Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mustard and Gretchen Write a Chirstmas Letter

"Hey Mustard," I hollered, "Come in here. I need you!"

"WHHHHYYYY?" he hollered right back.

"We have to write our Christmas letter and I need your help!" I said, still hollering.

It took a minute but I soon heard him commentating as he sock-skated his way from the kitchen to the living room. "Woosh! Woosh! And its that Ice Devil Mustard coming in from the outside!" before he burst into the room and with a giant Risky Business Slide slammed into me on the couch.

"oooophhFFF, Get off me!" I said, pushing him off my lap and onto the seat next to me.

"So!" he settled in looking at the computer screen, "Whatcha got so far?"

"Not much. I can't really remember this year."

"Well, that makes sense. You're old and senile" he said matter of factly.

I gave him a look that said, Watch it mister. Sadly, idle threats don't really phase Mustard, so outloud I said, "I remember that it was a great year -- infinitely better than 2007 -- but what in the world did we do?"

"Well, we ... uh ... oh yeah! This Spring we went ... no, no, that was last year. .... Shoot! You're right! What DID we do this year?"

"Exactly" I said drily.

"This can't be right. We had a rockin year. At least I had a rockin year. Your life was probably pretty boring" he said. "Let's think about this. OK. For one thing we moved to Capitol Hill during that monsoon. That was awesome."

"Oh yeah! That move was crazy, but living here IS Totally Awesome. Mini high-five for moving!" And we high fived. "OK. What else did we do?"

"We went to the beach for that week long vacation in May" he said.

We looked at each other and said in unison: "BEST VACATION EVER!" And then sighed deeply as we remembered its amazingness. Then I said, "And then, remember going to the beach every weekend in August? Good times."

"True dat" he said. "And remember when you got your braces off? But then you put them back on two weeks later cuz you were a super fussy-pants and then had to have them on for six more months?" He laughed while I glared, "You weren't expecting to look like a doofus for ALL of 2008, were you?!"

"Oh Yeah? Well shut up, cuz I'm getting them off -- FOR REAL THIS TIME -- on the 29th!"

He grinned and said, "Suuuuure you are. I'll believe it when I see it."

"ANYWAAAAAAAY. It wasn't the biggest mover-and-shaker of a year. We've established that. But it was still a fun year, true?"

"Very true, Jeeves, very true" he said.

"What was your favorite part?" I asked him.

"Oh, that has to be when you went to Las Vegas and that -- "


"And you were like, 'Bathtub???!?! WTF? Who ASKS that?' and --"

"Mustard! For real!!!! We are NOT talking about that."

"Sorry I'm laughing so hard! But your face was so classic!"

"Its not my fault people say stupid stuff to me! Will you please stop laughing? Really. Its not that funny."

"Hoooo! Sorry!" he said wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes.

"You are really not helping with this Christmas letter. You're just bringing up all of the things I'd rather NOT remember about 2008" I said.

"Sorry, sorry. What would you rather remember? Lame stuff like your favorite movie?" he asked a touch scornfully.

"Sure! That's the kind of stuff you look back on and laugh about. Not embarrassing things that should STAY IN VEGAS."

"Alright, fine, little Miss Boring Face. My favorite movie was Tropic Thunder. That retarded scene? Classic!! What was yours?"

I rolled my eyes. Of course that would be his favorite.

"Mmmm" I said while I mentally thumbed through the movies I saw this year. "I have no idea. There were a bunch I liked."

"Listen Missy, you gotta pick. That's the whole point. Otherwise, its no fun, and I get to tell another embarrassing story from 2008 that you'd rather not remember."

"OK!!! Geez. You play dirty! My favorite movie was probably TheDarkKnightWall-ESex&TheCityWanted."

"Um-hum." I could tell he wasn't very thrilled with that cop-out answer. But they were all REALLY good! "Favorite song?" he asked.

I effected a Family Feud voice and said, "iTunes SAYS! White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. Good choice iTunes - I do really like that song! Yours?"

And he busted out singing:
"She got them Apple-bottom jeans"

I promptly joined in, "Boots with the fur! The whole club was lookin at her!"

Simultaneously we both got off the couch and dancing we sang, "She hit the floor. Next Thing you know. Shawty got Low Low Low Low Low Low Low!!"

And that's pretty much where the letter writing ended, and the dance party began. It was a great year for us! We hope you had a fantastic time too!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pimp Ma House, Christmas Edition

I wasn't going to decorate this year, because I didn't really see the point. If I took the effort to pull the decorations out of Narnia (btw, this is the name of the storage closet under the stairs because once you make your way through the the coats, its a whole new world) I'd have to take just as much effort to put them BACK in Narnia. Seemed like a lot of work. And its not like I need an extra dose of Holiday Cheer. I'm 100% Jolly 100% of the time!

But then my friend Adam came over and brought me a tube of silver tinsel. And I was like, "AWESOME!! Tinsel!!" And he was like, "Girrrrl, that ain't no ghetto Tinsel! That's a Mini Tinsel TREE! with Lights."

And I was like, "God Bless You, every one."

So I put it up in my window, so the neighbors walking by would think to themselves, "My, My, isn't THAT apartment festive with its Mini Tinsel Tree! with Lights."


So since I was now decorating I decided to pull out the rest of the decorations and gussy the place up.

My Favorite and Most Beloved Diet Coke Tree returned this year. And I also found this cute Ice Cube Snowman ornament. So now I'm thinking ... Gosh, All I need is a glass to have the cheeriest holiday around!

(Can you see that little snowman? He's between the gloves on sticks. He's super see-through.)

I also discovered the balls that USED to go on my tree before I converted it to a Diet Coke Tree. And So I did the easiest slash coolest thing ever and artfully arranged them in this giant flower bowl.

Cute, Eh?

But then I REALLY went crazy and taped these snowflakes to the mantle. You know, as if it were snowing INSIDE!! So crazy. But so pretty!

And look at how serene and lovely this little nativity looks on my mantle. My Sister in Law sent it to me last year. Its good to remember that there's more to Christmas than Tinsel, Diet Coke, and snowflakes. Not much more, mind you, but more. (I'm totally kidding, relax people)

And now I am all set to have an awesome and amazing Christmas here in my little CapHill house. Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 20 Worst Are The 20 Best

You know how its so awesome when people take pictures of things and add captions to them that make them even more hilarious slash awesome? I love that. I also love music and year end lists. So when I came across this hilarious list from Pitchfork Media I was like, "Score! Its a Funny picture/caption, Music, List TRIFECTA!!!"

The 20 Worst Album Covers of 2008

The ones that make me LOL 100% of the time are:
My Morning Jacket

(I also really like that link to the menwholooklikeoldlesbians ... that's funny!)

Which ones do you like?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Whatcha Think?

I want to take a class during Spring semester. Normally, I'd take a writing class, but I sort of want to diversify. Which of these classes do you think I should take?

Introduction to Digital Photography

Course description: This class is designed for beginners who want to better understand the world of digital imagery, or for students with experience who want to strengthen their basic skills. Topics covered include digital camera use, Photoshop basics, scanning and printing techniques. Students will be able to explore their own projects and develop the fundamental skills to continue digital work on their own.

Interesting because:
I suck at taking pictures. I also suck at making pictures look pretty. I need help.

Introduction to Drawing

Course description: In this class, students learn the fundamental concepts of drawing and 2D media. Observation, one of the most important elements in drawing, will be stressed through different techniques and experimentation with several materials. The class will be complemented with theory (composition, perspective, proportions) and examples in art history. Materials list will be provided at the first class.

Interesting because: I've never taken an art class before. I've always been scared because I have a hard time holding my hands steady. BUT! both my grandma and mom have some skill drawing ... so I've totally got it in my genes. I just need guidance! (and less caffeine)

Beginning Ballet

Course description: This class emphasizes the fundamentals of ballet and encourages ballet as a means of improved body awareness, poise, grace, musicality, flexibility, and self-expression. Classes are structured to include warm-up exercises, barre technique and center floor work. Ballet shoes and comfortable clothes are recommended. No prior dance experience required.

Interesting because: I could sure use some poise and grace. Plus, I quit ballet when I was 5 because it was cutting into my cartoon watching time. I should really give it another chance.

Internets? Your thoughts??

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Holiday Party for Your Tastebuds

J'adore Ginger. In fact simply saying the word "Ginger" will get practically the same response from me that you'd get if you said "sex" to most men. There's some drooling. Some wide-eyed nodding. And, yeah, I'll pretty much do anything you need, including taking out the trash. So when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread Bars in Everyday Food I was like, "GINGER BARS!!! Oh baby! YES! And PLEASE!!"

So Sunday night I set aside my anti-baking stance and prepared to make my gingery delight. There I was measuring flour and teaspooning out cocoa powder while bellowing out, "LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT (but not really cuz i hate) SNOOOOOW!" When I whirled around to get 1/2 tsp of baking soda out of the cupboard ... only to discover there was no baking soda in my cupboard.


Stop the Ginger Presses! HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I DO NOT HAVE BAKING SODA? Doesn't every kitchen come standard with a box of baking soda? That's like not having brakes on your car or something!

I put down my sifter to weigh all of my options. They ranged from using the box in the fridge (seriously considered, but in the end it was too disgusting even for me) to calling all of my neighbors for the proverbial cuppa shuga (they weren't home) before finally coming to the tragic conclusion that I could not proceed with my Ginger Bars until I got to the store to get some B. Soda.

On the upside, this gave me some time to stop being such a selfish pig-face and invite some people over to eat my treat with me. So tonight my pals Bryan, Adam, and Corey came over for a menacing-sounding but palatte-delighting Vegetarian Indian Stew and delicious delicious Ginger Bars.

See how festive I made them by adding Pomegranate seeds (red!) and chopped Pistachios (green!) with a mound of creamy homemade whipped cream (white!). If you make these bars you MUST add the Pom and Pish ... together they make it about a thousand times more festive and yummalicious. (And if you run out of Ginger Bars you can just eat them with the whipped cream - talk about a taste sensation!)

On a scale of one to ten, one being Pukarific and ten being Tastetastic, I give these ginger bars a 47.

Feliz Navidad and Happy Ginger Bars to All!

True Love

Available on Sale -- luckily not enough on sale to get me into trouble -- at

Oh, but I love it. I do!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wherein Mustard's Effort to Make Trouble Makes Good

Let me set the scene for you. It's evening. I'm chillin' in one corner of the couch watching E!. Mustard is in the other, rolling his eyes. Camie comes home after another long, busy day, and proceeds to do her homework.

When Camie came in and surveyed the scene, Mustard perked up. He looked from me, to her, and slowly started to get that squinty-no-good look in his eye that he gets when he's thought of a way to make my life hell. After she went upstairs he nudged my butt with his foot and said, "Hey, do you remember that roommate you had in college? Amanda or whatever her name was?"

"Yeah. What about her?"

"Remember how she watched TV 24/7?"

"Yeah, I remember that. What about it?"

"You guys thought she was a total loser cuz she was always watching TV. Remember?"

"Weeellll, I wouldn't say we thought she was a total loser. But she sure did watch a lot of TV."

"Don't kid yourself, sister. You thought you were SO fancy with your busy schedule and crowd of buddies. As far as you were concerned she was practically toxic from all of that TV" he smirked.

"What's your point?" I asked.

"My point is this." And he paused to fix his I'm-a-total-jerk-and-I'm-about-to-punk-you-GOOD expression on his little face before saying, "The shoe's on the other foot now, my dear."

"WHAT?! What are you even talking about? I don't watch nearly as much TV as Amanda did," I cry outraged.

Mustard just raised his eyebrows. (Damn those damning eyebrows!!)

"Seriously! I don't!" I can feel myself backpedaling.

Mustard looked pointedly from me, and my well-worn spot on the couch, to the TV, and back at me again. And then he said, "Have you, or have you NOT already seen this episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians" pause ... pause ... pause (While I squirm ... squirm ... squirm) "THREE TIMES?"

"FINE! FINE! You're Right! I'm a loser! Are you happy now? A loser who watches way more TV than is good for me. Sob!" And I stormed off the couch, throwing my TV Watching Blanket over Mustard's head to show him what a little poo he is, and stomped upstairs to find something productive to do.

And that's how I ended up volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen twice this month. And even though I was slightly coerced into doing it, and I've only gone once so far (next time is on Christmas Day, hello Super Fun!) volunteering there is turning out to be the BEST THING I've done ALL YEAR LONG!

So there Mustard! You Prince of Poo-ville. You can take your attempts to make me feel like a loser and cram them in your little twist-top face. I am now officially NOT a loser. AND ALSO officilally a lover of the community. Nyah!! [yes I AM sticking my tongue out at you.]

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Storybook Collection

I am toujours working working working on my latest line of baby-girl fashions. One never knows when a baby shower will come up and you need to have a super cute gift ready on the double. This collection was for my friend Alicia who is having a girl any second now. Can't wait to see the little cutie!

It's a little ironic that I ended up settling on this theme for her present, because I found out later that she'd dreamed I bought her story BOOKS. Imagine how surprised slash STOKED she was to get story ONESIES instead!! This collection was totally meant to be.

So with no further ado, I present to you:

The Storybook Collection

La Madeline

Say bonjour to everyone's favorite little fille d'├ęcole.

Grow, Sally. Grow!

See Sally growing up faster every day.

Sunday in the Park avec Babar

Those sophiticated Elephants, Babar and Celeste, take Pom, Flora, and Alexander out for a spin in their pram.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Knee High to a Chinaman

While my sister was visiting, we went to see one of the few DC attractions that has eluded me over the past 8 years: The National Arboretum's Bonsai collection. The Arboretum is a favorite oasis of mine but somehow I've always managed to time my visits when the Bonsai Museum is closed. Apparently optimal Bonsai growing requires that they keep Banker's hours.

But now, I'm rather glad I hadn't seen this exhibit before because seeing it when the Bonsai were in their vibrant, but tiny, Fall glory was totally awesome. When thinking of Bonsai I generally assumed they were some sort of evergreen tree. But NO! They can be anything!! Tiny tree sculpting belongs to ALL Tree Races.

Check out this wee little Japanese Maple. (OK horticulturists, if I get these names wrong you're gonna have to just deal. I ain't no garden pro.)

And here's a teensie little ... um ... Birch? Or maybe another brand of maple? I can't really remember and its so little I can't use my eagle gardener eyes to tell -- as I usually would -- based on leaf shape. Anyway, it's a yellow-leafed deciduous tree which is WAY little and WAY PRETTY!

Inside the greenhouse is a little myrtl. I really really love myrtl. Isn't it so pretty? And Don't you love how they grafted in that chunk of white wood? Those bonsai artists are so clever!

And look who's hanging out here: Eeensie Weensie Chinamen! Don't they look wise? These little fellows are about the size of my thumbnail, and are hidden cleverly as a little treat for the observant.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that everyone of these trees is at least 50 years old? There's even a white pine (that I didn't picture here because we're showing decidous trees, people) that is FOUR HUNDRED YEARS OLD. Crazy, I know. But true. That tree was alive when Shakespeare was around!

Anyway. LOVED my trip to see the Bonsai! AND I'm even more dedicated to keeping my cactus plant alive now. (I wonder if you can do cactus bonsai.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Family Old and New

Hallo! Just back from my Thanksgiving week in Phoenix, AZ, year two. Everything was the same as it was last year. Same Brother and Sister-in-Law being super hospitable and fun. Same Parents being goofy (like when my Dad hid his See's chocolates in the microwave. Would've worked too except we all watched him hobble over and stash them inside. He's a master of deception.) Same warm sunny weather. Same never-ending swaths of BEIGE BEIGE BEIGE. Yup. All basically the same as last year. Except I didn't puke my guts out. And we didn't go to the Grand Canyon.

Oh. And this year I have THE CUTEST NIECE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE. No biggie.

Please visit her Online Shrine for your daily worship.

One fun thing we did this year was force my parents to do Oral Histories. I learned several interesting stories about my grandparents.

For example:
My newly married and very poor maternal grandparents were lucky to get one of the very small log cabins at the WPA worksite. They knew a skunk was nesting underneath the house, but so far everyone was getting along just fine. Until some neighbors stopped by for a visit. (Here you should picture me cough-saying "Visiting Teachers." Can't prove it, but do the math. They show up at your house + try to "help" = Totally Annoying Results. I'm just sayin'.)

The "neighbors" saw the skunk and had the GENIUS idea to chase it out of its cushy sub-cabin home. Well, it was the thirties and I'm guessin that good cabins to live under were few and far between. Old Pepe wasn't going anywhere without a fight.

He ran under the cabin to defend his territory. And ....


... Just like that, poor Grandma and Gramps returned home to find their house and all of the contents therein completely saturated with skunk stink. They had to move out of their cabin and lost all of their stuff. INCLUDING a brand new sack of FLOUR. Which in Great Depression Currency was like three Hermes Birkin bags. If my Grandma had even known these words she probably would have told her no-good "helpful neighbors" to stay the freak out of her biz-nas from now until like forevah. (That's what I would have told them, anyway.)

To add insult to stinky injury, they smelled so Skunky no one would be their friend or rent them a new apartment for weeks. Poor stinky fore-fathers. Life was so so SO hard for you.

I'm glad we did these family histories because now I know that my mistrust of "helpful neighbors" is both well-founded and genetic!

PS. Does this strike anyone else as a story that could only happen in rural Idaho during the Great Depression?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Much-Awaited Home Tour

Remember when I had all of these plans to post pictures of our newly renovated apartment? Well, after I got distracted taking pictures for the housewarming party, the party got into full swing, and then life got into full swing and well, our house never got picture-worthy clean until this weekend. I came home from being out of town for a week to find the house spic and span!

Camie, being the awesome roommate that she is, went ahead a cleaned the joint up and posted a photo tour of our cute cute apartment. Isn't she the best?

I will refer you to her for the tour.

The Outside
The Neighborhood
Entry and Kitchen
Living slash Dining
Upstairs Shared Spaces
Camie's bedroom
My Room (not as tidy/beautiful as I'd like but still pretty snazzy)
The Exit

I love our new house, and I hope you do too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How I Spent My Staycation

I'm playing hostess to my older sister this week. We are still wearing these outfits. We look even more awesome than you can imagine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I was scanning through the Status updates in Facebook yesterday, and one of my friend's said, "I'm working to get the vote out for John McCain." And I got this squinty look on my face that I get whenever I see something that is weeeeiiiiird. Thinking about it for a mo, I realized that this guy was the first person I had heard during this election who said they were planning on voting for McCain.

Later, when I discovered that the Obama/McCain split in DC was 92/8% the lack of McCainers made a lot more sense. Apparently DC is a McCain-Free-Zone, so its a good thing I switched parties before moving here. I might have been run out on a rail during the street party that ensued when it was called for Obama. I'm still in the shallow end of the Democrat pool, but so far I'm finding it quite refreshing.

But, even though I've defected, I still really like McCain as a person. However, some advisor somewhere should have sat him down and talked to him about the importance of White Strips. I thought his concession was exceptionally gracious. So I say, well fought Honourable Gentleman from Arizona! May your aged bones be warmed as you bask in the toasty AZ sunshine!

And with that,

Let Barack Nation Begin!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wherin Halloween Becomes My Favorite Holiday

This has been one of the best Halloweens of all time. AND IT'S ONLY HALF OVER!! I'm heading out in a few minutes for round two of parties.

You're probably wondering why this particular Halloween is the best?

Here's why.

First, and nothing to do with me, our new neighborhood appears to be a destination Trick-or-Treating neighborhood. And there were Kids Galore cruising the streets last night. Since becoming an adult I've never lived in a neighborhood so trickertreat heavy. It was totally fun!

But more interesting than living in Kidlandia, I had the easiest, most fun costume. Utilizing both my awesome new haircut and my dip back into the braces pool I was able to pull off a TOTALLY Convincing Ugly Betty.

But most people said something like, "Are you Ugly Betty? Pffft. More like CUTE BETTY!!!" And I was like, "Ohmygosh! Your sooooo nice! But I totally am, right?!"

My rockadelic outfit was made, Oh, about 1000 times better by these snoopy-on-a-sled socks.

At the office, I rocked the stiff competition and WON a $20 gift card!! (along with that jukebox and Stahlin)

After work, Camie and I went to Bryan and Adam's house for a delicious and diet-friendly dinner party. Everybody loved Lucy. And got "I Love Lucy" stickered to prove it.

The party was just starting, though. From there we went to meet party friends Jen and Steve (featured in video below) at a Liberty Tavern in Arlington.


This clip is basically what it was like all night. Two things to notice. 1) They're playing Thriller. Which is, in and of itself, WAY AWESOME. 2) If you listen closely you can hear Camie yelling "Faster Faster FASTER!!" All I can say is, Billy Blanks ain't got nothin on me.

That clip? Yeah, that's pretty much what its like everytime I go dancing. Me = Ridiculous

I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Unhappy Equation

Traveling for two weeks, eating craptacular hotel food, and feeling like I should get dessert at every meal because, you know, its not like I'm paying for it, has turned me into the pudgy blob version of my cute self.

Your basic tranny crack ho can tell you that drastic bingeing can only be combated by drastic purging.

And so, I regret to tell you that for the next two weeks I will be on a diet. My entire life philosophy revolves around getting whatever I want whenever I want it. So being deprived of the food I want makes me very cranky. Being cranky means that I will also be UN-funny, UN-patient, UN-full, and generally UN-happy. I will just go ahead and add UN-blogging to the list now because its impossible to find anything post-worthy unless my tummy is full of carbohydrates.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our House is Officially Warmed

I know I haven't been writing lately, but it's been a whirlwind over here people. A WHIRLWIND!

To get an idea take five hotel rooms, two trips to IKEA, a million home improvement chores, 65 spreadsheets, one clandestine clothes shopping trip, one very well attended and super fun housewarming party, two over-conditioned ballrooms, three parking tickets, and one life changing bowl of ice cream and put them all in a giant blender. Blend for two weeks on SUPER FREAKING FAST and you'll have an idea of how things have looked from my point of view.

The highlight of last week was definitely our housewarming party. I was planning on taking you all on a photo tour of the post-renovations house. I thought I'd take advantage of its clean pre-party state to take some pictures for the tour. Dutifully I started snapping away but somehow got derailed taking pictures of the party food instead. I'm not sure how that happened - but we had a LOT of yummy looking food.

So instead of a tour you get a Housewarming Party food/fun breakdown. I'm sharing the food pictures with you (instead of the more interesting people pictures) because its still lingering around the house tempting me, and I shouldn't be the only one suffering here. Man cannot live on pie alone -- although it appears that I'm trying.

Delicioso cupcakes with sprinkles! Spicy Cream Cheese/Chile roll ups! Brie with walnuts/cranberries/apricots covered with CARAMEL!! Yes! And Please!

Honeycrisp -Holy Moley This is The Yummiest Apple EVER - Apples! Walnuts schmalnuts. And dried Apricots. You know, for the sugar intolerant. A good hostess always thinks of the less fortunate when party planning.

Candy dishes were sprinkled around like this one so a Reeces was never more than 3 feet from you at any given time. Aren't we the most thoughtful party planners evah!

Somehow I didn't manage to take any pictures of the food in the kitchen. But we had pie, pie, more pie, some Brie, and a crazy Mormon Punch concoction made out of Papaya Juice and Sprite served in a Punch Bowl thankyouverymuch. I called it Papaya Punch, cuz it was fun to say.

I had a great time and I think most of our guests did too. At least there weren't any cat fights and no one except these guys stormed out swearing -- pretty typical for them. So that's probably a good indicator.

See you soon with a full bodied tour of our charming casa!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Awesome New Hair Cut

So let's review. This was my hair for the last year or two:


Its a little Farrah a little Heidi but a whole lotta hassle. I just couldn't do it anymore! I needed to embrace my inner straight-haired girl. I love me some curls but for me curls require product + heat + patience + a can of extra hold hairspray. I can't be that high maintenance anymore.

So I decided to do what they say on all of those makeover shows and "work with your hair." Here's the new cut and color (don't you just LOVE the color? I have no idea why I'm the only kid in my family not to have awesome dark hair naturally. I got stuck with golden brown. BOR-ING!)

First of all, I have to say that this cut is for real the easiest to do of ANY hairstyle I've ever had. That includes perms. I seriously just wash it, and dry it and try to make sure I don't dry the bangs sticking up funny. From beginning to end its like 4 minutes. No lie. My snooze button will be seeing a lot more of me now.

One of the other best things about this cut is its versatility!

Want it a little more casual? No problemo ... I just sweep it to one side and Voila!

Dry those bangs funny? Or not feeling bangy that day. A single bobby pin will suffice.

Need a wig to rob a bank in? This look is also included.

Here's the casual, I'm just going to throw my hair up into a pony tail, but still look totally cute look and all you people can just be jealous of me and my casual but perfect style.

And how does it look after a day of running around doing errands and cleaning? Like this:


I don't have to keep fluffing or scrunching or spraying or flipping to make it look cute. IT JUST LOOKS CUTE. PERIOD.

At last I am content.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wherin I Cheat Death and Subsequently Go On A Date With Placido Domingo

Ok guys, so it's been like a coon's age since I wrote, but I was in Ann Arbor for work last week and AA is like so BLAHsville. There's nothing there but bad cream sauce and florescent lighting. Nothing post-worthy about that. So unless I tell the story about the emergency nap I had to take in one of the file rooms because I was almost bored to death there's not much to report.

But now I'm back in DC and already life is back to its technicolor glory.

For example, I put on my Snooty-Snoot duds last night and went to the Opera at the Kennedy Center. I won't bore you with details about it. Even though Placido Domingo was our host and conductor for the evening and was utterly charming. And you probably wouldn't care that the sets were so astonishing the audience literally burst into applause for them. And it would be super boring to tell you about how the just-starting-out performers who were part of Placido's super-student school were peeing their pants with excitement at performing La Traviata at The Kennedy Center. And how I was so excited for them because I just knew that they were going to run backstage after the show and call their moms to tell them that they had justgottenaSTANDINGOVATION fromasoldouthouse At. The. KENNEDY CENTER -SQUUEEEEEEEEE!!!!

That all could be a little dull to report. So I'll just get things back into the proper focus (which is on me of course) and say that I seriously love saying things like, "I'm going to the Opera at the Kennedy Center tonight." Because how many people really get to go to the Kennedy Center for their opera? Its totally famous and on TV and stuff! And its def not in Ann Arbor (no disrespect AA, k? love you!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

At the Shops

My credit card keeps hopping out of my wallet. I can't control the darn thing!! I keep telling it that these are tough economic times and it should be showing more restraint. But it just looks up at me with these big weepy eyes, and says, "But did you see HOW CUTE? Huh?? Did you SEEEEEE?"

Here's the most recent wave of damage ... er, I mean, SUPER CUTE FINDS!

For Playtime (or Casual Friday) : a T-shirt with this awesome, made-just-for-me-but-not-really-cuz-there's-no-way-in-hell-I'm-ever-giving-up-diet-coke logo:

($15 from Seriously, So Blessed)

For Home : this crazy cute poster calendar. You can frame it, and swap out the picture for each month. Buh-BYEEE ugly spirally top calendar. Hello Art.

($28 from my paper store, The Paper Store. It has no online presence because it's a store for paper. See how that works?)

For Work : this sassy Katherine Hepburny shirt will be just the thing to chase away my soon-to-be-winter blues. I can't wait to wear this with gray pants, or black pants, or blue pants. Or my gray pencil skirt, or black pencil skirt, or blue pencil skirt. The options are ENDLESS!

($36 at ModCloth)

I love shopping. Love. Love. LOVE.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wherein Dad Enlists Help

I got this in the mail the other day.

Dear Ms Hanson,

This is a formal request for a written retraction of the attack made on one Gary Hanson for being technically challenged. Be it known that his TV, VCR and DVD are now COMPLETELY operational without the help of the GEEK SQUAD. I'm sure that the world would like to know this, especially after the attack made on his intelligence in the blog of one Gretchen Hanson (his charming and beautiful daughter).

And so I say, Kudos to you dear Papa! How wise of you to invite the neighbor boy over to set it all up for you. Very wise indeed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wherein I Say Random Things and Surprise Myself

ME (to co-workers): Hey! Do any of you guys have a brownie up your sleeve?

[Pulling a brownie out of my sweater sleeve as proof that I am, in fact, the only one present with a brownie up her sleeve. What can I say, sometimes my randomness takes even me by surprise. I choose to think of it as endearing.]

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Pie Hole

Welcome, One! Welcome, All! To our brand new apartment in beautiful, historic Capitol Hill. After examining the features, we have christened it The Pie Hole.

J'taime The Pie Hole!

Let me explain. Our fab apartment makes up the top two floors of a row house. The house itself bends around the corner of North Carolina Ave, onto A street. The result is our apartment ends up being shaped like a slice of pie. Wider at the front of the house, and narrowing to a point at the back. Its kinda like a double-decker slice of pie. To add to the "pie" effect, the floors also slope slightly toward the back of the house. It is pie-like is every way. So of course, that means I LOVE it.

It is also, really old (hellllooo, Historic District? show some respect here, you young whippersnappers!). And a rental. With an absentee landlord. Which makes it just the eensiest bit of a hole. I can't really blame it. I mean, who among us couldn't use 10 grand worth of work done? (rhinoplasty anyone?) But, even without major surgery, its quite amazing what you can do with a Magic Eraser, some contact paper, and a coat of paint. Really quite amazing!

The Pie Hole never met an angle it didn't like. Except that fuddy duddy, Right Angle. Talk about a Par-tay Pooper!! The Pie Hole was right not to let lame-o Right Angle show his boring face anywhere in the whole house. Instead, we get the excitement of those wacky brothers Acute and Obtuse. They are so much fun!! Decorating is like super, duper, SUPER exciting. Camie (our resident interior designer) is really getting to flex her designer muscles!

Ok, so are you ready for a tour? YAY!! A Tour!

After coming in and up the first flight of stairs, you enter the The Living Room (Pie Crust view):

Features include:
  • Bay window
  • Hard wood floors throughout house
  • Built in wainscoating ledge (7" deep)

The Living Room, other direction (Fruit Filled Center view):

  • Fireplace
  • Stairwell from entry way below
  • Ample Sculptural art display area on top of stairwell.

The Kitchen:

  • Cabinets, Cabinets, CABINETS!!!
  • Pretty great view out to the cute backyards of our neighbors
  • Good appliances (fridge keeps food cold, Oven is great, dishwasher cleans dishes!! electric stove - eh, when you can't have gas, electric will do.)

The owner has an odd love affair with spherical sconces. They are in the oddest places, such as this one here:

It has been removed, because it is WAY ugly. And was totally blinding.

Twisty stairway up to the second level:

  • Butt-firming workout

Back bedroom:

  • Great pie-tip angle making bed placement really ... um ... exciting!
  • Huge windows perfect for hauling a box spring through
  • Very nicely sized closet


  • BIG mirror to match my BIG ego
  • Great shower with amazing water pressure and lots of heat
  • Lots of storage space under that huuuuge counter for our ribbons and bows

Front Bedroom (Window View, not such a great picture):

  • Two good sized closets
  • Some of that nice ledge/wainscoating we saw from the living room
  • A bay window
  • TWELVE foot ceilings
  • Very good sized, and chock full of my new besties Acute and Obtuse
And that's it. That's the tour. Don't you just love The Pie Hole!? I do. I Heart it with my whole Pie Loving Heart.

It only makes it that much more loveable that I walked to the Eastern Market (DC's premier outdoor market) on Saturday to buy all kinds of delicious local fruit and veg that I promptly cooked up into some really yummy salad and soup. And tonight I ran laps around Lincoln Park while checking out all of the eye candy who were ALSO running laps. So it's super cute and super fun. But it's also totally going to make me eat better, buy local, hang out with my neighbors, get all skinny, and meet some hot jogger boyfriend. The Pie Hole will make all of my dreams come true. Just you wait and see.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This break from unpacking is brought to you by ...

Hey everybody! I'm still alive. Buried under hundreds of boxes. But alive.

I really should be trying to dig myself out, but I had a chance to be a guest blogger at the amazing Food + Flower + Style, and no amount of sweater organizing was going to keep me from getting a piece of THAT action.

Food + Flower + Style is run by the two most creative and talented people that I actually know in person. They are amazing! If I weren't having a great time living my life, I would definitely trade it in for one of theirs.

I'll be back after I can get my life a wee bit more organized. In the meantime, check out Food + Flower + Style's blog, my post there, and the very stylish store (which is stocked with everything I ever wanted to buy).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mustard Moves House

Saturday Mustard and I packed our bags and moved to our awesome new apartment in Capitol Hill.

It was hands down the most complicated move I have ever been a part of, and I don't mind telling you I stayed up late several nights fretting about how we were going to keep all of the cogs moving. Foolishly, I didn't give myself any overlap days, so I had to do the entire move from top to bottom in one day. The entire process was pretty damn stressful.

Here was the basic plan:

  1. Go to U-Haul, pick up the truck.
  2. Drive it around back to load up all of Camie's stuff that has been in storage for 4 weeks.
  3. Take it to the new apartment to be dropped off
  4. Maneuver everything up one really skinny set of stairs, and for bedroom items up a tight spiral staircase.
  5. Drive to Silver Spring, to load my apartment
  6. Load my apartment
  7. Drive back to Capitol Hill to unload my stuff
  8. Take truck back
  9. Pass out

At each stage we had to make sure we had a crew of people (read: men) who would be able to help. Not as easy to arrange as I'd hoped since there was apparently some sort of out of town Man Convention that all of my men friends claimed they were attending. For those I could get, some could only stay for so long, or arrive at a certain time, so there was a lot of coordinating to do. Plus I needed to make sure every one was fed, had addresses and directions for the multiple locations, and had our cell phones so they could meet up with us en route if need be. An event planner would have been proud!

As I sat there strategizing all of the ins and outs of this move I thought to myself, "You know what? This seems TOO easy. I need something that would make this move more exciting. Kick it up a notch. How about a Tropical Storm? Nothing like torrential rains and hurricane force winds to really motivate your movers!"

So I dialed up Tropical Storm Hanna and said, "Yo, Hanna! Babe! DC has been having the most amazing Summer in the history of the world. I really want to give my friends a treat on my moving day. Do you want to come over and spice things up for us? .... YOU DO?! Excellent. Let's see, I'm scheduled to move at 9. Would 8 AM work for you? Great. See you then!"

And so it was.

My awesome friends took all of the challenges of this move in stride, and were AMAZING! From my point of view it went really well! We all got really, really, and I DO mean REALLY WET. But nothing was ruined and no one got hurt or a cold, so in my book that counts as a resounding success! With any luck they'll stop cursing my name after I take them all out for a battery of very expensive lunches.

P.S. If you want to read the death-defying story of how the box springs were magicked up to our bedrooms, then check this out. There were at least 3 times when I thought for SURE someone was going to the hospital. Or the morgue.

P.P.S. Pictures of the new house will be coming soon. And BEST OF ALL, we have already christened it with the most perfect name.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wherein My Dad and Technology Battle; Dad Loses

For Father's Day I got my Dad a 3 month gift subscription to Blockbuster's Total Access. I thought it was a pretty great gift, since every time I call my parents my Mom reports that my Dad is busy watching TV. In regards to the televisionary arts I am my Father's daughter, so I totally respect and understand the dedication he has to TV and movies.

I thought that even though there was a little bit of technology involved with this present he could probably handle it. After all, he only needed to master his TV, DVD player, one website, and his mailbox. All things that should already be well in hand. Should. 'Should' was the word I should have paid more attention to.

When I gifted him I walked him through how to add movies to his queue and how the whole service worked. We were on target until he called me about a week later and said, "Hi sweetie! I've got a problem. I got the DVD, but my DVD player won't work."

"Oh no! Are you sure? Did you turn the power on?" I asked him. This might sound condescending, but believe me, it's happened before. And when it happens I can always tell because he'll say "Oh, nevermind, I fixed it. Bye!" and hang up. Tricky, Pop, very tricky.

"Yeah, but it's still not working."

"Hmm. Well, you know, there's this cord that comes out of the back of the DVD player. It's probably black. Follow that cord and make sure its plugged into the wall." I said, not sure what level of tech support I could offer from 3000 miles away, but wanting to start with the basics.

He called me a smart-alek and said he'd do some more poking around. And that was the last I thought about it.

Until today.

Today he called and said, "Do you have your tissues handy? Are you ready for a sad story?"

"Sure," I said, "what happened?"

"So remember how I couldn't get my DVD player to work? Well I called Justin, or Dustin, or something at Best Buy and he said he could help me but it would cost $100. I told him I needed to think about it. When I called back they said Justin/Dustin wasn't there, and that I really needed to talk to the Geek Squad. When I told the Geek Squad what the problem was they said that what I really needed was a Home Theater System with a thingamajiggy and a whizbob and that it was going to cost $200. I told them to kiss a pig.

"So, I'm sorry to tell you this, sweetie, but you spent all of that money on my nice present and I only got one DVD. And I wasn't even able to watch it! Now the subscription is expiring. Sorry!"

"Oh, that sucks! But don't worry about it. I'm just sorry that you didn't get to use your present" I said.

"Hey, since I didn't get to use it, doesn't that mean that I get another one?" he asked.

"Uhhhh. No. And, as a matter of fact, I'm not giving you another present until you use the one you have."

"That's not fair! I'm an old man. Do you know that I'm turning 70 this year? You should show me more respect" he pouted.

"I'll put that on my To Do list for 2009 right away! ... TO DO: Respect Dad."

"You're a bad daughter. You know what you can get me for my next present? See's makes some really good candies."

"Pop, See's really good candies will pull your 70 year old teeth out of your head" I pointed out, and he reluctantly agreed.

Silly Dad. But this was a good lesson for me. Next time I'm not getting him anything that was invented after the Industrial Revolution. I'm sure he'll feel right at home with his See's candy and wooden dentures.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We All Say, Good Riddance!

My across the hall neighbor gives me the creeps. I avoid him at all costs and will deliberately hide out in my apartment if I hear him in the hall. Even if that means I'll be late places. But sometimes I get caught and talking to him is unavoidable. On those miserable occasions, this is how our conversation generally goes:

Him: Hi! Been a long time. How YOU doing? (leer)

Me: Fine, thanks.

Him: You're looking good! (leer verging on licking chops)

Me: Er. Thanks. Funny thing, I'm actually trying to set the land record for getting inside my apartment. Would love to chat, but can't. Sorry. Bye-eee!

This conversation, while uncomfortable, is actually pretty weird in person because he has some odd form of turrets that causes him to burst out with loud noises periodically. So our conversation is actually like this:

Him: Hi! Been a BOP! long time. ACK! How YOU doing? AAAAT!

Me: Fine, thanks.

Him: You're lo-AAACK-looking good!

Me: Er. Thanks. You're a smarmy dude and secretly I call you Snap-Crackle-Pop so why don't you just leave me alone? Mmmkay? Thanks. Bye.

Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike him because he's got this turret-ish problem, I dislike him because he's SO DISGUSTING. I feel like I need to take a shower in turpentine after talking to him. ICK.

So I was SUPER happy to come home today and see that movers were inside his apartment boxing everything up. The movers, on the other hand, were NOT SUPER happy to be boxing up his stuff.

As is my habit, ducked into my apartment and I curled up with a book. I was promptly lulled to sleep by the dulcet tones of packing tape screeching and newspaper crumpling, underscored with a loud and cacophonous dialog between the Greek movers. It was a very peaceful nap. But even as I was coming out of this most restful of naps, I could tell that the poor movers were at the end of their rope with my frustrating and icky neighbor. This is what I heard:

Him: You gotta ACK gotta pack my BAP lamp. Don't forget to pack my lamp. BAH!

Greek Mover: De lamp? Ok, packing de lamp.

Crumple, crumple, crumple. Tumble of boxes. Tape screeching. Greek Chorus.

Him: Hey, where's my ACK lamp?

Greek Mover: We pack de lamp.

Him: WHAT!!? The lamp! BAP The Lamp! Where's my lamp? ACK


Greek Chorus, freaking out.

Greek Mover: You told us to packa de lamp!! We PACKA DE LAMP!

Him: Oh. ACH ok. It's packed. BAP Good. This is the box? Ok. Make sure you guys pack my other AHT lamp.

At this point I was tempted to open my door, grab some popcorn and watch the Greeks kill my annoying neighbor. It would have been SO SATISFYING.

Monday, August 25, 2008

If I had $1100 Dollars to Blow

This 3.1 Phillip Lim bag would quickly become my permanent piece of arm candy.

I love its Frank Lloyd Wrightiness. The leather is so soft and supple, I just want to mash my face into it and whisper it sweet nothings all day long. The top of the bag - the part that holds the zipper - is white leather. Its a pity you can't see it in the picture, because you would agree that this splash of white is tres tres chic. In fact, I think that strip of white at the top is my favorite part about the entire bag.

And while I'm spending ridiculous amounts of money, I'll throw this adorable Marc Jacobs dress into my shopping bag.

I think its super quirky and so fun! Not everyone can pull off 80s inspired polka-dots, but I think I could be one of the lucky few. You can click on the picture to get a closer view of the cute seaming and pleat work. (Lovin that ruffly hem!) And to satisfy my risque side, the faux Peter Pan collar is sheer. Oh-la-la!

Le sigh. Ancestors, its at times like these I really wish you had done more to exploit the unwashed masses to build up a massive fortune and thereby leave us, your darling progeny, with very large and very lucrative trust funds.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Fair and Other Assorted Diversions

Oh my gosh you guys, I've been like crazy bizzy lately and have been seriously neglecting ye olde bloggy-blog. Muchos apologies.

But for real, look at all of the junk I've been doing!

First there was there County Fair, where I saw this:

I love a Demolition Derby (who doesn't right!?) but this year's was oh-so-great. It's not every year that cars launch up ON TOP of one another. Or smash through the jersey wall. It was so exciting that I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs, "AWE-SOME! AWE-SOME! AWE-SOOOOOOMEE!!" while punching the air with one fist like some crazed Beattle fan and trying to take pictures with the other.

If the derby itself wasn't in and of itself WAY AWESOME, the night would have been worth it to see this championship mullet.

Behold the mullet.

It leaves me a little breathless, I have to admit.

I hereby dubbed the theme of this fair, The Food On A Stick Fair, and accordingly ate only food on a stick. If it has been a while since you've had a corndog - MEND YOUR WAYS! I forgot how divine they are.

Camie and I are both smiling weird in this picture because we were afraid we had junk stuck in out teeth. I do have junk stuck on my teeth, but it's intentional (and will be gone in a couple more weeks). Also I was balancing a cup of fries and three ketchup cups on my lap. This picture was taken about 2 minutes before one of those ketchup cups turned over, leaving a very attractive red blotch on my thigh. Super duper sexy, as usual.

For dessert, we hit the the ice cream stand. And I wanted a milkshake, but a milkshake isn't Food On A Stick, now is it? No, it is not. But Frozen Bananas are. So a Frozen Banana it was. This is what I learned about frozen bananas: One, they are really hard to bite into. Two, they aren't very tasty, especially when compared to a milkshake. Three, pictures while eating them are, well, rather awkward.

So the fair was awesome, but I've also been doing other great stuff to keep me from blogging. Like going to the beach.

Ahhh .... the beach.

And finally, tonight I had a party at my house. The final bash at my illustrious digs in Silver Spring deserved nothing less than a Taco Sundae Sunday. Tacos + Ice Cream Sundaes + Sunday = One Great Par-Tay. I, for one, had a great time, and I think my guests did too. Unfortunately, I was too busy having a great time and directing people to the taco bar or the ice cream bar to remember to take any pictures. Hostessing is very important and demanding work, so I can totally see why people hire photographers for these kinds of things.

Anyway, with all of this going on, you can see how blogging has fallen by the wayside. But next week I will be packing up my house which means I'll be blogging ALL OF THE TIME as I procrastinate sorting through all of my junk.