Oct 29, 2014

Bucko's Big Visit

As a new teenager I was an irrepressible bitch. I didn't even bother with angst, I just moved right on to anger. One minute I'd be mad at someone for bothering me and the next I'd bitch them out for ignoring me. I'd blame it on the hormones, but then how would I explain Bucko?

Bucko, my newly teen-aged little sister, is not a bitch. Whereas no one in my family wanted to hang out with me as a young teen (my own grandmother told me she couldn't stand when I came over because of "the big ass chip" on my shoulder), everyone wants to hang out with Bucko. She's, like, the coolest kid ever. She's always been like that, very mature and easygoing. You can take her anywhere without hesitation because she's never been the kind of kid you can't stand.

We started planning Bucko's birthday surprise about a month before the big day. She'd only been to visit us down here in DC once, back in 2012 when we got married, so I thought she'd enjoy a parent-free trip to the big city before she turned the big 1-3. She was scooped up on a Friday evening by my sister, Robin, and her husband, Zack. Her bag had been secretly packed the night before and she was carted off without a single mention as to where they were headed. I thought she'd figure it out pretty quickly, but she fell asleep early on in the trip and awoke 4  hours later in front of our apartment. Either that or she feigned ignorance so as not to disappoint the adults. She's smart like that.

I pretty much forgot to take pictures all weekend, so I only have a few to share but the ones I did take do a great job of showcasing the wide range of facial expressions my family can pull off. It's impressive.

Saturday found us at Taste of DC, a street fair with cheap samples from a bunch of DC restaurants and food trucks, where we ate our fill of churros, vegan mac n' cheese (a crowd pleaser), collard greens, Cuban sandwiches, cornbread, cheesy empanadas, nachos, egg rolls, and whatever else didn't have an insanely long line (we're not patient people). 

Afterwards we meandered downtown for a while then took the train home to take care of the dogs and rest before heading back out to dinner at Matchbox Pizza (we take everyone and Bucko had never been!). 

When we got home I busted out the chocolate cake with peanut butter icing I make from scratch for the birthday girl. Everyone was full, though, so we saved it for breakfast the next day. Even better! Fun fact: I love chocolate, I love peanut butter, but I hate chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. Everyone else said it was good, though. 

 And that was Bucko's Big (Brief) Visit! 

Bonus photo: Bucko's always wanted to dye her hair with hair chalk, but had never gotten permission. So of course I bought her a pack and we striped her up good before sending her home on Sunday. It's what big sisters are for. 

Oct 27, 2014

The Evil Alphabet

Story time! Last week, I believe it was Tuesday, I was approached by a young man (mid-twenties-ish) while I stood on a busy street waiting for my shuttle to work. He was wearing sweatpants, a hoodie, a winter hat, and just one glove. All black. He also had a bushy beard. He asked me if I smoked cigarettes at all. He actually used the phrase "at all," which I found funny. He was holding a half-smoked cigarette and clearly looking for a lighter so if I said "only on Wednesdays under a full moon" he'd still be shit out of luck.

Anyway, I said "No, sorry." (I do that thing that women do where they apologize for things they shouldn't apologize for.) I expected him to move on to the next hopeful like I'd seen him do with a few people before me, but instead he stood there. After a few beats he said "So what do you do here in DC?"

"Oh, great," I thought, "he's going to hit on me before I've had my coffee." I don't like being hit on. It's unnerving and I'm far too civil to just tell someone to fuck off. Plus, I was surrounded by a bunch of people who were also waiting for the shuttle to work and he hadn't done anything to warrant a "fuck off" response, so I answered him politely.

"I work for the State Department," I said. And then it got weird.

"The State Department? Hoooooo-WEE. That sounds better than the letter 'A.'"

Chuckling, I responded "I guess so." And then he went into a 5 minute rant about the alphabet.

"The letter 'A' is bad. It's worse than the letter 'N.' 'N' is inherently wrong. In fact, it's the base of the word 'wrong.' Did you know that?"

"No, I did not," I replied.

"Yes, you did. Come on, you know how to spell 'wrong,' right? W-R-O-N-G. 'N' is the base of wrong, right?"

"Sure, yeah" I said, thankful I had my sunglasses on because I was side-eyeing all over the place trying to see if anyone else was listening to this.

"It's also the base of 'sin.' The word 'sin.' It's got the letter 'N' right there. Same with the letter 'A'. It's the base of annihilate, obliterate, eradicate. And we teach kids that it's good with words like awesome and education and amazing. We teach them those things are good, but the only reason we think those words are good is because our language tells us it is. But we don't really know."

At this point I'd taken to simply nodding or throwing out a "hmm," all the while wishing my bus would hurry the hell up. Also, he's shouting. Not an angry shout, mind you. More of an Evangelical shout, which is appropriate given the next topic.

"Language was written way before I was born. Before my grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's [he says it like 8 more times] grandfather. Your's too. The Bible, the Koran, the Torah. They're all made up of languages, of letters. Evil was set in the alphabet years and years ago. All because someone made up the alphabet and decided the letters were bad. A is bad. It's right there in the word 'bad.' N is bad. It's right there in the word 'sin.' But what is sin? We don't know. We only know what the alphabet tells us. Do you know the alphabet? A B C D E F G..."

"Sure do."

"Yeah, you know it because you memorized it. But who gave you the letters to memorize? Education. The alphabet. Someone decided all of that for you and you were forced to memorize it. Christianity teaches us that sin is bad but who taught them the language of sin is bad?"

I'm so amused and bewildered at this point that I was almost disappointed when my bus pulled up. I said something along the lines of "There's my bus, gotta go, nice talking to you!" and started walking away.

"Merci!" he called after me. "Merci for listening!"

Because if he'd said "thanks" he would have used both the letters A and N. And, well, we all know the evil in that.


Oct 22, 2014

Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same. Some will grow to be butchers, or bakers, or candlestick makers. Some will only be really good at making Jell-O salad. One way or another, though, every human being is unique, for better or for worse.  


Oct 20, 2014

Currently: October

Waiting for Taylor Swift's new album to come out! #fangirl #tswizzy #7days

Listening to
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet, GOOD.

Finishing Lena Dunham's book. I used to think I didn't like her but I think I just expected not to so I ran with it but now it's been decided. I like her. I do. 

Wearing a coat! Write this date down so next summer while lying in a pool of my own sweat I can murmur "October 20th...it'll be cool again by October 20th..."

Making souuuuuup. All the soup. Okay, just three soups (so far!): chili, vegetable, and roasted tomato. 

Sharing is caring. Now give me your wallet.

Going to a crafty meet-up in my hood this week. So that's exciting. 

Becoming a bit of a snob where coffee is concerned. 

Deciding whether to pay for a gym membership (that shit is crazy expensive in the city) or just buy more free weights for the home gym set-up.

Heading to San Diego for Halloweeeeeeen! 

Appreciating that the ankle injury I sustained on Friday is mild and already feels much better because when it happened I was sure I snapped all of the important pieces in there. 

Enjoying the cool, crisp days before they become freezing, bone-chattering days.

Feeling like things are working and clicking and jiving in my head where weight loss is concerned.  

Loving life in DC. 

Knowing that life in DC is going to get dark and dour in the cold months and I need a hobby to sustain me. Or cable. 

Laughing at the people on the train this morning in hats and gloves. It was, like, 45 degrees. 

Thinking about this week's meal plan. I want to make either potato soup or lasagna soup. Or taco soup. I'll just let Sam decide. 

Fighting a bread addiction. Bringing home fresh loaves from the farmer's market doesn't help. Luckily we polished off that situation in roughly 24 hours and now I'm going cold turkey.

Saying I swear I'm going to post more! My laptop is dead in the keys (but her guts work just fine) so I ordered a wireless set-up and should be up and running again in no time (actually two days because Amazon Prime). 

Feeling good. And a little bit sleepy. Afternoon coffee it is, then. 

Oct 7, 2014

October 7, 2014

Let it be known that today there was a pumpkin pie the size of Rhode Island in my office and I did not eat any of it.

Instead I took myself on a quick one mile walk.

That is all.

Oct 6, 2014

Shame on Repeat

Today I was reading through old blog posts, as I sometimes do, and I realized that at roughly this time last year I also trying to lose a certain amount of weight by my birthday and it also was not going well. I had completely forgotten about my 30 by 30 goal and my "I can do it, I know I can!" attitude.

The sad part is that I was 10 lbs lighter than I am now when I made that declaration. I obviously did not succeed and that's why this year's round of "lose this much by this date" is 40 by 31. Will next year be 50 by 32? I really fucking hope not, but I'm not willing to place anymore bets in this space. It's downright embarrassing.

Oct 2, 2014

A Look Back at Those Pesky September Goals

I made a few goals at the beginning of September. Spoiler alert: most didn't come to fruition. But a few did, so let's discuss! 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
1. Go apple picking.
Nope. Didn't do that. But I have a pumpkin picking outing scheduled for October!

2. Follow the POP Pilates 30 day beginner calendar and videos. 
This lasted one week and I'm pretty mad at myself about it. So I'm going to call a redo for October. I'm already behind because I was sick yesterday, but I can make it up. 

3. Finish 4 books.
I DID finish 4 books!... but they weren't the 4 books I had already started. I also joined a book club, so I now have a reason to start even more books. It's a good problem to have, really.

4. Make an apple pie from scratch.
No, but I did eat an apple dumpling at the fair...and then 1.5 more at home. And I drank about a gallon of cider. So we're all set on the apple front.

5. Blog more!
I did! A little bit? 

6. Set up and follow a budget.
I set one up but I haven't followed it (or even looked at it), so no, not really.

7. Start Christmas shopping. 
Gold star! I got a few things this past weekend. 

8. Do yoga 3x a week.
Not. Even. Once. And I love yoga! What is wrong with me? 

9. Buy an alarm clock (with battery backup, of course).

10. Lose 7 lbs. 
Welllll, I lost 3 lbs and then I went to the fair and since then I've been afraid to weight myself. Check back at the end of October, 'kay?

Sooo, 2 outta 10 ain't bad? No, yeah, you're right. That's pretty bad.