Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two foods to rule the world

There are 2 foods - if they can so be classified - that are supposed to be eaten with something, but that I prefer to eat solo. I have an unnatural obsession with both foods, which may explain why I feel the need for the unadulterated substance. Whenever I am on the cusp of giving into these cravings, I attempt to persuade myself in an unconvincing manner that it simply is not civilized to eat these foods without some sort of accompaniment. Almost without fail, my penchant for white-trash-eat-out-of-a-jar foods wins over, and I eat imprudently. Careful, I'm not saying that hummus and Nutella are trashy foods. I just think I might be trashy for eating them straight out of the jar. And the part that bothers me most is that I can't quite explain this intense craving that I get for these foods, and why I can't feel satisfied eating them on something. Well, Nutella I guess is pretty easy: I'm a girl, and it's in my blood, right? But, the hummus. Why, hummus? Could it be the pungent breath that outlasts the Energizer bunny? I think not. Or how 'bout that Tahini? That's a pretty unique ingredient. Or how about the fact that despite my desire to eat it alone, it goes with everything? There's really nothing you can't put hummus on. Now, really. Could it be that I was Greek in a past life? Maybe I'm pregnant? I'm not sure, and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed with the darting questions. All I know is that I love my hummus and my Nutella. And you can't take that away from me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A job! A job! I have got a job!

Ok, so maybe I’m not so skilled at the whole “introduction, build the plot, dénouement” thing. But, it bears repeating, so I’m sure you’ll hear the good news again at the proper dénouement point. I feel as though I am getting married and I must bid farewell to my bygone days. Farewell, days of youth, where I flitted from one temp job to the next! I bid adieu to the “full time job” of incessantly searching – in fact, I am unsubscribing myself from that woebegone listserv! Goodbye hours of boredom where I found myself beholden to check people’s blogs thrice daily! I hereby take leave of forgone evenings of fun due to lack of funds! Adios cover letters! Cheerio rigid interviewers! And hello, crouching, standing, and reaching. I have got a job!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Seasons Greetings

Ali and I had a good ol' time making this wreath.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Merry Christmas to me!

I must have been good this year because I got three, count ‘em – 3 – presents from my work. Nobody can say that the National Restaurants Association is niggardly. The first gift is a fire engine red fleece that says Colorado on it, but you know it was made in China. When I proudly sport this jacket with NRA emblazoned on the front, people might wonder if I’m a gun activist, and that will spur lively conversations, I’m sure. So, you can see why I value it as the gift that keeps giving. The second and third gifts of sound advice and comfort were haphazardly given I suppose, but are no lesser in value. Upon discovering that I had no children and was not dating anybody, the receptionist counseled me to throw back my head and arms and yell “God, Merry Christmas to me!” (apparently because there is nobody in my life who will wish me Merry Christmas besides yours truly). After this outbreak, I should without delay run to the store and buy myself that “something” I have always wanted. Upon rewarding myself with my own present, I should again break out in exultations, yelling “Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me!” She comforted me, assuring me that if she were single, it was most certainly what she would do. This seemingly simple advice proffered by my receptionist ensures that I will never spend a Christmas in a boring or lonely manner. The receptionist’s last gift was evoked, I believe, by her piteous feelings toward me due to my lack of marriage prospects. Mind you, this is a 50 year old non-Mormon woman who is baffled over my single status. She comforted me by telling me that she did not find her “special person” until she was 35. She reminded me that I don’t have to stand looking a boy over all day to tell if he was honorable; it only takes moments. Here’s the clincher: If you find that a boy is not honorable, NEVER look into his eyes. That’s how they get you, evidently. According to the receptionist, there are very few honorable boys out there, so it looks like I’m going to have to avoid a whole lot of boys’ eyes from here on out. But, one day, I will find my “special person.” I know because the receptionist told me so. What priceless gifts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Getting and spending

In the unremitting getting of our hedonistic society, we rarely pause to question why we must go about acquiring without end. It is as though some force impels us toward an inevitable end. Even those who do stop to wonder often feel powerless against this great tide of “getting and spending.” As Wordsworth said, we “lay waste our powers” for something that I venture we do not comprehend nor even desire. As I watch Christmas shoppers, I am reminded of this senseless attitude of needing and wanting more. Have we lost control of ourselves and our situation such that we can no longer distinguish between need and want? Those two words have become almost inextricably linked, to our own detriment. In the end, I think that “want” and “need” are subjective terms, being defined individually and circumstantially. However, I think that if we all took time to examine our lives, we would find that we quite frequently confuse want with need and that, in reality, we have much more than we need. For about a year, I scrutinized all of my desires in an effort to determine whether they were things that I truly needed or things that I just wanted. I did not allow myself - or my generous mother - to buy me anything that fell within the “want” category. It was amazing how free and in control I felt simply because I was not laden and hedged up by my supposed needs.

Many people believe (whether consciously or subconsciously) that having more will bring more happiness. Yet I think that it is quite the opposite. I am not proposing that we all deprive ourselves of every material blessing; I think that God intends us to enjoy what He has given us. But I think that often we get so caught up in “getting and spending” that we have no time to be happy or to do things that will make us happy. The very things we hope will bring us happiness are the impediments to that end. In War and Peace, Pierre is taken captive by French soldiers. In this time of deprivation where he suffers filth, lice, lack of food, no home or fancy balls, no shoes, and sores all over his feet, he finds the “calmness and contentment that he had before vainly striven to attain.” Seeking for happiness and contentment, he had filled his life with vain and even nefarious endeavors. He did not realize that happiness is effected within, not without. “Pierre was made aware… that man is created for happiness, that happiness lies in himself, in the satisfaction of the simple needs of living, and that all unhappiness arises not from lack but from superfluity.”

Friday, December 7, 2007

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

For the aspiring grinch in all of us...

Our Grinch names are (from left to right):
Crabbygrouch Fussyshorts, Wretchedfrowned Fussyhead, and Crabbygrinch Selfishhead

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pragmatic, not functional

I was asked: are most items in your house aesthetic or functional? I began to mull it over and concluded that there is quite a paucity of functionality in my life. I would like to bring a case for the jury's consideration. When I moved into my house, I was pleased – to say the least – with the overwhelming amount of bookshelf space in the front room. I vainly imagined the wonderful things we could decorate those shelves with, quite forgetting that I had brought nothing with me to DC. Well, no matter - my roommates had things we could use. To my dismay, however, we realized that the structure of the bookshelves was such that little but books could fit properly. (Now, that should be the first clue that I am not a "function first" type of person.) We did not have nearly enough books to fill the vast expanse of front room shelves, and consequently, the shelves have remained devastatingly bare and lonely… until last Saturday. Claire and Cammy knew of a book fair in Baltimore where they literally give away books every weekend. You can take as many as you like. And so, in a decisive victory for the aesthetic, we headed off to Baltimore to collect books to fill our shelves. Now, because we only wanted to "fill" our shelves, we were concerned with little but the beauty of the books. No matter that the book was in some unknown Cyrillic language, or that we never had any intentions of raising caribou. As an afterthought, we did remark that our lawyer friends would enjoy the variety of law books we picked up, because really, who doesn't want to read a treatise on international fence laws when they're hanging out at our house? I think that it is clear on which side of the fence I stand, but I would enjoy any votes to the contrary. Now, I may not have presented my case in the most non-biased manner, and for this I apologize. Either way, I will let the jury decide.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Glad my roommate's not a goat

I have, of late, found myself pondering over what life would be like for my roommate if she had myotonia congenita. To fully appreciate this consideration, you must understand that my roommate is one of the most easily startled people in existence. A careless snap of the fingers would certainly cause her to jump, and I don’t care to discuss here what would happen if an explosion were to occur in her presence. Which is why even a minor case of myotonia congenita could be devastating to my roommie. Can you imagine how many complete strangers would have to pick her up off the street? Or how awkward her date would feel after his sneeze caused her to plunge face first into her food? Or how Builder would be suddenly filled with an inexplicable yet inordinate number of “l’s” or whatever key she hit on her way down?
To better understand what life might be like for my roommate if she had myotonia congenita, please watch this movie, which chronicles the woes of goats that also happen to have this disease. True, goats do not have as much to lose as does my roommate; however, I think you may get a fair glance, and feel sorry for her should she ever contract said disease.