Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Brain Hurts.

September is a really long month when you work with or for the government.  It's the last month of the year, so any and all unallocated funds need to be used.  This creates a lot of last-minute work for us minions.  As a result, I've been working ridiculous hours and feel like I haven't left the office since, well, August.

There's also just been a lot of bad lately.  Long hours, car accidents, exhaustion, sickness.  I'm just so tired, you guys.

I read this on Ashley's blog  and asked her if it was okay to take it for my own.  A fellow redhead, I'd like to think she gave me permission out of solidarity.

A. Age: Just barely 24

B. Birthplace: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

C. Chore you hate: Just about all of them.  I've gotten used to cleaning the litter box and vacuuming, but I'm not a fan of cleaning.  Don't worry--just because I don't like it doesn't mean I don't do it!

D. Dogs: My mom has a dog, but so far none for us.  I feel bad keeping a dog in our apartment, so we're waiting until we have a house.  We want a Westie and a big dog.  

E. Essential start to your day: Checking my email as soon as I wake up.  A sign of the times.

F. Favorite Color: Dark purple and gray.  

G. Gorges on: Candy!  It's what I crave when I'm stressed, happy, in love, scared, sleepy...

H. Hoards: Mascara.  I need at least one unopened tube at all times.

I. Instruments you play: I used to play the piano.  I think I could handle the triangle.

J. Job Title: Training Coordinator

K. Kicks: I wear my Toms to commute (they now have multiple about classy) and I have black heels of varying heights in my desk drawer.  On the weekend, it's my Toms, sandals in the summer or flats.

L. Last read: What'd I read last?!  I think it was the memoirs of the author of Orangette.  

M. Music all-time fave: The Beatles

N. Nicknames: Em.  Easy peasy.  (That's not my nickname; it's just an easy nickname to have when your name is Emily.)

O. Office decor: I have pictures of my family and Nick, as well as a heart banner I got at Paper Source last winter and some gifts I've been given.  Also lots of papers, training catalogs and shopping bags I keep forgetting to take home.  And there's a dirty Crate and Barrel mug hanging out.  I need to wash that.

P. Phobias: Lizards and frogs, crickets.  Heights.
Q. Quote of the day: "You can't fix stupid.  Lord knows I've tried." - Dad

R. Random fact: I don't like guacamole, but I do like avocados.  Sit on that.

S. Siblings: Just Jake.  He's 22.

T. Things that tick me off: Laziness, procrastination, bragging and elitism.

U. Underwear: Right now?  They're navy.

V. Vegetables you hate: Squash

W. Word of the day: Accident

X. Xylophone concerts given: I'll have to check my records.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Everything I make is yummy!  Haha.  Actually I make a mean snickerdoodle and my buttercream icing is to die for.

Z. Zoo animals: Giraffes.  

So now look at what you know!  Someone should write a book about me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday

I wanted to write this before it got pushed out of my brain to make room for some useless piece of information (most likely related to Eleanor, work or grocery shopping).

I've been dying to see my parents lately.  Last week I looked at plane tickets to see if I could feasibly go home for a weekend next month.  (No.)  I bug them all the time about coming up.  It was really hard for me to think that I wouldn't see them again until Christmas, and hadn't seen them since June.  I was quickly becoming the depressed girl at work, because all I thought about was how much I missed my family and how unfair it was that my coworkers got to see theirs regularly, even if they don't live in the area.

My birthday was last Friday.  I took the day off but hadn't planned anything.  Nick kept bugging me about it, where we would go eat or what I would do on my day off, but every time I sat down to think about it, I become overwhelmed and had to stop.  So I said I didn't know, I'm too busy to think about it, and pushed it away.  Thursday afternoon was rough.  Work was a monster and I was looking forward to a night of more working (after over eight hours already in the office), washing all my clothes because I was wearing my last clean bra, and cooking an uninspired chicken dinner.  I wasn't pleased with the entire situation, and I kept thinking that if I still lived in Florida, I'd at least have people to spend my time with.

My mom and dad had had a lot of interest in my birthday in the weeks leading up to it, asking what I had planned and what I wanted, what was happening, what I would do on my day off.  I never had an answer besides "Nothing."  Thursday, my mom told me she wanted me to open my gifts as soon as I got home--she knew they'd be arriving by Priority Mail that afternoon.  Feeling especially sorry for myself, I told her I had too much to do and couldn't think about it at the moment.  All I could think about was this shitty birthday I'd be spending alone (well, with Nick, but I'd be alone all day) and I had no one to blame but myself, because I wanted to take a job hundreds of miles away from everyone I know.  I don't have any friends, my family is far away, and my cat hates me.  Might as well go stick my head in the oven.

I got off the Metro Thursday and got on the elevator, climbing the twenty stories to the mezzanine level to make the long, depressed trek home.  And then I saw them.  My parents were standing just outside the gates, holding gifts and a birthday cake.  I couldn't believe it.  I immediately started crying.  I wasn't even embarrassed.  Wouldn't you?  They told me they got in this morning, it's been planned for at least a month.  They knew we couldn't be together for Thanksgiving, so they wanted to do something special for my birthday.  As we walked to my apartment, I kept thinking how this wasn't really happening, and yet, it was exactly as I wanted and imagined.  All day I thought about how I wanted my parents to show up, and there they were, walking down Georgia Avenue next to me, petting my cat once we got inside and telling me it was okay my apartment was a mess.

I opened all the gifts and we sat and talked.  Nicholas had no idea they were there.  I think he was even more surprised than I was.  We all went out to dinner.  I couldn't believe it.  I was getting what I wanted for my birthday.

So I spent a great weekend with my parents.  We didn't do a whole lot--they wanted to see the renovated American History museum, but the rain kept us inside most of Friday.  Mostly we walked around and shopped.  I took my mom to my yarn store, and Saturday we went to Bethesda and Arlington, driving around and seeing what they don't usually get to see.  I didn't want it to end.  I wanted them to move up here, or for us all to move somewhere else together.  (I'm not moving to Florida.  No way, no how.)  We talked about the living situation up here, how Nick thinks I may lose it if we spend more than a couple years here.  They tried to buy me things and I politely refused each and every one.  We took them to District Taco so they could discover the beauty and wonder found in that little restaurant.  They left Sunday morning and I was immediately depressed.

I'm so happy they came up, and I'm so lucky to have them as my parents.  I don't know how they knew I needed to see them, but they did.  It's so hard to be up here with only Nick and Eleanor, trying to make it and not being sure if I even want to.  I know I'm not even the first person to do this, so I shouldn't be so pitiful, but I am.  I look around and see people who are surrounded by their family and friends, and I don't have that, and it sucks.  But they're just a plane ride away, it seems.

I won't see my parents again until Christmas, when we drive down for a week.  I already miss them, and missed them as soon as I dropped them at the Metro.  But it'll be okay.  Everything will work out. This isn't forever, and at some point, our paths will line up again, and we won't have to fit all the neighborhood-walking/shoe-shopping/joke-making we can into one weekend, but rather, as long as we like.

I wish Jake would've been able to make it up.  I kept waiting for him to walk through the door, but it never happened.  Which is fine, but I miss him as well.  I'll see him in December.

Happy birthday to me--twenty-four isn't looking so bad right now after all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend and Cake

Today seems like a wasted day.  It's rainy and dark and chilly - I should be at home reading on the couch, not sitting at my desk at work!  I definitely shouldn't be wearing a skirt either.  I should be in pajama pants.  Unfortunately, I don't think work cares, so I'm here.  I know it was a three-day weekend and all, but still, work schedules should be based on weather, not hours.

I'm trying to think back over the weekend, remembering what happened, what I can tell you, but I'm coming up with nothing.  I worked from home Friday so it seems like the weekend started forever ago.  Sometimes long weekends are like that, and while I'm not dying to get back to work, the disruption in my schedule is enough to make me crazy.  For example, by Monday afternoon I was about ready to stab Nick in the neck just because I was so annoyed with everything he was doing.  And it's not like he's a generally annoying person, but once you spend long amounts of time with the same person everyday, all day--well, they become the worst person you've ever met.  I'm sure he felt the same about me, so no hard feelings.  This is what happens in a one-bedroom apartment without friends.

We did celebrate his birthday finally.  Though I made him dinner (and cookies!) on his actual birthday, it wasn't until Friday that I had time to make a cake, and Saturday that we were able to drive to Virginia to eat at District Taco.  We also stopped at Total Wine because it is September, and September means fall beers are out.  As a result, over forty beers now reside in our kitchen, but not all of them will fit in our fridge.  We obviously need a bigger place.

We also ate at Taylor Gourmet yesterday.  I read about it in Dwell a couple years ago (while I was still living in Savannah) and was pretty much amazed that they owners were handsome men who could cook.  While we were in Bethesda yesterday we decided to stop for lunch.  We definitely weren't disappointed.  It's a collection of salads, sandwiches and appetizers, but the bread is fresh, the mozzarella is moist, and the turkey is roasted.  They serve Pellegrino and Boylan sodas.  And they have risotto balls!  We weren't hungry enough to buy an appetizer, but damn were they tempting.  I highly recommend it, whether you're on K Street, H Street, or Bethesda Row.

Here are some pictures!

My assistant
Friday was all Christmas, all day
My slanted cakes.  Apparently my oven doesn't heat evenly.  Oh well, once you put some frosting on top, who really cares?
It's officially fall!

Cake!  Ina Garten's coconut cake and frosting, with lemon filling between the layers

Two J. Crew skirts picked up from a thrift store.  Love it!
My new Colette Violet blouse.  Since this picture was taken, I've added navy bias binding and elastic to the sleeves.
So that's about it.  My birthday is this week, and though I've taken the day off, I currently have no plans.  Art museum, maybe?  Sleeping until 2?  (Probably not.)  I'm not sure.  If anyone has any free ideas, please pass on.  I don't have any money, but I have an entire day to myself.
Images by Freepik