Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hey, wanna see a manatee? AWESOME closeup!!

Check out the manatee I saw yesterday in Florida!! Isn't this a great shot?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Photos from Florida trip

Wut? I like shakes. Something wrong with that?
Did you just... I...uh... did you LAUGH at my friend?
Bonus to being 20,000 feet in the air: seeing THIS at eye level.
Me and BFF with the iron chef.

Bleached stop sign (never saw this in Maryland!)

Only in Florida -- shark Christmas lights!

BFF and I blogging.

With Marley, the lost dog we reunited with her owner.
(Side note: if your pet is microchipped, get it registered!
It's not an automatic process -- this dog was chipped
and NOT registered; it took hours of sleuthing to locate
the grateful family.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Philanthropy Friday (in the Making a Difference Department)

A fellow alumnus at my school created a website where people can ask for and grant wishes: Wish Upon a Hero. The site was launched last October and already 83,000 wishes have been granted. Wishes are diverse, from stickers to diapers to clothing to money and food. One person requested a donation for -- and was granted! -- LASIK eye surgery; there's such a huge variation of wishes to be granted. I think the popularity of this site is because you can help people directly and choose/know exactly how they're benefiting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Awesome Halloween food ideas

Ack! No one would eat my cat litter cake
last year. Think they'd munch on this?
I can't decide whether to do the chest cavity creation or my traditional cat litter cake.

I scoured the net for 10 horribly awesome Halloween food ideas and just posted them on a new blog I started to celebrate the creation of things. Namely bodily adornments (like weird hair and ugly shoes sandwiched in between the occasional picture of my latest necklace), but also unusual food and home decorations too. (I established that blog to have a separate place to have fun with my upcoming craft store on Etsy where I will sell jewelry under the name The Underground Maiden.)

Launching store in two weeks (around Halloween) but couldn't help blogging about Halloween decorations now! Votes on your favorite? (You can vote here or the other blog.) --> See all 10 Halloween food ideas -->  or visit (my Facebook page)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Don't do it. Don't get old."

An older woman stopped me in the hall yesterday. "Don't do it," she said. "Don't get old." Then she hobbled towards the elevator.

I didn't tell her what I saw. I could tell she looked at me with remembrance of her own youth. A woman who, though her face bore lines, they were marks of kindness and smiling. I thought she was beautiful, her face shining with affection as she stopped to hear about my day and share hers.

In our society, beauty is power for a woman, but it is a power which inevitably leaks away with age. I wanted to say no, I don't subscribe to that. You are still beautiful to me. Even moreso, as I see your layers of wisdom and I want to learn from them. That's the kind of beauty I want to bask in.

I remember my grandmother at 70 looking in the mirror. "My eyes used to be beautiful," she said sadly. I was only a 'tween then but I stubbornly planted myself in front of her and replied, "Grandma, they are STILL beautiful." And I meant it. I hadn't known her 18-year-old self. I knew her at 70 but she was kind to me. She smiled and this made her beautiful.

I hate the idea that we are so influenced by beauty in our society that we discard more important traits; those that must be cultivated and not just part of a genetic lotto. People magazine lists the 100 best people of the year, why only the symmetrically-blessed? Why no scientists, authors, inventors? The public face of America should include those that DO, not just those that ARE.

I have complicated feelings about plastic surgery. I support the desire to restore oneself to a previous state or repair damage, ease pain, solve a problem or correct something but if someone is doing it because they think they're not pretty enough, it makes me sad. It's even more aching when it's obvious, it's like wearing that insecurity on our redone faces. I wish people could know how beautiful they are when they smile and laugh and feel content. Nothing else matters.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Work like a dog. It's good for you.

I read something yesterday that I just really loved.
"This is what I mean by "we should all work like dogs": We should do what comes most naturally, reflexively, effortlessly. Many of my clients initially see this as irresponsible. They believe virtuous work means getting all tensed up and doing things they loathe. This is simply unsound marketing. My first and last sales principle is this: Love sells better than hate. Find a way to package what you can't stop doing, as in "Look! I love to raise my paw! So I'll use it to point out game, and we'll both be happy!"

"One of the best life coaches I've ever trained started on her career
path not knowing there was such a profession. She had just one objective-to get paid for reading self-help books. Her joy and intelligence make her a brilliant problem solver. I've used her myself-she's wildly expensive and worth every penny.

"Use the work-like-a-dog principle to make your career and time-budgeting decisions. Should you go back to school? Only if it makes you salivate with desire. Should you stay home with your children? Yes-if the thought makes you feel as though someone's rubbing your tummy. Would you rather have a job? Don't apologize, just go ahead and work. Like a dog."
--Martha Beck

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Actual conversation while packing:

Me: "Wait! You can't put the books in like that! The SPINES have to be showing."

Him: "Wut? Okay, but why?"

Me: "Because I need to be able to read them."

Him: "Um, but they'll only be in boxes for a month or two until you settle someplace."

Me: "I don't care. I NEED access to them in the meantime."

Him (picking up a random book): "You need access to... Garfield?"

Me: "YES. Don't judge."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cookies, delivered by a benevolent and droll universe

So, I'm getting ready to move. While packing today, I glanced out the window while carrying one particularly heavy object across the room and my eyes settled immediately on the one oddity in the environment: a youngster, about 12 years old, hunched over in my driveway, thumbs hooked in pants, slowly undressing. I leaned forward and put down the box: wha--? There is a complete stranger in the driveway, and omg, is he going to PEE on my car??

I ran outside. "Excuse me, can I help you?"

He whirled around and looked at me blankly while fussing with his pants.

I stopped beating around the bush. "Um, what are you doing?"

He blinked. "My jeans are ripped really bad and I can't wear them anymore. I'm part of the youth non-incarceration project and we are selling cookies to raise money to help kids stay off the streets." He showed me a probably-bogus flyer.

My first thought: not undressing in stranger's driveways is a good first step away from future incarcerations. Second thought: can they use this money to buy you some new pants?

I started to say these things but then I noticed he was selling CHOCOLATE CHIP cookies.

My brain went blank.

The transformation was instantaneous: my entire cerebrum shifted into one giant food-acquiring lobe. It only took one cocoa-seduced blink for me to turn completely into Homer Simpson.

Obviously, this shift has serious implications for the self-preservation instinct: the brain cannot calculate risk at the same time as entertaining the fantasy of chocolatey goodness gliding down the throat, and so I bought an unmarked bag of cookies.

For $10.

From a half-naked 12-year old undressing in my driveway.

(He WAS wearing shorts, or at least boxers that passed for shorts....)

The cookies could have been glazed with arsenic, dipped in iridium, baked with hepatitis-A contaminated water and lovingly swiped between the rears of multiple 'tween thugs before being bagged and yet I didn't care. I needed cookies. And I needed them immediately.

And so I had them. I had been dreaming of something sweet all day (disappointed yet relieved that the kitchen's only contents consisted of a bag of brussels sprouts, an expired box of raisins, some balsamic vinegar, and calcium pills). It's like the universe heard my cry and delivered, but not without a hearty laugh.

Hopefully the rips were not iridium-induced.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

jaunt around DC

Some pix from this past weekend's jaunt around DC. (It's more exciting to post photos of adventure then write about the reality of having no time to do laundry, foodshop, clean or pay bills: I have been lathering with shampoo because I ran out of soap, drying myself with a single tiny square of a handtowel, stepping over a giant mail pile and snacking on over-salted dried black olives for breakfast and dinner. Weekday start WIN. At least lunch was awesome with my $4 banh mih meatball sandwich.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (this is so not happening)

Actually, it does sound fun. Maybe I'll go and take pictures of snakes hissing at me and lizards practicing defiant pushups.

Monday, February 28, 2011

the sky in DC today just before tornado warning was cancelled

Today I rode the bus to downtown Washington DC just before the tornado warning was cancelled. This was the sky before the clouds dissipated (and *whew* -- I don't exactly want to be trapped in a metal box when a twister furiously rips out of the sky!)
Pennsylvania Avenue NW (across from
Department of Justice & Archives/Navy metro stop)
Forbidding clouds behind the basilica of the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
the biggest Catholic Church in the world
(it also serves as a church for Catholic University
which is across the street).
Low dark clouds as seen from bus
This was on North Capitol Street NW.
I liked the way the rooftops looked against the menacing sky.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

past few months in photos

Okay, I've been posting sporadically lately. Here are my past few months, in pictures:

Heat FAIL.
That was the night I bought THIS awesome little space heater.

Fired a rifle for the first time.

Giant disembodied head at the
Museum of Natural History's BRAIN exhibit, NYC

U.S. Capitol at sunset - I took this with my phone and didn't add
any effects except for the border. I love this shot because of the warm light.

It flurried and (it appears) this triggered a bout of
amoebic dysentery for the ENTIRE TOWN.
Barely any toilet paper to be found.

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