Sunday, December 30, 2012

:::Caved - Instagram:::

I have joined Instagram! Just in time for them to use my photos in advertisements. Can you imagine? My face in the papes! Huzzah!

 Click on the link above to follow me.

Friday, December 28, 2012


It snowed here on Christmas Day, and yeah, it was the best thing ever.

It's been in the 30s all week, which is also fantastic considering that we were still having 80 degree days at the beginning of the month.

Hallelujah, amen!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

:::The Teens Say 'YOLO':::

On Sunday, in an effort to save some rapidly spoiling produce, I chopped up a couple varieties of apples and an Asian pear and made this apple-ly cinnamon-ish side dish that was so good that I ate some then froze the rest.

"Wouldn't this be so nice to serve to company?" I thought to myself as I slid the container into the freezer. "With a pork roast, perhaps, on a cold, winter night?"

Well, I hate pork roasts, and I never have company, and 9:45 pm on a Tuesday night is as just as good as any time.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

:::Cool Kidz Club:::

:::Yesterday I bought boxes and boxes of old Christmas balls at Salvation Army for .50 cents a box. I've never had a fully decorated tree before, and thought it would take me years to build up a collection. Huzzah!

:::I had a phone upgrade available that I'd been sitting on since June, so yesterday I joined the 21st Century and got an iPhone. Yeah, I'm pretty cool now.

:::Yesterday I also bought a second Christmas tree for my balcony. Merp.

:::if you send me a text message, I'll be responding from my iPhone 5.

:::If you call me, I'll be accepting the call from my iPhone 5.

:::Please let me know how often you'd like to receive selfies from me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

:::Just a Snippet:::


  • Just finished Call the Midwife. Very good at the beginning, kind of ends with a whimper. I wish there had been more of Chummy because she was fantastic. I'm looking forward to getting a hold of the miniseries, which has some of my favorite actresses in it - Miranda Heart, Pam Ferris, and Jenny Agutter.
  • Am making tomato soup. I still love Mark Bittman. During the Christmas Season the first screen of the How to Cook Everything app has snow falling across the title. It delights me more than it probably should. 
  • Am listening to my Instrumental Holiday station on Pandora. I know it's a little cheesy, but I love the Nutcracker. Last year we went to a performance put on by a local dance school, and I cried without shame during the Adagio. So beautiful. It pains, and lifts my soul at the same time. 
  • Anxious about my new job. I started a paralegal position at a law firm three weeks ago, and it's been an extremely difficult adjustment. Towards the end of my contract job I had made friends with many of my coworkers and loved the team dynamic we had, so it was hard to leave that behind. I didn't feel very confident in accepting this new position, but staying at a lower-paying contract job didn't make logical sense. Sigh, alas. I still meet up with one of my coworkers and my department director for dinner on occasion. 
  • Have realized that things that terrify me at first may turn out to be just fine down the road. Even things that shake me with fear can turn out to be kind of great. Dear self, please see the above re new job.
  • Am looking forward to my home teachers coming this week. I've been feeling so down lately, and having the support of people from church has been a great blessing. Speaking of blessings, I've made a friend in the ward who is so wonderful. She is the greatest, and there have been multiple times in the past few months where I've sent a text message warning her that I was on my way and could really use a blessing from her husband. By the time I get there they've already called over another priesthood holder to assist, and then they take the time to ask me about my struggles. I love them. These have been some difficult months for me, and having someplace to go for support just means so much.
  • Am going to finish this list now, and go string lights on my balcony. Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 28, 2012

:::What Can I Say?:::

I had a dream Monday night that blogging friend Jill called me to see what my deal was. In the dream I told her, 'Remember last year when we were sitting at Michelle's dining room table, and I had no idea what to say for myself, about myself, about my life, what I wanted, what I thought I needed? How I couldn't form coherent thoughts about the direction I was taking? How I just didn't know anything? I still feel that way. It's been a year now.'

1. My friend MBC posted a few weeks ago about the many disappointments of Pinterest. How true. I can tell you that the marshmallow-as-frosting trick does not work. Horrible, horrible lie.

I do have a trick that works, but I didn't see it on Pinterest. At a recent Relief Society activity on simplifying, they passed out homemade shower cleaner made from 4 ounces of white vinegar and 4 ounces of blue Dawn detergent. Not sure how crucial it is that it's BLUE Dawn...Anyhow, heat the vinegar in microwave until hot and pour it into a squirt bottle. Add Dawn, put the lid on and gently shake. Spray on tile/fixtures, scrub and rinse. Let soak on tough soap scum overnight then scrub and rinse.

2. I started a new job about a month ago. It's a contract position thing that will probably end in December-ish? Who knows. The work isn't super fancy, but can be interesting. The people are nice. The end.

3. I think about DC every day. I want to go back but don't want to go back at the same time. I still don't feel settled here, but I don't think I ever feel settled anywhere. My visiting teacher told me I have commitment issues. True.

4. My camera broke, so I don't have any recent pictures for you. All the old pictures I have of the past year are on my external hard drive.

5. I've been experimenting with no-knead bread lately. I had a batch ready to bake tonight, but decided to smash it down and roll it out into rectangles instead of making a loaf. This combination is both pleasing to the belly and the eye -- whole wheat flatbread dough topped with sauteed red onions and mushrooms, sliced honeycrisp apple, and blue cheese. A picture would work so well here.

6. It's still hot.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

:::Thoughts In My Head Today:::

:::Everything in life takes so much tiiiiime.
:::Am I a good example of anything?
:::We sang Called to Serve in Primary today. This line stuck in my head, "Chosen e'er to witness for His name."
:::I've turned the air conditioning down/off to cut down on my expenses. I'm doing alright, considering it's been 105-ish+ for days.
:::Texas has delicious peaches. I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on some tonight for dinner, and it made them worse. Worse! The peaches are so delicious they make cinnamon and sugar taste disgusting.
:::I need a new job.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

:::They Fry the Pie:::

My trip to the peach orchard out in the wilds of Texas (not really). There was a line to get in! The ice cream was deloyshuss, completely deloyshuss. The fried pie...sigh. 

I love you, fried pie. I love you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

:::In the Mirror, Cows, and Peaches. Still Single.:::

I should blog more often, but sometimes I reread my posts and I really don't like the me that comes through. I think, 'Ooh, I haaaaaaaaaate you. You negative, complaining, weird, person.'

I should write about the things that I love about Texas. I love the little area that I live in, this little pocket that I've tucked myself into. I love the wide open spaces just a short drive down the road, the cows and horses everywhere, the fields that stretch on and on, and the big, big skies.

I love my ward. The people have been so open and friendly. My bishop is great and has been so nice to me. I have a calling now that I enjoy. Just as my annual late-winter malaise was setting in and I was thinking about becoming a sacrament only church attender (I go through this each year), I was called to team-teach the 9-10 year old class in Primary. I like teaching, but my favorite part is when we all come together for sharing time, and even for singing time, which I despised with a passion as a child.

The week that I interviewed for my new job I got my hair cut. The dude took at least 4 inches off. I still haven't recovered from it.

I love how it is light in the morning when I wake up, and light so late in the evening. While I prefer the cold of winter, you can't beat the mood-lifting effect of summer sunshine.

I go to the temple once a week now that I have a car. The Dallas temple has grown on me with it's gray stone and awesome 70s architecture. I wish it weren't in such a busy area, but not all temples can be gloriously set against a beautiful mountain range.

I miss Utah daily, but wonder if I will ever, ever get back. I think I'm going to be here in Dallas for longer than I originally supposed. Or maybe not. Who can say. But I have a feeling this isn't going to be the quick stop-over that I imagined.

I no longer want to live in London. I know. Apparently this is earth shattering news only to myself. My friend Michelle said I'm too free-spirited for London. True. I've always had a secret, secret desire to visit Australia, so that's my sometime-in-the-future-when-I-have-3k-for-airfare dream.

Someone told me about an orchard in East Texas that has amazing peaches, so that's where I'm going this weekend. Ok, they have amazing peaches and peach ice cream. That's really why I'm going. Fruit is for nerdz*. Ice cream forever.

Speaking of food, I made a copycat Chick-Fil-A Nugget recipe today. It wasn't as good as Chick-Fil-A, so there's something to be said for paying for the original. Also, now I have multiple servings of fried chicken bits calling out to me each time I go into the refrigerator. I know cooking at home is more cost effective, but going through the drive-thru and buying one single serving is more health effective. Done in one. No lingering temptations.

Speaking of single servings, my greatest yearning for family is so that I can bake cakes and not be responsible for eating them all on my own. Sigh. I just want to bake cakes! But I know myself too well. Even though I'm not a sugar person, who can resist the call of caaaaaake? I pray for children with highly-tuned metabolisms to enter my life. Amen.

Speaking of being single, I just accepted another calling to be our ward's single adult rep. Oi. The extension of this calling precipitated a late night panicked email to my Bishop, plus a special sit-down with him before church one Sunday. Oi. I really, really didn't want to turn down a calling, so after talking to the Bishop about it I said (through tears), 'Ok, ok...ok, I'll do it. Ok. It should be ok.' Apparently it's for the 30+ group, which we called mid-singles back East. For someone who voluntarily removed herself from the singles scene at 26 and started going to a family ward, being asked to serve in this calling caused a minor crisis. As I told the Bishop, I don't hate being single, I hate having to identify as a single person. What does it matter at this point, you know? I just feel like it's such a young person's issue, which may not make any sense, but I have always looked forward to being old enough to be out of range for the single thing. Just so I could move on, you know? And just be a regular person, regardless of being single or married.

Sigh, bed time.


Sometimes I reread old posts and think, 'Ha, ha. You're funny. I like you.'

*JK, I'm an unrepentant fruit addict. I'm eating a giant bowl of watermelon as I write this. But homemade peach ice cream? Come on! Forget the fruit!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I finally realized what's been stifling me over the past...year?

I feel like an underclassman again. You know how it is. By the time you reach the 8th grade you think you know everything. Good and bad, you've lived through it all. You've got life skills. You know the game. You may not kill it on a daily basis, but at least you know, you know, the stuff you're supposed to know.

Then, boom -- first day of high school. You're a newbie. You know nothing. You didn't realize before how big the game was. It is massive and you know nothing, nothing at all. You're a small fry. Aaand, you have to learn everything all over again.

I hate it. When I look backwards on my twenties, I feel like a war veteran. When I look forward, I feel like it's the first day of kindergarten and I have years and years of, I don't know, stuff to fill in. And no idea how to do it.

The kids came over to swim on Saturday. I thought only Molly was going to be able to come. When all three  jumped out of the car in their swim gear it was the happiest moment of the past month.

As I hastily packed snacks for the pool I was transported back in time to the daily beach trips we took as children. Why does everyday food taste so much better at the beach? I remember chips, fruit, and tuna sandwiches with relish and a little bit of Huntington Beach sand.

We had the pool to ourselves and had so much fun. Then we watched movies and went through two drive-thrus at lunch so everyone would be happy. These are such good kids. Just good, good kids. I like to spoil them because it makes them happy, and it makes me laugh. Ha, ha.

I started a new job last week. I'm back at a law firm because I'm a glutton for punishment. I think anyone who knew me in DC would be shocked. I know I am. But, 30 hit and I felt the need to upgrade my work life. I always said I didn't want to be answering phones by 30, so needs must.

I'm an Office Manager/Paralegal now for a small group that has attorneys scattered across a few states. I'm not sure how this experience will go. My job in DC definitely prepared for this because I ended up taking on so much that was falling through the cracks above my position. In this new position there is also so much to do, but since I'm more or less in charge this time around, once the problems are sorted out it should be smoother sailing. The managing partner is very eager for things to be fixed. Eager can quickly turn into impatient when attorneys are concerned, but this isn't my first rodeo, so I should be ok. If not, I'll get another job. Ha, ha. I've done it before, I can do it again.

Speaking of DC, it's almost been a year since I left. I still don't feel that I actually live here. I keep expecting someone to call me and tell me that it's time to come back home and get back to real life. I don't feel sad about being gone, but I still feel like I'm gone. Like DC is base camp and this is something funny I'm doing in Texas. We shall see. As I said, I know nothing of life at this point. I am as a child.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

:::Neck Monster Meets Lelly:::

Almost a year ago to the day, I met blogger Lelly on the Mall, and it was awesome.

Because Lelly is awesome. At this point I was still vacillating between staying in DC or moving to Texas. It was a mighty struggle, as most of my struggles are because of drama! and fatalism! and lack of belief! Talking to Lelly that afternoon with winds whipping us on every side provided a moment of calm and clarity in troubled times.

My description of Lelly --

Lelly is cool. You want to be her friend. She is that upperclassman that you always wanted to be. Not the Homecoming Queen, but the actual cool girl who had the confidence to follow her heart, befriend all kinds of people, and stand where she knew she should be.

Lelly has strength that comes from knowing who she is, and from knowing that who she is will constantly change as she travels through life.

There is a sensibility to Lelly's approach to motherhood that I liked a lot. A lot. Listening to her talk about Jack, and to Jack on the phone when he called to tell her about something he had just seen, it was just great. Lelly is Jack's mom, 100%. But, she is also still Lelly, with her own stories, her own past, her own experiences, 100%. I think the strength she has in both roles feed each other.

Lelly has the gift of recognizing and communicating the lessons she has learned in life in a way that will benefit you the most. This was so helpful to me. I desperately needed someone to provide some framing for me.

Lelly is motivating. I felt very freed by our conversation. I knew everything would be ok, regardless of what I did.

Lelly can be incisive and challenging without judgement. She was able to question some negative thought patterns I had without making me feel attacked or belittled.

Lelly is hip. She's got a vibe.

Lelly is the kind of woman who 70s folk musicians wrote songs about. She's been a lot of places, seen a lot of things, and her she is before you now.

If I had one million dollars I would pay Lelly to run my life, amen.

Lelly, one year later, thank you for taking the time to meet me. It was just what I needed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games Review

I and all the teens, plus their parents (thanks for the ride, mom and dad!) saw Hunger Games tonight. Verdict: Excellent, fantastic, phenomenal adaptation.

Bullet-point list of my favorite parts --


  • Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. I loved him so much. He was perfectly cast, and he is going to break my heart in the next movie.
  • Woody Harrelson as Hamitch. Marry me. Well, stop drinking first, then marry me.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket. Um, that's Jack Donaghy's wife! She was particularly excellent in the Reaping scene. So enthusiastic, so clueless.
  • Stanley Tucci was made for Caesar Flickerman.
  • Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. Spot on.  Katniss and Peeta look exactly, exactly as I imagined them. And she is gorgeous, my goodness.
  • Donald Sutherland -- You, sir, scare me no matter what role you play. If I saw you walking down the street I would assume I was about to meet some type of twisted, cruel fate.
  • The most visually stunning parts of the movie were the beginning scenes in District 12. I think the film makers did an excellent job juxtaposing the poverty of the area with the pomp and richness of the visiting Capitol guests without over doing anything. 
  • There were parts of the arena that looked exactly, exactly as I imagined them. I love it when a book is translated the way you imagined. That doesn't happen often.
  • The nightly recaps inside the arena that were broadcast in the sky were very well done. I wasn't sure how that would work on film, or if the announcements would sound cheesy, but they pulled it off. 
  • In general, the directors were just very smart about the visual story telling.  I think when people adapt works of fantastical fiction what they often forget is that we are supposed to believe that the story is real. In their effort to portray the magic on screen they often lose the realness that authors try so hard to hook you into. Not so with this movie. I never felt like they were trying to make me believe that OMGOODNESS IT'S HUNGER GAMES!!!  It was what it was. In the book it says there was a cornucopia in the middle of a field, so there you go, there it is. The filming was clear and bright, no tricky lens work, no gauzy overlays -- it was what it was. You see everything the way you would see it if it was happening in real life. I appreciate the filmmakers giving the viewers that opportunity.
  • As I said, the visuals in District 12 are stunning. The tone for the film is set right off the bat. Love, loved the cinematography.
  • And here is my favorite part of the movie - There is little to no scoring for most of the film. I loved that. I think it really dropped you into the action because you experience everything the way the characters would. No playing on your emotions with sad, heart wrenching music (cough, Lost, cough), or big heroic sweeps, just silence. I also think this was a smart idea because it allowed a stronger focus to be placed on the songs of the Mockingjays, which is maybe not a crucial part of the three books, but it is a connecting factor, a common thread throughout.
  • The relationship between Katniss and Prim felt so real, as did the relationship between Katniss and her mother. There was always a part of Katniss that I felt I never got while I was reading the books, but something clicked as she was saying goodbye to her family, especially during her parting words with her mother. It just worked. 
  • Knowing now what I know about the Gale and Katniss, I think they did a good job of laying that foundation. PS -- I thought Collins handled their relationship so well in Mockingjay. That moment in the book when they come to grips with the parachute thing, what Gale realizes at that point about their relationship, wow. So sad, but I felt it was what would have happened, and what was there all along if you were looking for it.
  • The Capitol idiots. Only in the background, but completely believable. I could see our world being that world. We've done similar things before, right?  Panem et circenses, indeed. 

The funny thing is that I didn't read Mockingjay until this week even though I bought the book the day it was released. I just didn't want the story to end, and I didn't want to deal with more sadness. As I was watching the movie I remembered how incredibly sad this story is. Real people really die. Children murder children, teens murder teens. Panem is a horrible place. The people in the Capitol are vapid idiots who cheer on a yearly blood bath. President Snow is completely evil. Seeing the Hunger Games movie makes this very real. I wouldn't take anyone under the age of 12 to see this one. A tribute death shocks every time. The killing doesn't stop, but at the same time, it's never gruesome or over the top. I don't know how they struck that balance, but while I felt unsettled I never felt grossed out.

All in all, I totally loved it even though my heart is broken. The Rue thing will d.e.s.t.r.o.y. you. Katniss saying goodbye to Cinna before she rises up into the arena will crush your soul. You will be filled with hot, mad rage as you watch the kids prepare for the games and realize that it isn't a joke, they actually do this. But, somehow, I loved the experience. Well done, Hunger Games, well done.

And now I'll end on maybe a weird segue, but it's wrapped up in my Hunger Games experience, so here you go. 

Undoubtedly, as you read the books or watched the movies you said to yourself, 'I'm so glad this isn't real!' Well, as I was reading Mockingjay this week, and again while I was sitting in the theater tonight, another story kept coming to the forefront of my mind. A story about young, poor children separated from their families, dragged into mortal combat by the evil machinations of those in power, and forced to live lives that we could not possibly imagine were real. This story, like many others, is completely true. I found it in a book that I read in DC called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. 

Please find it at your library, or buy it online or from a bookstore. Beah is an excellent writer. This book rocked me to my core, and I don't say that lightly. There are children right now in this world living through unimaginable trials. Horror is a part of every day life for too many. We need to be aware of these stories, and find ways to help.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Apparently there hasn't been much of a winter here this year. Seems to be that way in many places.

It's been unseasonably warm lately, which has, in turn, thrown nature out of whack. It's the end of February, and the flowering trees are already blooming!

I took those photos yesterday morning. Today the tree looks like this --

I was going to do a balcony garden again this year, but with this sudden onset of Spring, I'm afraid I might have missed my window of opportunity! Ha, ha.

I wonder how the trees on the Tidal Basin are doing?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

:::Long Time Gone:::

It took me three attempts before my browser would open up my blog. How fitting, as I've let this space fall by the wayside for so long now.

I've moved into an apartment near the place that I work. My shortest commute yet -- 5 minutes from door to door (by automotive vehicle).

Next month I turn 30, which will be great. I feel steady and calm, and happy that I will never again in my eternal existence have to say that I'm twenty-_______.

See you soon.