December 27, 2009

On Christmas

(Icicles on my fire escape, after the snow last week.)

I've got to say, it hasn't really felt like Christmas this last week. I know I've got good reasons not to be the cheeriest ever this year, but I don't want to get sucked into a funk. I haven't really done much socializing these last few weeks, and as it gets cold and dark more, I tend to stay in and hibernate. I'm sure I get a mild bit of S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) though I don't think that's kicked in yet. I think just all the changes with Christmas this year made it not seem so much like Christmas. I guess that's to be expected when you get older. This was the first Christmas I woke up alone, to no Santa, no stockings, no one but my own lovely tree and unconditionally loving cat. Which is fine. I chose not to go home this year, but it doesn't make it any less lonely.

On Christmas day, I drove up to DC to visit my longest friend and her mom (who's like a mom to me, and even much more lately, as she's been really supportive with the affairs related to my dad and grandma and everything). We went to a really nice Italian place in DuPont, where the service was impeccable and the Italian men were so friendly and my water was refilled as soon as I needed it (a big plus for me!). We had the pre fix menu and shared 2 bottles of wine. The waiter brought us a complimentary digestif of amaretto in little wine/shot glasses. Lovely. We then went to see It's Complicated, due to my friend's mom being divorced and well, there aren't that many movies for that demographic. It was better than I thought, but still a little sad, though it gave me a glimpse of what it's like to have an adult relationship with your mother. I was jealous of the dynamic the family had in the film. I have other-people family envy a lot. It made me hopeful though that my friend's mom and I could continue to bond, and have that kind of adult mom/friendship.

(from Nectar & Light)

I was grateful to spend the day with them, and be spoiled with dinner, wine, and a movie. I brought them some of my grandma's jewelry for them to choose what they wanted. My grandma had so much jewelry, and this was just a small portion of it. I was so so pleased that they liked so many pieces. My friend's mom adored a cameo ring, and my friend looked good in all the big, chunky necklaces that I could never pull off. It meant a lot to me that someone else could enjoy my grandma's jewelry, and it was like they had a piece of her now, so her memory lives on, not just with me.

(Gingerbread men at a local coffee shop)

After mailing them cards about my Grandma, I had my grandma's old friend and my other great aunt who I haven't seen or spoken to in years call me on Christmas, but I just haven't felt up to calling them back, which I feel terrible about. I do want to hang on to the little family I have left, but I don't feel like I have the energy for much right now. My cousins who came to the funeral are the closest, in MD, and I hope we'll all be a little better at keeping in touch. I grew up with them, and have fond memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases back then.

Anyway, I'm going to not let myself get sucked into holiday-melancholy, because I always hate when people hate Christmas because they had bad things happen to them on it. It's not Christmas's fault.

December 20, 2009

In Memoriam

Dorothy Cross

Michael Shaw

Hopefully I won't have to write any more obituaries for awhile. 2010 will be a better year, right?

December 17, 2009

move over, rover

BizSense is the new SMCRVA? Especially now that SMC doesn't have open bar anymore. Start-ups like these start with a roar and lots of millennial attention, and then seem to putter out. Let's see how this one fares. I'll probably attend. I like news. And booze. And Ross Catrow. And Style Weekly

December 8, 2009

Little Letters

Dear Apartment 10,
Thank you for being cute and posting this little letters idea today (even though it originally came from Taza, but I haven't gotten to her on my blog reader yet). Writing this is keeping me from flying off the handle, or breaking down today.

Dear Nursing Home,
When I drive through 2 states to bring to your attention my grandmother's labored, constant cough, you should take me seriously, so she does not end up in the hospital for the umpteenth time.

Dear Dr. Gallagher,
Please call me back and let me know what's going on with my grandmother. Calling me to talk about possible end-of-life plans and then not updating me at all in 12 hours is making me anxiety-ridden.

Dear Mom,
Please be a little more reliable. Please also don't hate me forever when I tell you that I'm not coming home for Christmas this year. See also, Postsecret.

(photo credit: Postsecret)

Dear Self,
Remember to put on eyelid primer first or else the eye makeup will all slide off, doing a terrible job of hiding the puffy eyes from crying last night.

Dear Students,
Please stop being so dense. I'm losing patience.

December 1, 2009

Elle's shoes

This is very cool, a staffer at Elle took photos of what shoes the magazine's staff was wearing. So fun to see everything from Target to YSL. It appears they stopped in September. I hope they keep going, I want to see some hot fall shoes and boots.


The Pretty Woman Collection, so you, too can look like a prostitute who happens upon a misogynistic, impossible reality.

That glow

I adore the lighting and the feeling of this photo. It's dark outside, but warm and cozy inside, with just the glow of ambient lighting. this is always the kind of lighting I'm seeking out, in real life and in photos. Once I get all my Christmas lights up, I'll have the lovely glow to bask in all season.

Emma is a blogger I read regularly for her style inspiration and chic photography.

Emma's Corner.

November 30, 2009

Just a bit

Sneak peek

Critical Mass

This is just a small representation of how crazed my apartment looks while I put up Christmas decorations and try to hide everything else in my small apartment. The amount of stuff I have in here, after emptying out my grandma's house, has reached critical mass.

The coffee and peppermint bark are there as a snack on this cold, rainy night as I put lights on my tree. Perfection.


I'm not going to list all the obvious, boring things I'm thankful for. Those are all the same for most people. Be more original.

Instead, here are some fun and unusual things:

Bloglines-to allow me to read them better
Sparkly things
Christmas lights
Random acts of kindess
New friends that stay friends
People who aren't flaky
An apartment all my own, drafts and all
Sour candy
Hosting parties
Organic milk (because it lasts 4x as long)
The smell of coffee
VA going non smoking in bars/restaurants
Unseasonably warm days
Reality TV
A reliable car
Hair straighteners
The fall smell

November 17, 2009

Sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from

Blogger Liebemarlene Vintage (I almost wrote, "my friend", even though I don't know her. The blogs I've been reading everyday feel like real friends) posted the most lovely video and I just had to link to it. Her boyfriend Drew filmed it. She likes to go on adventures to antique shops, historic sites, and countrysides in her state of Georgia, and often takes photographs, but this is the first video. I watched it just now on my lunch break and got lost in it for a few minutes. I didn't want it to end. It is so dreamy and warm. I just wanted to curl up and take a nap out there in that sunlight.

Nolan house from Drew Tyndell on Vimeo.

November 14, 2009

Fall in the city

These photos were taken by a blogger I enjoy reading, Rockstar Diaries. I think she's editing them to make them look more "vintagey" but I dig the coloring. These are from Capitol Hill in DC, but the city is similar enough to Richmond that it is like looking at my own neighborhood. Somehow she must have found a break in the Nor'easter that has been drowning the Eastern Seaboard all week. I have 2 new leaks in my apt, one which I just noticed has definitely gotten worse, and there is ugly staining from the water damage. GAR.

I love how the stairs are worn but someone still adorned them with teeny pumpkins on each step

A Single Man

Ooh I want to see this. A Single Man. Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode.

Julianne is gorgeous here, and I always like her in movies. Matthew Goode has been a crush since Chasing Liberty (who, sadly, isn't even billed on the first page of the entry in IMDB). Colin Firth is always watchable, and I'm a sucker for the Brits. I'm intrigued by the coloring here, the costumes, the sixties vibe, and the idea of personal conflict over a VERY taboo thing in that time.

November 13, 2009

Shoe Lust

This is the perfect site for me, a blog that just posts hot/great/fab/weird shoes.
Shoe Lust

Very sleek, dominatrix. Hot, but with that heel, very difficult for wearing.

This is like an origami shoe. So interesting. Great varied textures

So whimsical and full of fantasy. I want a pair like this

You know I like anything sparkly. These are also mysterious and fancy

I don't like this look, but I saved the photo as a reminder of what one can do with socks and sheer stockings with open shoes.

Colorful confetti pallietes

This is liquid hot. Liquid leggings and thick pointy leather shoes? Yes please.

I love beading. This is so rich and I bet it feels neat to the touch.

So odd, yet so alluring.

Love magenta, satin, and gold. Plus sequins. Yes.

This is from The Glamourai, who I read regularly. She is so original and added some chain jewelry to her shoes/ankles and I LOVE this effect. I also want a pair of suede pumps something awful.

November 12, 2009

New crack

I found my new crack. This stuff is amazing. 50c at Kroger

November 8, 2009

Fantasy Party

Inspired by The Clothes Horse, an interview about my dream party. Though this is not so far from what one of my parties looks like IRL.

What type of party is it?
Since the holidays are coming up, it’d be a fancy party, complete with party dresses, hot shoes, good hair, men in dapper suits, and sequins.

Who is invited?
All the usual suspects, as this will be my 6th annual holiday party. I always try to invite some new friends as well.

Where does it take place?
A penthouse condo overlooking the city, so we could see the downtown buildings lit up for the holidays and peer over all of the lights of nighttime. There’d be an outdoor deck with candles and paper lanterns since it will undoubtedly be an unseasonably warm evening.

What are we eating/drinking?
Gruyere and other assorted cheeses. Gourmet pizza. The fantastic veggie thing my friend always makes. All kinds of chocolate and holiday goodies. Holiday-themed cocktails, like a poinsettia cocktail or peppermint schnapps martini. Wassail.

Who gets to sit next to you? And why?
Whoever the newest invitee is. I like to make everyone feel welcome and give them tidbits about my other friends so they have an in and can feel comfortable.

What is the theme or what is everyone wearing?
Holiday-inspired clothing. Jewel tones, sparkles, crisp lines. Tall-tall shoes.

Are there party favors?
Fancy wine glasses with holiday colors, a mix of Christmas music made by me. Homemade desserts and ornaments.

What are the hot topics of the evening?
The Virginia elections. Where everyone is traveling and spending the holidays. Inside jokes. How fantastic my party is. How lovely everyone looks. Flirting and storytelling and laughing and drinking.

Who is most likely to get drunk and dance on the table?

Me or Daniel.

Who is the last to leave?
Everyone. An ideal party is when everyone stays up til the wee hours talking and laughing.

Oh yeah, and all this brainstorming makes me super-excited for the holidays. I'm totally listening to Christmas music right now. Actually, listening to the Christmas CD I made all my holiday party goers from last year. Can't wait for this one!

October 27, 2009


My cat eats peanuts. LOVES them.

Sugar Rim

It makes all the difference really, the sugar rim

I'm having these right now. Got home from 2nd job early. Yum. Going to be productive, piddle on the Internets, and then watch MTV reality TV with my LOVERR. Listening to "Save Your Scissors" by City and Colour. It's good to be alive.

More FrozFood

I didn't intend for my blog to become a place to review frozen entrees, but I've found another good one. After I raved about Lean Cuisine's flatbreads last week, I couldn't find any at my grocery store (gar) so I got the Baja-style chicken quesadilla instead. It only takes 2 mins in the microwave and is VERY yummy.

This flavor is:
Grilled chicken strips, black beans and corn salsa with reduced fat mozzarella, monterey jack and cheddar cheeses in a flour tortilla.

Fat - 8g
Calories - 280

October 22, 2009

Internet love hate

Why do you keep offering yourself to me, little "remember password" button if you will not actually do your job? Every time, I check you, on various sites, you are everywhere, but never do you keep your promises.

Great, and my work computer has a Trojan. Just got another little Auto-Protect diaglog just now with more problematic issues. What is it about sites I go to that keeps getting me a Trojan? I think I may have to blame my Bloglines (or TweetDeck). But No, I cannot give up either!

Also, what is it about Windows\system\32 that likes to get infected?

The word of the day is: canoodle. One should use that word more often. I should also do it more often, but alas, being flu-y, and hack-y and sickly does not lead to candoodling. I am in withdrawal.

Is it tonight yet? Work is just slow and nothing important is happening and is in the way of my great evening. Photoshoot with PunchPhoto tonight (who I haven't actually met but has an office next to an old professor and good friend of mine-small world!) and then rushing to SMCRVA. I hate to be late, but this is the second time I've rescheduled this photoshoot.

October 21, 2009

Not hot

Dear Campbell's: THIS IS NOT CHICKEN

When I had the flu last week, the bf was nice enough to bring me soup. Now this is partially my fault because I didn't specify which kind, so he brought me condensed soup. I haven't eaten condensed soup since I was a kid. I refer to it as the "slimy kind" because Chicken Noodle in this form is always a bit slimy. Well, I didn't want to look a sick horse in the mouth so I ate it anyway. Well I forgot how TERR-EE-BLEY the chicken is. I had to take a picture. I seriously need to mail this to the company bc that is GROSS. I just kept having to fish them out of the broth and line them up along the side of my bowl.

I went through more tissue boxes than this, but I just had to show you how many I threw away in ONE DAY.

On a nicer note, I was feeling a bit better this weekend, so the bf and I got pumpkins and I wasn't really up to carving mine, so he carved his, and we got this lovely bounty of seeds to cook. Last year we burned the life out of the seeds we baked, so I literally checked my oven every 2 minutes to be sure we didn't kill these. Turned out nicely!

Good tasting frozen food

I just had a Smart Ones Flatbread for lunch. It was the one shown here: Chicken Marinara with Mozzarella Cheese. It was amazing. Flavorful, large enough to be filling, not fake-tasting, fast in the microwave, and the bread actually got crispy! (a major feat for zapped food). And it's only 290 calories, 6 g of fat.
I am definitely going to be buying more of these.

October 20, 2009


I always enjoy when the "prove you're not a spam bot and type in this word" are fun, almost-words. I just got snesstess. I think I'm going to collect them and post them here. I collect words. I'm a nerd, I know. If you like that, then check out my Wordie list.

I remember I dated a guy who was being petulant, and I told him so, and he didn't know what it meant. Should have known it wouldn't work out right then. He was an educated guy, too. I suppose that doesn't really mean anything though, because there are lots of dumb, educated people out there. Like the time I found out a highly educated person I know didn't believe in evolution. I tripped all over myself putting my foot in my mouth because I didn't know how to respond to that.

I'm generally bad at the Favorites game (though I do like to play) because I can never pick just one. So as I'm scanning my Wordie list here, I'm just going to post some that I like and don't use that often. Points to you if you know them without looking them up. Ha, fuliginous even daunts Blogger's spellcheck.

noisome (adj)

legerdemain (n)

fuliginous (adj)

ersatz (n)

abscond (v)

October 18, 2009


Sorry all, I've been home sick with the flu all week and haven't done much of anything. I hadn't even had a chance to get my flu shot yet! I never get the flu. The only time I've gotten it as an adult was about 5 years ago when the flu shot was not readily available, and that was in February, not October! Today I'm feeling better (though def still sick with this annoying phlegmy cough), so I'm cleaning up my apt and putting up Halloween decorations. Updates soon, I promise.

October 8, 2009

Everyone loves a Fort

Found this over at Rockstar Diaries, who frequently makes forts anyway. I don't care how old you are, if you liked making forts as a kid (and boy did I--hey, only child--easily amused), then they are always fun.
Here are some submissions from the site:

And one of Taza and Husband's:
I think it is delightful and loving that she and her husband make forts. I want to do this SO BAD.


Tomorrow morning I have a court date to officially become Guardian of my grandmother. This was a 2 month process. You'd think when someone dies, they'd speed it up a little, but nooo. This is out of state, so I'll be doing a lot of driving in a less-than-12-hour span. I have to be somewhere in the evening here on Friday, something I've been looking forward to for months, so please pray to the traffic gods for me. I have to get out of the state no later than 1pm so I don't hit Beltway rush hour.

October 6, 2009

Rob Lowe rides a chair

I love Rob Lowe. He is on my short list of people whose babies I'd want to have (and I don't really want to have babies).

He never ages, plays a Democrat as well as Republican, and makes me swoon.

He was on The Ellen Show, and she plays some pranks on him. Only happiness can ensue:

Rob Lowe vs The Hawaii Chair

October 5, 2009


This is genius. Regretsy makes fun of the ugly and nonsense things people post for sale on the well-loved indie online retailer, Etsy.

It's only 3 pages long right now, but I can see the potential. Currently, the site include Pokeman menstrual pads, vulva jewelry, Michael Jackson commemorative baseballs, and a CROCHETED MEERKAT NATIVITY

This is so odd.

FU, allergies.

I have the worstworst allergies today. I feel like I contstantly need to sneeze, there's pressure right behind my nose and eyes, and my eyes keep watering. I'm in my office and took my Zyrtec as per normal today. This is making me miserable. What gives, Universe?

Have some pretty pictures instead, mostly of food, since this is the time of morning when I get hungry again and crave sweets.

Don't those Oreos look luscious? I love Oreos. This is why I don't shop at Ellwood Thompson's. Give me my high fructose corn syrup and processed sugar!

Two of my favorite things: caake and glitter!

I love breakfast, so a cartoon about it? Even better.

Piles and piles of Gelato.

(photos from Daily Pep)

October 4, 2009


Weekend breakfast: egg and cheese with mixed greens on wheat English Muffin. French press coffee in my grandma's ship mug.