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.