the mess and the thought that my library book was overdue, the mail tossed on the floor and my countertops unsprayed. it was honestly interfering with my ability to absorb new info. which is lame but, well, i never said i was cool.

as soon as i walked in the door, i grabbed my library book and returned it before even taking off my coat. (and picked up another book and another dvd, making my current grand total 4 books and 3 dvds, i'm a library addict don't try to stop me). when i got back home again, i put away the groceries, sorted the mail, watered my herbs and collected the dirty dishes scattered throughout. then i sat on my brown couch in my blue hoodie and watched marion jones' surprisingly boring interview with oprah. zzz.

i'm going to continue my self-inflicted push by cooking a real dinner tonight, even though i'll be the only one eating it. cider chicken + mashed potatoes + cucumber salad. pretty much martha stewart around here. minus the mom khakis. (tho. could those be her secret to success? hmmm.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

today went well

rode the #45 for the first time in a long time. wore mascara and a cute cardigan. did some light training/rope learning; nothing too strenuous yet. everyone's being super nice and worried about overwhelming/inundating me with too much information to which i can only say:

"you know nothing of being overwhelmed."

i asked them like twelve different times if i really get to eat lunch during the day. they probably think i have alzheimers.

i'd be lying to your face if i said i was 100% thrilled to be back in the game (i think only a robot would), but i couldn't have landed at a better place and it feels good to work my brain in a different way, flex those number and business muscles that have been napping for a bit.

plus, i do seem to get more done when i've got more to do if that makes sense? and since i really, really want to keep moving my book along (still editing, but at a very steady pace now, and nearly finished with draft two) this is good timing for that phenomenon. i'm also signed up to volunteer once a month at a literacy program and am researching some singing/dancing opportunities, too. i think my (barely restrained) inner ham is feeling ignored.

but don't worry. i'm still reserving pah-lenty of time for j.b. fletcher, ben matlock, frasier crane and jack mccoy. i never leave my true friends behind.

Friday, October 24, 2008

veins, same sex marriage and mary poppins

i wish my phobias were obscure and unlikely to be stumbled upon, like green people or giraffes that smoke, but unfortunately they happen to be:

a. plane rides
b. needles/veins - mine, specifically
c. the phone

yesterday, i handled two of 'em within hours of each other. shockingly, dr. phil wasn't waiting for me with a medal and special certificate afterwards. confusing.

first, i had to have blood drawn for a routine check-up. gross gross gross awful gross and awful. i just switched doctors from a militant lady with a mustache to this wilson-but-nerdier guy who doesn't accept hmo's and subsequently keeps his practice really small and non-hectic. it all felt rather homey, him tapping the vein instead of a crabby lab lady, then testing my pee right there in front of me. pretty much a norman rockwell painting in motion.

i did okay, although midway through he informed me my mind was "involuntarily shutting down my veins" because i was scared and that's the body's response to danger - whether real or imagined. so the "blood wasn't flowing - just dripping." to which i interrupted with: "shut the hell up and do your job." don't get me wrong, i still really like him. just maybe not so much chatting next time.

second, i joined my friend steve at the phone banks to call strangers about voting no on proposition 8. a "yes" win would eliminate the right for same sex couples to marry. honestly, i don't give a dang what you personally feel about marriage and/or homosexuality and/or religion. (not entirely true, but for the sake of this argument let's pretend it is.)

this is about human rights - equal rights - for all americans. no matter your gender/skin color/sexual orientation, you deserve the same benefits, the same treatment, as everyone else. those rights include the legal benefits of marriage - plain and simple.

just as we say "what the f?!" when we remember women couldn't vote less than 100 years ago, i hope our friends in the future (while flying) will say the same about all this nonsense.

quick time out to enjoy video:

calling strangers in the evening over heated topics is really not my cup of tea, but this shit matters. even if most people yelled "get real!" in my ear, i helped spread the word and hope you will, too.

thank you for your votes, my people

it looks like, aside from

a) my lovely husband


b) anonymous

the bangs have it.

i tend to agree with mr. anonymous on the get-a-job-first thing, not so much because my visible forehead = i'm smart, but because i might feel all "not me" at interviews and that's never good. (also, haircuts are expensive, yo!)

and to avoid being one of those creeps on what not to wear who won't cut her hair because "my husband will be mad!" i'm trying to ignore cc's "no thank yous" - even though he'd be staring at my bangs the most hours - because i know he'll get into whatever i choose.

which isn't to say he won't throw a lamp at my head ala my little brother circa 1990 after my mom came home with a perm. but then he'll get into it. eventually.

so unfortunately no real-life pics to show yet, but bja most appreciates all your opinions and will continue with her up-to-the-minute hair analysis. and if you're from california, please vote no on prop 8.

subtle segue, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a poll about life's important questions

i've been going back and forth (and back and forth) on the bangs issue for some time now. the last time i really had them i was five years old and loved getting my whole face painted like a strawberry.

but i love the thought of an insta style and i do kind of have the forehead for it and dang - it's just hair, no? always grows back. (we hope.)

my lovely and talented friend jen (hearts!), unprompted, photoshopped then emailed me the pic below to help steer my decision.

i'd like to use the comments section to take a poll here, comparing this pic with the foreheady one i posted last night. and pretty please can some of you lurkers out there de-lurk (under "anonymous" is fine!) and help a sister out?


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

we done bought ourselves a cute new cammy with some wedding money

so you should plan on seeing more pics in the times ahead.

for example:

this is me very happy after the ups man delivered it a day early:

and this is me very unhappy with this season's dancing with the "stars"- in the words of cc: frankly, i'm unimpressed:

go home, cloris!

Monday, October 20, 2008

i don't feel like i'm bah humbug

about too many things - it's more likely i'm filled with glee over strange and small things - but one thing i simply cannot get behind is halloween for grownups. i have many a friend who tells me in september he/she's busy planning their costume to which i can only say "...oh." god love the people who love it and i certainly don't want to take away their joy - but here are a couple of my thoughts on why it sucks:

a) i don't drink. i think, once you hit 11, you'd have to be drunk to put weird crap on and prance around in the cold with other people wearing weird crap. all without the promise of candy in a pumpkin basket! (sidenote: remember those plastic jack o'lantern bucket things mcdonald's gave out 15-ish years ago? lo-ved.)

b) i really paid my dues in the dress-up-with-makeup category after 15 years of dance recitals and musicals. i've worn so many strange things on stage, (ladybug, chick with blue face and tin cans in my hair, worm) that spandex and glitter just don't impress me. (i felt a powerful impulse to add the word "much" to the end of that sentence, ala shania twain.)

c) the thought of "michael jackson" making out with "hermione granger" after one too many apple pie shots makes my tummy churn.

i love kids in costumes, i love handing out fun size snickers, i love baking cupcakes with candy corn goblins on top; i just want to see your i.d. before you partake, thank you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

i would like to brag about a few things

1) yesterday i bought a pair of jeans for $5.70

2) they were used, which = i'm a saint for reusing old stuff

3) after purchasing, i placed them in my own brought-along bag, which = i'm a saint for not using plastic

4) they look yummy on my bum

Friday, October 17, 2008

i read this thing about suri cruise

in some tacky tabloid while waiting in a too-long target line, saying tom and katie clear out teddy bear stores when suri wants to buy a teddy bear and empty gymnasiums when she wants to bounce on bouncy things. while i realize there are probably some good reasons for their choices - crazy people sometimes steal famous babies and/or we non-scientologists might leak some of our sanity into her ears - i mostly think it's sad they make her play solo all the time and can only see bad things coming from it.

that being said.

don't you wish someone would run around and clear public places out for you? what if thrift stores or the gym or starbucks were always empty and you could just stroll along and take your time and maybe do a yoga stretch if you were feeling stiff waiting for your caramel macchiato? nobody smacking their bubbalicious or shuffling their feet or breathing out their carbon dioxide? oh, i would hit the stores and shore up the economy so fast, joe six pack - or plumber for that matter - wouldn't know what hit him.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

an exciting report you're dying to read

san francisco's main squeeze in the grocery store department is a little place called safeway. my business consultant hub-sband has explained to me (and i've pretended to understand) why supermarkets are regional businesses vs. national, so i'll just assume you don't know anything about safeway unless you live here. (you're not missing anything and should focus your jealousy, instead, on the peeps who get to shop at piggy wiggly, because - wow.)

point is, we don't have much choice, so when i'm feeling too poor for whole foods i shop at safeway. because there are a few of them scattered through the city, we use variations on their names to differentiate between them. the one we usually go to, down in the marina, is called "sexway" because, well, i guess people find sex there? married people don't know about sex, but i read in a magazine once it involves nudity. every aisle has a lot of zack morris lookalikes wearing sweaters around their shoulders, holding hands with their lululemon-clad girlfriends named buffy, and buying pricey beers. it's super fun.

gaggy, but until recently, the only close alternative has been "unsafeway" - aptly named for its, well, lack of safeness. but! cc informed me they re-did the place and so i gave it a shot tonight. and why, hello normal people! where have you been all my life? oh, you're actually looking at price tags, too? oh, you don't have an obnoxious 12 carat diamond on your finger either? oh, you're picking up 12 cans of tuna for a dollar, too? sweet jesus what a relief. may i never see buffy in line again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

i think there should be a store

where you can rent cute interview outfits. lord knows i'd use it. my interview garms are s-a-d right now, but when your whole reason for wanting to look good is acquiring cash you don't have, it somehow doesn't seem quite right to spend money before it's a done deal? of course there's the spend money to make money philosophy, but i'm not sure that applies to jersey dresses and chunky necklaces.

and so i sit here and think over every potential, appropriate combination of workish things i own. there's the pale pink, 3/4 oxford shirt from j crew i bought 4.5 years ago after college graduation? but no, the buttons now gap and stacy and clinton would punch me. (note: cc isn't complaining.) or, er, the now-dated white blazer i bought during the same trip or the gray urban outfitters pants with the weird pockets that bulge when i sit down or the wrap dress from the gap that is so low-cut, i once had to tell my boss in the middle of a meeting:

"i'm sorry you can see my whole chest right now."

i always manage to piece together something that works okay, but there's something to be said for feeling really effing great about your appearance when you walk into that interview. not that tan pants with tan pumps and a brown button down shirt doesn't scream you know you want me it's just that you have to put a little extra swagger in your step to sell it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

i met bill ayers; guess i'll never win now!

in the fall of 2005 i was working at beacon press, marching through the snow every morning to a job i didn't appreciate enough. i got to do a slew of interesting things, including attending conferences showcasing some pretty legendary authors. at one such conference, i had the pleasure of meeting a beacon author, a man i frequently chatted on the phone with and sold books to: bill ayers.

we shook hands, we talked about the weather, he signed my book. it was a pleasant 10 minutes. and according to some, should ruin my chance at any future political aspirations.

don't want to delve too deep into the whole obama deal here - but couldn't help pointing out the absolute lunacy of mccain's claim. you know/meet bill ayers = you support terrorism? shut the hell up.

no, i don't approve of what ayers did and neither does obama. but turns out life's a little complicated and we can't just talk to people we agree with 100%. nor do i think we should.

apologies for the bad quality pic - i'm tired and packing for sf and don't really know my way around a flash. click for a better view, but just in case it still sucks - here's what he wrote:

peace! justice!

to amy -

with hope for a world at peace and in balance...

best, bill ayers

glad you're at beacon!

add an apron and it's bliss

bja makes apple butter:

Monday, October 13, 2008


isn't it sad when your mom drives you to an abandoned railroad bridge in the woods near your old high school for a lovely tour of the foliage and says:

"this looks like it's probably where the cool kids come to hang out"

and you look around and see lots of beer cans and old campfires and agree - then realize you never "came to hang out" there in all your formative years?


in other news, we made a delightful batch of apple butter today and poured it into some leftover mason jars from our wedding. very laura ingalls wilder and very cool kid.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the reason i don't understand rocks

as part of her wedding gift to me, my friend stephanie gave me back a box of the old notes i wrote her in high school. we had a very (very) prolific note-writing career, we did, and aside from the occasional spasm of humiliation, i'm really enjoying some of the gems i crafted. here is a taste of my favorites:

do you ever actually study for math? i never have in my life.

why must every teacher in this school have a picture of einstein hanging up? please.

i can't wait to wander the halls this afternoon.

the girls were getting all excited and everyone was like "yeah! we should try and get the groton school field and have a soccer scrimmage at the party!!! omigod what a good idea yeah!!" i was like hello this is a party. you're supposed to eat and sit down.

when a teacher says "your homework tonight is studying" i say to myself 'great! i have no homework!'

i'm frightened that my TI-82 will get stolen.

these pants have a lot of stains on them and i just want to read my mary higgins clark book.

i am very proud: today i did my spanish homework and - surprise! - even my geology. it's been about a month, maybe two, so i figured maybe i should start?

my mind is gone, have to go find it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

reality bites describes my life

Interviewer 1: Now, radio is all instinct, Lelaina. Do you know where all the radio comes from? The gut. It's all in the gut. Because when you think on your to go from your gut. And my gut is telling me that, uh...this isn't gonna work out.
Lelaina: Maybe your gut's just saying you're hungry or...
Interviewer 1: Oh, no, no, no, no. It's telling me that,'re overqualified for this job.
Lelaina: I'm really not that smart.

Interviewer 2: No offense, sweetie, but you don't have any experience on a newspaper. You're TV.
Lelaina: Well, I'm trying to make my transition to print journalism.
Interviewer 2: Ah. Why?
Lelaina: Well, newspapers are the last watchdogs...of our... our government. They enforce the checks and balances. And one half-hour of TV only adds up to...
Interviewer 2: OK. All right. Define irony.
Lelaina: Irony. Uh...Irony. It's a noun. It's when something is... ironic. It's, uh... Well, I can't really define irony...but I know it when I see it!

on loan

since cc travels so much, it's a bummer to leave home when he's not. midweek sleepovers are always a treat for us, as are the midday lunches (you should try my foreman grill tuna melt: it's special) we've been sharing for the past month. but! with unemployment still my middle name, a very pregnant cousin needing some amy time, and my tum rumbling for a pink-frosted dunkin donut - i'm heading east. on loan to the fam while cc brings home the bacon. (and plays computer games. and drinks diet cokes.)

call me loony, but i feel like a mama bird leaving her chicks behind; i did the laundry, changed the sheets, made extra food for dinners - i'll probably label things and text every few hours to make sure he's eaten and gotten some sunshine, too.

but as much as i'll a) miss my goob and b) worry about the implosion of my delicately balanced household - i'm happy to head home and sprinkle a little bja goodness back east.

christie, you must dress your children as follows for halloween:




Monday, October 06, 2008


after coughing and coughing and gasping and coughing and coughing i finally figured out ohhhhhh: i'm having an asthma attack. like, a two-week asthma attack. tho i've had this fun disease since i was 8 or so, it's always been the low-grade chronic kind, always poking me on the shoulder hi! i'm here!

(have you ever walked up a hill with me? it's a special form of a torture for the both of us)

but only really bad during exercise and extreme temps. never this holy god, stop the suffocating, may i have a large plate of oxygen with my cup of tea please?

not exactly sure why i'm suddenly blue-lipped, but i do know: i'm an idiot and have refused to take any meds for the past year, not wanting all those chemicals in my bod. or something hippie dippie dumb like that.

luckily i found a just-expired emergency inhaler and i'm eating it like candy until my doctor's appointment on wednesday where i fully intend to suck down all chemicals known to man.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

a confession

i kind of like doing domestic-y things.

i realize this conveniently coincides with me not jobbing it yet/having little-to-no major responsibilities, but still! unemployment isn't necessarily a recipe for clean house success and frankly, i'm relieved to find i even have it in me.

(one of the groomsmen's speeches at our wedding recalled a conversation we had where i said, quote: "i'm stepping in a pair of my undies on the kitchen floor while i make eggs." ...if that puts things into perspective)

but dare i say i'm feeling something close to zen these days whilst making said home?

a few things i credit:

a) aprons!
b) method products - thanks for the hook-up rach! seriously a game changer; non-tox cleaning is where it's at. (i'd like to specifically pimp the grapefruit all surface cleaner. hearts.)
c) throwing out the stuff we don't need and making room for the stuff we do.
d) finding recipes (cc approved or it ain't worth the trubs) and making lists before i go grocery shopping. also eating a snack before leaving and going at night when people are scarce.
e) doing a little bit all the time.
f) my record player set to "play"
g) reading every post of this blog.
h) realizing how ohhhhm i feel when there's food to eat and room to walk.

add a job and a baby (yes, yes i know not yet, not yet) and i'm sure things'll get harder, but i think something's shifted for good and that's good.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

twitters from days past

was just checking out some old twitter posts from my ad days, which i've posted for you below. a) i was so happy! b) um why didn't anyone pull me aside about the binge eating?

i just said the words 'stop the presses' and it was actually appropriate.

i'll be over here, eating an entire box of marzipan.


i need to hire a maid for my desk. this is getting awkward.

me = punching bag.

stressful week = those 6 cupcakes look delish.

starbucks man told me not to work too hard and it made me cry.

life will be easier if this call goes well.

am i home yet?

i'd like a big plate of cheese now, please.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


did you know that target, along with oodles and oodles of scrumptious tunics and ballet flats, sells individual glass bottles of coca-cola class and it's made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup -- and it's labeled "mexican coke"?

i read somewhere that around passover you can get sugar cane cokes (jewish friends, please explain? a kosher thing?) but it's october and they were all nestled in a weird corner, next to the goya stuff and some tortillas. i did a little skip in place and a silent cheer and quickly grabbed two before my dentist's voice got too loud inside my head.

perhaps you find my excitement uncalled for. but have you ever tasted the sweet deliciousness that is a mostly-not-artificial coke? cold and from a bottle?

if you have not, may i suggest you have not lived?

carry on.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


sometimes i feel perfectly okay with my lack-of-job-ness. i make lunch, i make dinner, i make the bed, i accept things will work themselves out and enjoy my quiet time.

but then days like today hit and i feel like puking every ten minutes. my head buzzes with 12,000 questions and deadlines and worries and judgments and i feel insane for quitting my job with no plan. the smallest things set me off, sending me into such a spiral of self-doubt and panic i can barely swallow.

er, this is getting intense.

point is, this song (with the real record crackling in the background, yea!) is like popping a tranquilizer whenever i start to spin out. i love it, i love billy j, and i know things'll be alright.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

political science

the apron

have you heard of it? it's a really great invention - right up there with sliced bread!

i've had two of them hanging off my refrigerator for a year now, but i never thought to tie one on. it just seemed like one extra step in an already complicated dance called cooking-in-a-very-small-kitchen. but i'm trying to make more foods these days to save some moola and just, you know, be a grownup.

for many a day i felt frustrated by how filthy my jeans got after one wearing. the oily peanut butter smears, the dried egg yolks, the flour powder. do other people just get naked to cook? is that how they keep their clothes clean? and then i looked over one day, and the cutest apron ever, homemade by my friend caroline for a christmas present, covered specially in a tea cup print to honor my addiction, winked at me. and i fell deeply, irreversibly in love.

it's like a big napkin you can wear! that's got pockets! and kind of feels like a pulled-together outfit! and it makes me feel all feminine and feminist simultaneously, somehow. also: as happy as i am with my current choice, i think i may have just stumbled across that all-important thing-i-can-collect. you know, for when people ask me what i want as a gift or i'm, uh, spending hours at a time on etsy, the site that is the answer to every crafty dream, and i want to drop a few bucks that i don't have.

or maybe i could just make my own?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

joan cleaver and kim kardashian

last night, whilst heating up some leftovers and blah blahing to clay re: a couple i know who has a rather heartbreaking imbalance of duties, i say, in complete earnest:

"and he doesn't even keep house!"

uh, excuse me?

perhaps it would have been okay to say: "he needs to clean more" or "he could at least make the bed" but "keep house" ? when bja starts cattily judging other people's housewifeing skills ala 1952...sister's gotta get a job.

in other news, how awful is kim kardashian on dancing with the stars? she's completely out of touch with her body (seems weird, but i find the girls who flaunt it often don't understand it) and her blank stare gives me the spooks. also: susan lucci needs to eat a bag of potato chips.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


i've got it and there are certain things that really make it sing.

if i find something i really want to do, and there's a process for making that happen, i become fixated on the details of getting there, making sure every t is crossed and i dotted, box checked and signatured signed. my brain starts to buzz with all the things that could go wrong and i need to double, triple, quadruple check that they don't.

in sixth grade, i went away to an all girls sleepover camp located on an island on (in? on top of?) lake winnipesaukee. my first week there i was so homesick i couldn't see straight. so i made a box of how many days i had left (sound familiar?) and went over and over, during breakfast, during waterskiing, during campfire, the different ways that i might miss my ride home and be stuck on this island (fun and marshmallows! the horror!) forever. i wrote my parents a letter, with a box of copy they had to read, then copy in their own handwriting and return to me promptly. you know, to assure me they understood my terms.

"we will be at the dock on august 18th at exactly 2:00 p.m. we will research how to get to said dock before it is time to leave so that we don't get lost. we will leave the house on time to reach the dock on time and will be ready to pick up our beloved daughter and get her the heck out of hell."

why are you making that face? didn't you write that letter from camp, too?

god bless them for actually honoring my insanity and copying my poem, because once i got that letter back and knew one day i'd be free of these chains, i relaxed and actually enjoyed myself for the last week. but gawd, what a load of wasted energy.

i bring this up because i'm currently trying to re-work my old ways. i'm in the process of applying to something cool, something i'm not ready to chat about just yet, but ow my brain is buzzing hard. so instead of letting it do whatever it wants, i reserve blocks of time for the obsessing and the i dotting. and when the block is over, i drink a cup of tea, read a book, and try to chill the eff out.

Monday, September 22, 2008 commercial

very cute girl to her found-online chubbo: "i vow never to wear flannel nightgowns."

chubbo punching way over his weight: "uh. can you change that to...i vow never to wear a nightgown?"

me on my couch: "shut the hell up, fatty."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

we'll be there in 1 sesame street and a mister rogers

as i've mentioned it before, i've got a hole in my brain when it comes to anything spatial.

(side note: as i type "hole in my brain" i'm reminded of someone i knew, from somewhere i've been, who actually did/does have a hole in his brain. i can't remember who this person is, but i do remember it explaining a lot when i found out.)

this problem can also, often, cross over into other areas of measurement: time, money, mass. i always say if people knew just how weird things were inside my head, they'd be impressed with how well i get along. one of my coping strategies is relating everyday things to larger concepts.

por ejemplo:

when i was little, hanging with my mom on errands or on long road trips up to maine, i'd often ask the often-asked question: "how long till we get there?" to which she would answer in television show units.

sesame street = one hour
mister rogers = half hour

and time confusion was wiped out. i still use this all the time. if i have a really gruesome dentist appointment approaching, i think "okay - it's just an episode of big love and an episode of frasier. it'll fly!" strangely it never really does...

other useful tools:

once i figured out that a box of cheez-its weighs a pound i was golden. if someone asks "can you lift 40 pounds?" i think about 40 boxes of cheez-its and do the muscle math. try it - i think you'll like it.

oh, and

in our vending machine at high school, a twix bar cost 25c. (i also walked uphill both ways, barefoot through the snow.) and so, we measured all moneys against that. ooo! i just found five dollars on the ground! 20 twixes! i still equate quarters with peanut buttery goodness.

there're more of these cheats bouncing around in my head, but you get the idea.

now if there was only one of them could help me understand how to stop the blow darts, i'd be all good.

Friday, September 19, 2008

i really want something from j. peterman

i just have to decide what. a few months ago, i requested the catalog online, just because i had to see it in real life, just because i had to know if elaine spoke the truth. and seriously people - it does not disappoint. the clothes all have pleats, the descriptions all reference sundance or lady godiva, and the illustrations are straight out of highlights magazine. i love to climb in bed, pull on my hoodie, and read aloud - in a british accent, duh - some of my favorite selections.

currently, it's:

"she's married to a doting london banker with a genealogy that predates the magna carta. they're quite an item in the smart set."


i laugh, you laugh, but deep down we all want a maroon velvet coat with shoulder pads and peterman knows it. he's got x-ray vision into my soul and doesn't care how much i make fun, because ultimately, i'll lock my doors, make sure no one's watching, then lay down my credit card. the picasso shirt? the secret thoughts coat? the harlow pants? i'm dizzy with options!

the idea of a new job (oh, where are thee) one day, where nobody knows me yet and i can recreate myself beforehand becomes an all-too-distracting daydream during my constant death march through craigslist. a daydream that includes homemade lunches, lipstick, shiny hair and a thomas jefferson shirt. oh, how they'll envy me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i rode the vespa

all by myself, unaccompanied by a trailing vw with a worried cc inside, for the first time last night.

my (very pregnant, very cute) friend manjari lives about a mile away, which feels silly to cab, too long to walk at night, and the parking in that 'hood is kimpossible. the journey over there truly was ordained by god for scooters. some people might say "what about a bicycle?" to which i say: have you seen the hills in this city?

believe it or not, the scariest part of the whole adventure came at the beginning and end: the unkickstanding, the maneuvering out of the garage (me = officially learning disabled in anything spatial), the parking, etc. the riding is the easy, lovely part. i felt so bad ass, cruising along at 18 mph, my head snug inside the polyeurthane and foam biosphere. and how convenient-o! pulling right up to her door and running inside without a care to tim gunn and friends, no 45 minute hunt for a probably-illegal parking spot on a definitely-sketchy street.

of course, i got a little overconfident on the ride home, and cruised into our garage a little too fast. something went wonky and the whole thing tipped over. my herculean strength saved it from slamming down, but i wasn't strong enough to pull it back up without resting it on the sidewalk first. sorry, little scratches. sorry, lower back muscles.

but all in all, bja fully approves this message for red vespa'ing around this little city by the bay.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

if you sit on the corner of our bed, backwards

we've got a bay view. right now i'm watching a barge chug along, finding its way through the fogginess.'s gone. good luck, little engine. come again soon.

i'm living on the edge, giving this room a whirl at noon, because i never really see it except at night, and it's looking so lovely these days! what with the new gray walls and the vintagey bedside tables and the hangy lamps with dimmers. you'd like it, i think.

having a one bedroom apartment is an interesting thing. it's not like we go and hang out in our bedroom with a snack (do you? are we weird for not?) so essentially, we end up in the same room together all the time. i'll admit we don't really mind the arrangement, because we happen to be talented at sharing space while doing our own thing. (read: face plants into video games or magazines or the internets or mystery novels or brownies.) in fact, clay once moved his "office" across the apartment to a weird little closet (damn that hgtv and their world-shifting ideas) and we actually missed each other. okay, yup, just puke right here into my cupped hand. finished? okay, moving on.

but since these days we're both here more than normal, in a perpetual snow day (pajamas and hot beverages and midday television) because he's working from home and i'm...not working, i thought i'd branch out and expand my horizons. heyoh! three boats now? my undivided attention has been requested by the coast guard. must focus.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

oh, baby

anyone who's spent more than, say, an hour with me knows i'm baby-obsessed. as in, i must force myself into thinking about the things i want to accomplish before motherhood (career progression, solo time wit my man, travel to far-off lands, learn how to roast a chicken and keep my tub clean) or i'd "forget" to take my pill and "accidentally" get knocked upp-ed. it would make sense if this had just kicked in, being recently nuptialized and all, but nope, it's been this way for quite some time. (eighth grade methinks? i devoured episodes of a baby story on the couch while shoveling plates of spaghetti into my mouth. then wondered why my cheeks were chubby. but that's another story.)

today i caught up over the phone with a boston friend i haven't talked with in a year (two years?). after the obligatory small talk, we dished about former coworkers, weddings, and home ownership before my mouth, without a permission slip, blurted out:

so when are you having a baby?

what in the hell is wrong with me? it's a sickness, people, and i can't slow its spreading. even when i start out a conversation or a date or a day with the intention to stop talking about babies for the love of all that is good, i can't. i need a muzzle and medication.

when she launched into her reasons for abstaining from motherhood, probably forever, i felt even crazier. she was spouting the words of any red-blooded, ambition-driven, poster-girl-for-the feminists american woman (cue music) and my comeback was: "i think about gnawing on baby cheeks for 74% of my day." (6% being allotted to peanut butter, 15% the job search, and 5% how to beat rockband.)

and we wonder why most times i just stick to email...

do you know who i met online?

my husband.

i'd describe that confession as not-that-shocking, tho kind-of-interesting, wouldn't you? but you'd be surprised how many people "don't believe it!" it's because we're so gosh darn cute, right? right?

let's rewind to summer 2004.

i was bored in small town massachusetts, just graduated from bu, listening to peter gabriel in cutoffs with my little brother and looking for a reason to spend the day in boston.

clay was in la, about to move to boston for biz school, wearing bright yellow jackets and designer denim and looking to line up a few dates before he cruised into town.

it was love!

now, he'll lie to you when asked, but it was i who found him. (really.) see, on you have to write a headline next to your picture. something, inevitably embarrassing, that will really reel 'em in. most chicks just put on bikinis. (i wore a turtleneck sweater and an army jacket.) but clay's line really did work on me. it said:

did you just call me coltrane?

which is a line from one of my favorite scenes, from one of my favorite movies. (of course, his bikini picture helped too.)

so yep yep, i emailed something witty and charming and very just-done-with-college ("i just went shopping for a suit"), he emailed back something witty and charming and very just-about-to-start-grad-school ("i just gave away all my suits"), we went to the museum of fine arts a few weeks later and the rest is history.

but i still think it's funny how judgey people are about all this internet business. in the early days, sure, because everyone thought someone looking for love online was an axe murderer. but now?

awhile back, at my ad job, i was setting up materials for a meeting with a bunch of my girlfriends. the topic of online dating came up and before i could jump in and tell my story, they all started yelling on top of each other, slamming it, shuddering, gagging at the thought. and mind you, all these ladies were (are) quite single and quite unpleased about it. i could have fought that fight, but instead i just put on my mona lisa smile, and headed out the door to call my wedding planner.