Anyone want an update? I can't get a fucking job to save my fucking life.


don't let the virtual doorknob hit you on the way out

I've decided to not post for a while. Nothing is going on, and even when it is, um, even I don't find it all that thrilling. Basically I want the next thing I put up here to be about the job that I get. But not too descriptive because blogging about work is a recipe for disaster. Even I'm not that dumb.

Here's what I've got coming up, so you can imagine all the fun I'm having while I sit here and refresh Idealist twenty times a day:

Recruiter interview tomorrow
Movie day with Kel and the boys on Friday
Going to Richmond on Saturday to watch the Hokies season opener with some old VT friends :-)

And at the end of the month, my godparents are visiting and I get to enjoy the guest room for two weeks.


My parents are going to Florida for a week in the beginning of November.

And Thanksgiving with the Parnhams is at our house this year.

My parents will be going down for their extended stay sometime in January.

(I'm telling you these last three things in the event that I am still unemployed and can stick to not spreading my embarrassment throughout the world wide interscape)


a shower for baby foster

A long long time ago, Meredith was about ten years old, and I was nine. We were in a 4th/5th grade split class, and played on a Reston house league soccer team together - she was Goalie, I was wherever was least influential to the score. Yada Yada Yada, Kelley and Meghan threw her a baby shower this past weekend and I came too. That about catches us all up, yes?

I drove Kelley and myself to Ohio Friday afternoon, and we arrived at Meredith and Geoff’s house in the early evening. Meghan had already made it there, so many hugs and hellos were exchanged, and then we met the awesome twosome that is their dogs, Chloe and Delilah. Chloe apparently fell in love with me. They helped with my Parker separation anxiety.

Also, their house is awesome. It was built in 1924 and it has so much character and little details and things I always wanted as a kid. A huge, private backyard, lots of rooms, and my favorite, a fully finished attic room, almost like the one from Full House. We all agreed that it is perfect for a tween/teenage girl. But yeah, I loved their house and I threatened to move in several times.

Friday night we drove to this cute downtown area, but couldn’t decide where to eat so Geoff decided for us – we went to this southwestern/Mexican place called Lopez. It was…amazing. Someone from Top Chef Masters had something to do with it, apparently. Sorry Top Chef Watchers – ahem KK and Dan – I have no idea who or what or why or how…I don’t pay attention to things. Anyway we had a great dinner catching up – being wonderfully boisterous and fun to us, and probably obnoxious to the couple sitting two feet away from us. Oops? Oh well.

Saturday was the baby shower! Meghan and Kelley had done an excellent job planning and I pretended to be involved…good times. We got snacks and drinks and went to Mer’s mom’s house to set up. Kel made a diaper cake. That thing was amazing. To any and all boys that read this: it’s a gift of blankets and diapers and sometimes other baby accessories in the shape of a cake. You don’t eat it. We got a real cake for that.

The guests were the three of us, Mer obviously, her sister in law and her kids (Mer’s unbelievably adorable and smart niece and nephew), her coworkers and some of her friends from college. It was a good group! She got some sweet gifts, including stuff her mom and grandmother had made for Meredith when she was a baby. So sweet.

Saturday night we drove to another cute little downtown area (they were all over the place!) and had dinner at Mitchell’s Fish Market, again on Geoff’s recommendation, due to our split vote and apathy towards decision-making. He was two for two, because basically no one talked at dinner, that’s how good the food was.

On the way home, Geoff asked “So do you guys want to keep drinking, or are you all set?” - we had wine at dinner, and there wasn’t anything in their house because we finished their other wine Friday night. Heh, oops? – Meghan and I made noncommittal noises, and Kelley said “I could really go either way”. I added, “Yeah, me too”.

Geoff lost his mind. It was hilarious.

We had been listening to something on their iPod at the time, so Geoff made a noise that I can’t quite describe, stopped the iPod and said: “NO! NO! That’s it! No! I’m not deciding anymore!!! *whiny imitation of our voices* ‘oooh I can’t decide where to eat, ohh we don’t care, ohh ohhhh’ NO! That’s IT! You’re drinking more! Meredith, drive to the liquor store!!”

The three of us are in the backseat cracking up, and as we are driving our new route to said liquor store, we quiet down and Meghan says, “You know, Geoff, you just decided again for us.” HA!

So we got home, had some more to drink as we talked, laughed, shouted, the usual. It was a blast. There were points in the night when couldn’t breathe because I was laughing so hard. This always happens when we all get together, and I hope that never changes; both that we still get together, and that the laughs just keep on comin’.


"Alma, check your battery!"

I have nothing of substance to discuss. I just feel like putting this out there:

1. You have no idea how often I listened to this soundtrack, on tape of course. I wanted to sing like the young nun (Sister Mary Robert, I believe?) so badly.

2. Meghan and I had a very serious discussion one afternoon about this number - and I was glad to see someone else shared my feelings, and maybe you do too. Don't you think that this performance is one thousand times better than the one they perform for the Pope?! They really should have switched songs. I'm in no way religious, but I think it's fair to say the man deserves some sort of, I dunno, hymn? They sing I Will Follow Him, which, I mean, I get it...but this one is just so. much. better.

3. Whoopi is many things, but she is NOT a conductor.

4. I would like to open it up to you to tell me if you think Sister Act I or II is better. I'm on Team I. But I do like Joyful Joyful and Oh Happy Day in the second one, those are good songs.


I am getting a little too used to the Florida lifestyle...

The days are running together, as they do when one finds oneself unemployed. We spend each night eating dinner watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, shouting profanity-laced epithets at Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek and their "smug dickishness". Well, mostly my dad does this, I sort of participate. My mom either giggles or rolls her eyes depending on what is said. My father is particularly unpleasant towards Alex Trebek. One night, as Jeopardy went to a commercial break, Alex said “Okay, relax and we’ll be back in a minute”. My father’s response? “FUCK YOU ALEX! I’LL RELAX WHEN I WANT!”

Today rolls around, and since I don’t have much concrete evidence that it is in fact Saturday, I sit down to dinner and grow concerned as the television is not switched to ABC. “Laura, it’s Saturday” my parents tell me, with a tone that says “We just had the ‘what day is it’ discussion a few hours ago, dummy”.

I am disappointed. I am actually disappointed about not being able to eat my dinner and watch my game shows. But then, huzzah! A rerun of Jeopardy is miraculously on TV.

All is right with the world. And that's when I took a step back and realized, um, wow. I need to GET. OUT.

I’ll be leaving this state before I’m in too deep, don’t fret. We’re leaving on Tuesday to come back home. I’m not waiting around for news on the FloridaJob. I’ve already missed one life-event of a friend because I waited around for a job I didn’t get, and I still feel like shit for it. I’ve got Meredith’s baby shower to attend in Ohio next weekend and I’m not going to pull any more douche moves. Also the interview was quite possibly the most disastrous thing I have ever been a part of. It’s not something I want to put on the internet for a while, but…yikes.

Honest to blog, the more I am around my father, the more I am convinced I should start a separate web site about the things my father does that simultaneously astound me, entertain me and irritate the everloving crap out of me. As I write this, my dad has switched to some golf game and was shouting nonsensicals as the golfers were taking their swing, like he was psyching them out or startling them from their focus…on television. People have blogs about the silly things their kids say and do, why can’t I have one about the sometimes-man-child, irrational but hilarious man that is my father?


Part Three: Meanwhile...

Alternate (and too long) title for this post: The one where cousins inexplicably have the hots for each other, short people with big feet do things and the movie should have ended seven different times, or Scott Foley isn’t dead, but IS Neve Campbell’s half brother.

Ha! Trilogy humor. I hope you get all three.

Remember when I had my interview on Thursday in NYC? That morning I got an email from an arts org for a job I had applied to months ago. I had that interview a week ago Monday, right before my lunch with my friend/coworker. I haven’t heard since and I should have, so I assume I didn’t get it. I’m not upset about it. I didn’t have some of the specific experience they were looking for. But it was still a good interview exercise, and she asked a couple of unusual questions and I am happy to report I can sort of think on my feet. All my answers were good but I just don’t have the right experience.

So not 15 minutes after I walk out of the interview, I get a phone call from another arts organization about a job I applied to in JUNE. This particular job is in Florida, about 45 minutes from the house my family has down there that used to be my grandmother’s. So I applied because I had a place to live, and my former (Masters) Program Director told me not to be afraid of the jobs that I think are out of my reach, because "You never know". I never thought they would actually call me. But they did!

(Dear Universe: Nothing for eight months, NUH-THING, and then all of a sudden I’m popular?! Not cool. I mean, yes, flattering, but…not cool.)

Thursday afternoon, when I knew what the results of NYCJob were going to be but didn’t want to fully admit it to myself, I called FloridaJob and made plans for an interview the following Friday. My family also used this as an excuse to be in Florida, so we all packed up and left Monday morning.

Spent a day and a half cramped in the backseat with no legroom and a dog wanting to do nothing but cuddle and rest right up against me even when the sun is beating down on us through the backseat windows. He’s panting like crazy but refuses to move over to his side, which happens to be shaded. Dumb dog. But it's all okay, these were the conditions I had to endure to secure a trip free of financial burdens. Also it's not like I didn’t love the fact that he actually wanted to hang out with me.

We got to the house Tuesday around 4pm. The last time I had been in my Grandmother’s house was four years ago but most of my memories of the place are from my childhood. Now, I roamed the house looking in drawers, opening cabinets, and took a nostalgic inventory of glasses, mugs, and furniture that reminded me of those summer visits as an elementary school kid. It was less cluttered and a lot cleaner. It still smelled like her house, though – in a good way. Not like my maternal grandmother’s house that reeked of wet dog and musk ten years after the actual dog passed away. So anyway, it’s been nice to be here. I have my interview tomorrow. Regardless of its outcome, it will have been nice to get down here and see the place in its new era.


if this is my past, i don't want to know my future

Growing up, when I was being a pest – which I did quite well, and often – my mom would say to me “Laura, know when to quit”, because apparently I don’t have the natural ability to sense this on my own. Now I know why I never inherited such a trait.

No one has been in the house for three months, so there were 30 messages on the phone. 29 of them completely bogus.

…”Hi, this is Tom with CCS calling to remind you-“
Frank: Hi Tom, NO THANKS!” *deletes message*

…”..you don’t want to be driving without a warranty…”
Frank: “ Hey, I won’t!” *deletes message*

…”this is Steve with CCS calling to remind you-“
Frank: “You sound a lot like Tom, Steve!” *deletes message*

Funny the first three times, right? But then it went on. Twenty-six more times.

I think I can just leave it at that.


design on no dimes

You’ll notice I changed the design a little bit. I hope it looks as nice on your computer/browser as it does on mine. It’s my effort to transition into fall. Or boredom at 1AM. It took me longer than it really should have to do that writing in Illustrator; it’s harder than I thought to make it look like your own handwriting. So I hope it does. College Crew, you will have to weigh in and tell me if it does. Or just humor me and tell me that anyway.

In the event that it doesn’t, at least it looks like it’s written in Sharpie. This pleases me to no end. I really, really love Sharpies.

I’ve been seeing a term thrown around a lot on Facebook and I do not like it. Funemployment. I resent it. Granted, for the eight months that I’ve now been unemployed, I’ve participated in fun activities that I probably wouldn’t have been able to, had I been a working individual. Yeah, the activities were fun, but were the sleepless nights and constant worrying about money, jobs, and life a ball of laughs? And not just worrying about myself, but my family too, who are supporting me when I can’t support myself? I don’t think I have to answer that. Wow I am bitter.

Switching gears, I’m working on a screenplay now. You didn’t know? The working title is "Shit Stirrer"

The scene: Our basement

The characters: Frank, Blue, Parker, Me.

Blue: (sheepishly) So um, when you, um, go down to Florida, can I come or am I supposed to stay here with the dog?

Parker: Is someone talking about me? Can I have some food?

Frank: (chuckles) No! I thought we were all going to go together, of course you’re coming!

Me: That’s not what you said to me a few hours ago!

Frank: (sighs)

Me: Mom, Dad said to me, ‘I don’t want her to come along’ and then told me not to tell you -

Frank: I’m sure she believes this

Me: - but I’m telling you because I love you and I want you to be there.

Frank: Jesus Christ…

Me: That’s what he told me. (shit-eating grin on face)

Parker: I believe I asked for some food, assholes.

I can't wait to move to LA and shop it around.

Today is the day that my two beautiful friends, Ben and Jess, get married! I'm sorry I can't be there, guys (do you even read this??) and I am missing all of you today.

(We had not yet mastered the art of stealing our bride and groom friends away for a group photo.)



This is not Part Three. That will come later next week probably. But there are a few things I would like to share with you before then.

One. This:

I love this video. I think my favorite part is how cartoonishly the woman is brought out of her old-person stupor by the honking.

Two. As you have now read, there was about a week of time when I thought I would have to make a lightning-quick move up to NYC. I actually had living arrangements available – but for the first two weeks I would have had to live out of suitcases because my designated room would not have been vacated until September 1st. So, this would lead you all to believe I would just bring my clothes, toiletries, and/or ONLY the essential items I would need to exist, wouldn’t it?

I kid you not, when I was skimming over a mentally prepared packing list, I included my Arrested Development DVDs. Seriously. I wasn’t even going to bring my TV, but those DVDs? Yep. I don’t know what this says about me, but it can't be good.

Three. For dinner last night I made a roasted red pepper sauce to put over pasta. If you were wondering, it was delicious. So while I was in the grocery store browsing the produce section for the necessary items, and I look up and this woman…um, was full-on reaching into her pants to, I’m assuming, fix her underwear. Not on the outside of her pants, not trying to be discreet by backing up against her cart or a display of some kind, just…going for it. Really digging around in there. I mean, we’ve all been there with underwear problems in public places, and depending on how public and who I’m with, well, I wouldn’t care either. So I wasn’t sure if I was slightly grossed out or that I admired her self-confidence, if you want to call it that? Is it a lack of manners or bravado? I honestly can’t decide.


when it rains, it pours. and then you're waiting around for rainbows like some kind of jackass.*

I slept in on Friday, just because I could finally let my body relax. I had seriously been a mess of nerves and tension and stress, and I hadn’t eaten or slept very much since Monday. You know it’s bad when I can’t eat or sleep. I love both of those things! They’re both favorites.

I packed up all my crap and hauled it to meet Ro at her office – we got lunch from Pret and ate it in Bryant Park. It was LOVELY. And then she walked me to the subway and directed me to the Megabus stop and I made my way home. And then we realized we both forgot that I still had her house keys. Oops. Never fear, her roommate was also visiting DC and they were returned to her and made their way safely back to NYC and to Rosa’s loving and responsible hands, and god willing, never mine ever again. Sorry Ro!

Oh, also, I checked my email on my phone randomly, and my NYC interviewer had requested references and a writing sample. I was BACK IN THE GAME!

Anyway, it’s here I’ll apologize AGAIN for not mentioning a trip to NYC, or even the initial good news/progress of the 2nd interview. Even though it went well, and I was excited and initially went back into my NEW YORK STATE OF MIND (oh my GOD, just stop reading. And stop being friends with me. I’m even disgusted with myself for making that joke. But I’m keeping it because I keep it real, you all need to know the real me) – ahem – I still knew better, and I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. Anything could happen and there was something bugging at me, telling me there were more unforeseen hurdles. I knew there were plenty of dream-crushing opportunities left in this situation.

So I did my best to enjoy the weekend, I met Lesley down at Potomac Mills to shop and have dinner; it’s the last time I will see her for a while because she is moving to Fort Collins, CO with a friend of hers. No job, just looking for a change of scenery, packing it up and moving out there. I’m so impressed by that. Even with the potential NYC thing, it’s only because I was in the process of getting a job. I don’t think I have the balls to just move somewhere on hope and determination. I admire people that do.

On Monday I had lunch with a friend/former coworker in DC, who was also one of my references. Still feeling optimistic.

On Tuesday, I went to Kelley’s parents house to hang out with her, her fam, and the boys. In the back of my head, I knew I should be finding out something, or hearing from at least one of my references. I chose to ignore this and decided that Wednesday, Wednesday was the Day. If I didn’t know then it would be over.

On Wednesday, I don’t think I did much other than start to panic and create scenarios in which I might still have the job. I wanted to grasp at denial with all my might just a little bit longer. Forget Wednesday! Friday, Friday is the Day.

On Thursday I had to pull the biggest douche move that this millennium will ever see. I made the craptastic decision that I couldn’t go to Ben and Jess’ wedding, due to finances and “just waiting one more day” and another reason that will come in Part Three. (a Trilogy! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll stop reading halfway through because it’s boring)

Today I got The Email. The breakup email. I didn’t get the job. It confirmed what I already knew, and since I spent Thursday being sad, today I moved on to being angry. And then found a nice little cocoon in which I can bitch about how I didn’t really want that job anyway, so THERE, etc.

The crazy thing is, that last one might be less cocoon-induced (that sounds…gross) and more real. I was most excited about this job because:

1. Exciting, fast-paced move to New York
2. The company is really cool, and in the arts
3. It was A job.

It wasn’t THE job. And please note that THE job is not something I’m still holding out for, because, after eight months of job searching, my sense of entitlement is not that strong. It’s admittedly stronger than it should be, but I understand compromise and sacrifice and I acknowledge the necessity of both.

Foreshadowing! : Tuesday at the Thomas’ house, Kel and I were watching Meet the Robinsons, for which Kel’s mom jovially made fun of us. Hee. But it’s a good movie! Anyway, the notion of Keep Moving Forward is something I can use right about now. And I will be doing my best to keep it in mind. And yes, I am rolling my eyes at myself for trying to draw actual inspiration as a twenty six year old adult from a movie that is made for someone that is learning the intricacies of life via spelling bees and multiplication tables.

*Copyright Laura Benson 2009. All Rights Reserved.**

**What does All Rights Reserved mean?


when it rains, it pours.

So, it all started on Thursday, July 30th. Earlier in the evening I applied to a few jobs, like I usually do. Didn’t think too much of it. Went to bed around 11, and, didn’t sleep. Thursday night was one of the worst nights I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t sleep, and rolling around in my head were all the negative thoughts about myself, my life, and my current job situation that have been plaguing me for the past eight months. Normally they’re kind of just…around. But I let them in on full force Thursday night and it was unbearable. It was ugly, let’s leave it at that. So I’m in bed sobbing disgustingly, and finally I can’t take it and I get out of bed, turn on the lights and just let it all go in my written journal (yes, I have one. Even though I get REAL personal up in here, there are some things that should be left to a written journal or a conversation between friends after a couple of glasses of wine. – also, isn’t it sad that some kids these days realllllly don’t have the sense to know that? – also also, can you believe I just said “kids these days” ??) Um, what? Oh, ugly thoughts written in journal, right. So yeah, I got ‘em all on paper and felt a little better, I guess. Sometimes you don’t realize how overwhelmingly negative or irrational your thoughts are until you put them on paper. So since I was up, I went online to look at some of my more obscure job posting places and see if there was anything new. I applied to another job on a whim.

Dawn breaks, and I don’t see it because I don’t get up until 11. Seriously, you know whose blog you’re reading, right? The day went on as it normally does, except for that by the end of it, both jobs I had applied to on Thursday (the rational 8pm one and the hysterical last-ditch wtf 1:30am one) had contacted me for interviews on Monday. I was excited but also nervous and full of dread. The four interviews I had prior to these had not gone well, so why should these be any different?

I spent the weekend preparing, way more than I usually do. Going line by line on the job description, making sure I have responses for all the job functions, preparing questions, maybe an anecdote or two (seriously) and taking a few notes on the companies. I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night.

So I had my phone interview on Monday and ten minutes in I thought to myself, “Well there goes THAT, way to be awful, self”. Why ten minutes in? Because I had chosen to prepare myself and my notes at the dining room table, where apparently my phone doesn’t get reception. So the interviewer called, and I didn’t pick up. Luckily by the time I realized something was up, I think it was only 2 minutes after she had called, but STILL. So I called her back, apologized profusely and explained the situation, and on the interview went. Somehow, my sparkling personality and professional acumen earned me a 2nd interview on Thursday. I was excited, really excited. It was moving quickly, it gave me a confidence boost for the in-person interview I had later that day, and also, when was the last time I even got to this stage? Good times.

The other interview on Monday was a little weird, because it was actually with a recruiter on behalf of the position I had applied to. So I went in there and she ended up forwarding my resume to the job I had originally applied to, as well as another one. Freebie! Then I took a typing test. 63 WPM, 99% accuracy. The typing test was my favorite part, seriously. The recruiter told me to hopefully expect a phone call from her (or the actual job people? I can’t follow the web of confusion that is the recruiting process) in the next week or so.

So I went home feeling kind of weird about it, because it didn’t feel like I was any closer to the job, I didn’t have anything tangible to come away with, and if history teaches us anything, that hasn’t been a good sign for me.

The rest of Monday was good; I called my parents and told them the good news about my phone interview, and about the recruiting interview. Here’s where I need to pause and apologize to some of you, my dear readers. (AKA my regular friends?! Wtf, self. Don’t act like you’re awesome) I had talked to some of you in between Friday and Sunday, telling you about these job prospects and the, erm, locations of said jobs. And by the time Monday rolled around, and I updated those people, and had to tell new people for reference and other purposes, I felt like I was jinxing myself by telling too many people when I had nothing secured. So that’s why there were not more phone calls or texts or emails to those of you I would normally talk to in a heartbeat about my exciting news, I was so afraid of doing even the slightest thing to upset the Gods of Overconfidence Comeuppance or whatever. Plus, the more people I told before Thursday, the more depressing/humiliating phone calls I would have to make after it was over.

See, the phone interview was for a job in New York. Yeah. And the start date was August 17th, a mere two weeks from my initial interview. So in my excitement Monday, I let my imagination take the reigns and I contacted friends and a few people on Craigslist about apartments, to see what was out there in case I really had to make a quick move. This also added to the jinx. By Tuesday afternoon I was mentally moved into an apartment on the upper west side, hosting friends from home on my couch on the weekends and going for walks in Central Park. Partly because I’m completely delusional, but also because that’s where the office was where I was interviewing.

Wednesday afternoon I took Megabus up to NYC and met Rosa, my gracious guide, host, savior, and life coach. We went back to her apartment and had dinner and caught up. It was a nice evening with my dear friend in a fun city that I hoped I could also live in, in a matter of a week and a half.

I spent Thursday reviewing my materials and preparing my answers. Nervously and anxiously. I made my way down to their office and sat on a bench outside Central Park (also right outside their office) and waited – because I left insanely early in the event I became a total idiot and couldn’t ride a train properly, which didn’t happen. Go me.

So, the interview happened, and I made my way back to Ro’s apartment to decompress. It felt so great to be done. Later in the evening I went to meet this girl and see a potential apartment that is really close to the office, and that was fine. I’m reserving judgment at this point. I'll save it for another day.

You may be noticing I am dragging out the events leading up to Thursday and leaving you clueless about the interview. It’s because I want you to feel the way I felt. Anxious up until that moment (or paragraph, in your case?) and then, not sure what the results would be.

Part Two is coming. That’s right, I’m making you WAIT. Because I HAVE TO.

(at this exact moment, as I post this, I don’t know if I got it or not and I’m leaning towards “not got”)


my week in cooking

This is the post in which I talk about some things I’ve cooked/made in the last week, and pretend they took even a modicum of effort or talent, all while feigning like I have something in common with the cooking/food blog I obsess over. Enjooooyyyy!

Pizza – I made the dough with flour, active yeast, lukewarm water, vegetable oil, some onion and garlic powder, salt and honey. Then I added onions, red peppers, Italian seasoning, mozzarella, a little bit of pesto and a sprinkling of parmesan. Into the oven it went and it came out all browned and bubbly and perfect-looking. I loved making the dough – doughs/breads intimidate me greatly and I was worried that it wouldn’t be edible. Or worse, I’d find out it wasn’t edible after I ate it. I am happy to report that this was not the case. It was tasty.

Chicken tacos with corn and mango salsa – Sad to say that the mango salsa was pre-made. But the chicken I made by throwing together some chicken (um, duh), chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper and garlic pepper. Then tossed in the corn to cook with the chicken for a bit and bedded on tortillas with chopped romaine lettuce, and salsa on top. I have to say, these tasted fine, but the best part was how they looked. They were just so pretty, with the colors and freshness and everything. I'll probably go back to my other version of this using tilapia and old bay instead of chicken/corn. It tastes much better, but still looks just as pretty.

Greek salad - feta cheese, red peppers, olives, romaine and baby spinach tossed in homemade dressing – some olive oil, red wine and balsamic vinegar, and various lovely spices. The best part was that I kind of adapted the recipe in an “I’m gonna wing it” kind of way, and it doesn’t always end well when I try this. It did this time! It was pretty delish. Not as good as the one I had at Niko Niko’s in Houston, but still good.

Garden veggie cream cheese – Two things: I have no idea how to make cream cheese, let me put that out there. Also, I will fight anyone that thinks that Philly or “tubbed” cream cheese is better than deli/freshly-made kind. Because it isn’t. But it’s also all I had that particular morning, so, I dealt with it. I took 1/3-fat regular cream cheese and added finely chopped carrots, celery, black olives, chives, and a little bit of onion powder, salt and pepper. It was pretty damn good, though the best garden veggie cream cheese is Wegmans deli version. I think they use crack. I don’t exactly know how to get a hold of some crack, NOR DO I WANT TO, so I will have to continue to pay Wegmans to make the cream cheese for me. Though my version did get the highly desired Frank Benson Seal of Approval.*

Pasta – Spinach, whole wheat penne, the rest of the feta from the Greek salad, a little parmesan, olive oil and Italian seasoning. Quite good. And nice that it all fit so well together using ingredients from earlier meals in the week.

Either I made these up (the tacos, pasta, and the cream cheese) or Google helped me find the recipes – usually cooks.com has simple and quick stuff, and allrecipes.com has steered me in the right direction a couple of times. The link on the right, Smitten Kitchen, is my faaaavorite cooking blog and I’ve made a number of her recipes. They’ve been good, but I’m nowhere near as good of a cook as her so my versions never come close to the way hers look or (I’m sure) taste.

Anyway, these were all fun and colorful meals and even if they weren’t the healthiest things all the time, they were at least somewhat fresh and all (sort of) had vegetables. Also, do you notice that I use red peppers in like everything I cook? Seriously, I love them. What’s weird is that I used to avoid them like the plague, I don’t know why. I also used to say I didn’t like mustard even though I had never really tried it. I mean, I’m not overly enthused about the condiment now, but it has its place in my sandwich repertoire. I still hate tomatoes despite many a tasting. Now that my dear departed Grandmother is no longer around, I don’t have anyone forcing me to try them. Every Christmas I would be lectured about my distaste for tomatoes, and I’d have to try them while being assured I would like them (“They’re *insert variety here*, they taste much more *positive food adjective* than regular tomatoes. Eat it!”) And every Christmas, they would still taste like butt.

Well that paragraph took a left turn at weird, didn’t it? You are now all witness to my train of thought, typed out. And it usually gets a LOT more random than that. So, uh, I’m gonna go ahead and quit while I’m…not…ahead.

What tasty delights have YOU made this week?

*I can tell when he really likes something because he uses the word “outrageous”.


What happens in Charlestown...

I feel like I need to start a separate blog of all the ridiculous things my father says.

The other night, after his first G&T of the evening (which he calls his "malaria prevention measures") Frank comes upstairs singing the jingle from a locally run commercial for a particular West Virginia gambling establishment : "Charlestoooooown, Races and Sluts - I mean slots"


title fail, epic win

I first want to point out that after getting home last night, capping off two weeks of insane traveling and partying and no sleep and other general craziness, I went to bed at 7PM and woke up at 8AM THIS MORNING. THIRTEEN HOURS and I didn't wake up once in between. Geez.


I have made several posts both here and in blogs past about how awesome the college crew is. Can you blame me, really? I’m in the damn group, so maybe you thought I was a little biased. But this weekend, we have REAL PROOF that we are. Brian’s wedding weekend brought us a handful of new friends, and an official new in-law (though Christy was already totally “in”, if you will) and it was epic.

I am a big believer in combining worlds – I love to see different groups of my friends hit it off. The More the Merrier! Consolidation! It’s all good in my book. So when we spent the entire weekend partying for hours on end with a few of Brian’s LSU friends, so much so that by the actual wedding we felt like old friends, well, weekend, you win.

Thursday had me get up at 5inthegodforsakenAM (EST) and pick up Missy and Franklin to head to Dulles. We all kind of bided our time with the mall, and room switching before the rest of the gang arrived throughout the day. After we had a lovely group dinner we saw Harry Potter (eee!) and then went back to the hotel while some of the guys joined the bachelor party. Later we all converged and laughed and drank and played games and were generally very silly. We went to bed at 5am Houston time, which means I had been up for 26 hours. Surprisingly I didn’t feel bad at all – probably because the day was so freaking awesome.

Um, I suppose I don’t really need to recap anything anyway b/c the people that read this were all there, no? So we’ll leave it with: Pool. Most Amazing Greek Dinner Ever. More Awesome Partying with New Friends. Beautiful Emotional Wedding. Dancing. Delicious Champagne. No Sleep. And then flying home in a shit-can plane.

Also, the week before included a marathon surprise trip down to Savannah for a pre-wedding weekend for Ben and Jess! Hooray surprises!!! Again, almost everyone who reads this was there or has already heard about it, so we’ll continue the same format: 3AM Arrival. Drinking and New Friends. Beach. Greg Kinnear. Batshit Craziness. Fun. Cookout. No Sleep. Sparklers. South of the Border.

In other news, we didn’t get to play fact-game this weekend, so didn’t really have the opportunity to tell everyone that I had a phone interview on Tuesday. I think it went okay, but I don’t think I am going to move any further in the process. I’d like to put it out there that I would like to, though! I just have the feeling.

Finally, I took zero pictures of either event so…everyone, get to posting them so I can steal them or link them or something! The end.


so many possibilities

Page 25. "Teddy saw her again, her back to him as she walked down the apartment hallway, wearing one of his old uniform shirts, humming as she turned into the kitchen, and a familiar weariness invaded his bones. He would prefer to do just about anything – swim in that water even – rather than speak of Dolores, one of the facts of her being on this earth for thirty-one years and then ceasing to be. Just like that. There when he left for work that morning. Gone by the afternoon." Where are my crayons.

Page 155. "And then she turned away and started walking. The orderlies fell into step and they walked down the breezeway and through a side door into the hospital." I like to color.


You know how sometimes you just need to know more about a person?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had checked out a large-print edition of a book from the library. That book was Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane. Same guy who wrote Mystic River. Anywho, a few weeks ago I saw the first 30 seconds or so of a trailer for the movie of Shutter Island, coming out in October – directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leo DiCaprio. The Departed is one of my favorite movies (YOU WANT HIM TO CHOP ME UP AND FEED ME TO THE POOAHHH?!) so I immediately had confidence in this movie. I also liked Mystic River (the movie, never read the book) so I also figured the man could write a story.

He can. He totally can. The book was great, even though I felt incredibly foolish reading the large print edition. But that’s not why I’m telling you all this. Though I will find any excuse to shout/obnoxiously type that Departed quote because it amuses me to no end.

See those bolded/italicized sentences? Namely about crayons and coloring?! They were, I shit you not, written in pen in the book. The book about crazy people. I love the person who wrote it. So many personality-possibilities. Actual crazy person? Vandalism-fetishist? Fan of irony? Something way out of left field?

I hope it was intentional and the irony of scribblings about crayons and colorings in a book about a mental institution was not lost on the unauthorized contributor. HA! So great. But does it end there? Why those two paragraphs? Is our writer perhaps not a crazy/weird individual but an English professor with a PhD writing an abridged version of his/her dissertation on modern literature?!

So, new anonymous friend of mine, no matter what your inspiration, I enjoyed your additions to Shutter Island. I can only hope that I will find more of your musings in other books I get from Reston Regional; perhaps tales of eating paste or uncooked macaroni in Julie & Julia or workout tips and anecdotes of ultimate fighting in Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment.


maybe this'll work

You know how sometimes, you’re out and about, maybe wearing an outfit you especially like or just feeling inexplicably good about yourself, and you think to yourself, “I kinda feel like running into someone I know”.

And then you go into Target on a Tuesday night, and there you find Kevin Romano and his lovely bride Sarai?!

Well, do you, know that feeling?

I do.

This is obviously proof that I’m either clairvoyant (sadly this is not the first time I’ve claimed such powers) or…my thought have the power to come true.

Ya know what I was thinking would be great? Getting myself a job.

So I was thinking to myself the other day, wouldn’t it be awesome if I had gainful employment?

Get this: the other day, the idea of having an income randomly popped into my head.

Maybe that’ll do it.



Fun fact to start this blizzerg off right. I draft all of my posts in Word before posting them online, just, because. Anyway, I got into the habit of not deleting this scrap/draft Word file, and now it’s 45 pages long. 24,400 words. 106,871 characters (no spaces). It spans over a year, and starts when I went off to London for two months. **remember that?!!? I was there this time last year. Sigh** Anyway, looking at all those numbers and word counts is like looking my twitter Updates count; I see it rise and think to myself “238 posts of nothingness”.

Moving on. So last Friday Tara and I spent all day being super hipster cultural girl, at Artomatic! It was pretty cool. 9 floors of art cover all mediums from painting to coffee creamer lids, and all feelings from creepy to cute. I picked up the business cards of Greg Knott, David Hagen, Andrea Sherfy Cybyk, Matthew Parker, Jessica Van Brakle, and Mishka Jaeger. All different kinds of art I thought were interesting or colorful or funny…they had the common thread of being more than I can ever afford. Hooray! And of course the Washington Post’s Peep Diorama Contest was there too, which might have been my favorite thing. And ignited my sweet tooth, which is kind of weird.

One of my favorite dioramas was “Peepster’s Kill Room” because just the other week I started watching Dexter on DVD/On Demand/Other ways we won’t mention aaaand I love it. Add it to the “Late to the Party 09” list along with Weeds and The Wire.

This doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but it involves video games so how can I not mention it? I was in Foggy Bottom/GW’s campus yesterday for volunteering, picking up lunch at this mini student union-ish looking place. I went downstairs to the Pita Pit (to 1: try and break my addiction to Potbelly and 2: to go somewhere that reminds me of 90210’s Peach Pit? Even though I wasn’t allowed to watch that show? THANKS MOM…what?) and do you know what you can do while you wait for your order to be made? You can play Super Mario Brothers 3. Also known as my FAVORITE VIDEO GAME. It was pretty fantastic. I only got through one level because they are quite speedy with their pita-assembling, but I hope everyone behind me was paying attention because I was basically putting on a clinic with my skills.

So there you have it: inane ramblings, a little bit of culture centered around candy, television and video games. That just about sums up my life right now.


busy bee, social butterfly, fake-geriatric elephant? or something?

Before we get into this week’s tomfoolery, I would like to officially announce that I am apparently a few birthday cakes away from being 87. I went to the library on Friday to check out a book which I discovered was all checked out at Reston except for….you guessed it…the large print edition. I feel ridiculous reading it.

Moving on. To the week! Franklin and I hung out Tuesday night. We had dinner and then we went back to the apartment to hang out. I read magazines and goofed around on the internet while Franklin expertly put together an entertainment center. We know how to party.

Wednesday was a car-fixing appointment and then I spent the day with Kelley, Ryan and Jack! It was our third Wednesday in a row hanging out – we are on a (super awesome) roll.

Thursday. Richmond. Lunch with Lesley. Hang out time with Lesley, Allison and Sha. Surprised Dana for her birthday. PF Changs. Cake. Delicious. Awesome.

Friday was wonderfully slow. Drove home, made the aforementioned embarrassing library trip, maybe applied to a job or something, I don’t know. I’ll use this section to point out a new attitude I’m trying out. So, here’s the thing. I’m applying for jobs, right? Constantly adjusting resumes and volunteering and doing some networking and always looking and taking suggestions from people and trying to be open, and, I don’t think there’s a lot I’m doing wrong. It still sucks but I’m trying. So in the meantime between now and that sweet, sweet day when I’m offered employment, I’ve decided to embrace and enjoy it. How else would I have been able to spend the day with Kelley and the kids on a Wednesday afternoon? How else would I have been able to make the last minute decision to drive down to Richmond for 17 hours? I’m trying to embrace it and take advantage of those kinds of social options. So that's that.

Saturday was the mostest funnest. Missy, Franklin and I went over to Mike and Kelley’s for lunch with Mike and our visitors Meredith and Geoff!!!! They were in from Ohio for Kelley’s sister Melissa’s wedding. Huzzah! We played with the boys for a bit and then went out to lunch. I was carrying one of the boys in his car seat and totally clobbered a guy in his knee. After a mad dash back to the house and rushed getting-readying, we made it to the wedding in pretty good time. It was SO FUN! Seriously, the Thomas family knows how to throw a wedding. I know, I’ve been to two of them! Lots of dancing, laughing, excellent grub, and maybe some partying thrown in there. I’ll never tell.

Stayed the night at Mike and Kel’s and this morning we slowwwwly woke up. Mike went to get the kids from his parents house, and Meredith, Kel and I cooked breakfast and sat down and ate together just as Mike brought the boys back. It was pretty adorbs. I just think we do the “friends that turned into family” thing so well. ‘Cause I’ve never talked about that before or anything.


Ye Olde Bits of Tid:

*http://tinyurl.com/qq62tn Oh my sweet jesus, nothing makes me happier than this, right now. Thank you for finding this Elyse! Amazing, especially with this summer’s cancellation of Screen on the Green, this makes up for it pretty well, I’d say!

*The Project Create (organization with whom I am volunteering) Showcase event was last night! A ton of kids came to see their artwork in MLK library downtown, and they performed African drumming and hip hop dancing. They were adorable and it was fun to put names to faces. Yesterday was the end of long days, my horrid dc driving, a dash of manual labor, and lots of fun overall. I still have a few things to do here and there in the coming weeks with PC, but things have certainly calmed down….now would be a great time to find a job (HINT HINT, UNIVERSE)

*You know what makes me happy and infuriates me at the same time? When things you know are true but don’t really want to acknowledge them….turn out really true. Like, I love to sleep in and, separately, love junk food. But I know that mornings really put me in a good mood, and eating well makes me feel leagues better than the alternative. Friday morning I woke up (before my mother, which is insane) and cooked myself a spinach and egg white concoction and drank a V8 while reading and waiting for a pot of Caribou coffee to brew. Even when it’s raining and gloomy, I just enjoyed the quiet morning and preparing good food for myself. I really don’t consider myself a morning person, even though I love them – I just hate getting up for them. Also I don’t really know if coffee counts towards the healthy morning, but I don’t care because I have a deep love affair with the stuff and that will never change. Anyway, my point is that morning was great and put me in an excellent mood.

*My birthday present from Missy was a New Kids on the Block concert! SQUEEE! They came to the Patriot Center on Sunday night. It was great. Here are my observations:

1. Jabawockees opened for them; they were pretty entertaining, except for that I think their masks are what nightmares are made of.
2. Our seats were awesome. See pictures. (note: my camera died halfway through, so check the flickr in a week or two for the second half...when I steal pictures from Missy)
3. I still got that rush every time one of them came to our side of the stage and waved or smiled or whatever.
4. They all look a MILLION times better as adults than they did as kids.
5. There were no less than four undergarment pieces thrown onto the stage. Really, ladies? (Our audience was apparently very horny…keep reading)
6. When they went to the center of the arena, they did this one bit where they took “requests” (or: just keep asking until someone mentions the right song) on what to sing next. From far away I shouted “SOMETHING FROM THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM” but they did not take my suggestion.
7. Joey still wears that hat with the top cut off and it makes me happy.
8. At the end of the show, one concertgoer held up a sign that said, I kid you not, “Give Me Sweet Cock”. I, um, I don’t…know what to say.

I just want to put this one up here, because it's my favorite one. Clearly they're still having a good time.


you always said how lucky you were that we were all friends. but it was us, baby, we were the lucky ones

That quote is pretty much my favorite, and it brings a lump in my throat every time I hear it - yes, it is a quote from RENT…because Missy and I saw it yesterday afternoon! I hadn’t seen it on stage in about eight years, so it was basically all new to me because I forget things that happened more than like a week ago. (Conveniently, this post discusses just that amount of time) Um, anyway, RENT was great, I don’t think that’s too hard to believe. And when I got home I might have watched the movie….maybe. I might have done that. ….yeah.

Backing up a few days…last Wednesday was my birthday! I went over to Kel’s and we held and fed and played with babies and it was awesome. And Kel made a delicious lunch, and then we ate cake! Then more baby fun times, then Mike came home and we may or may not have eaten more cake. Later in the evening, after dinner, we played Guitar Hero* and watched silly YouTube videos. It was a perfect day.

Last Friday also ruled. Missy and Franklin treated me to a birthday dinner at Coastal Flats – the one in Fairfax Corner, so I basically had to park in Sterling. But the food was good and miraculously our wait wasn’t long at all. After dinner we went and saw Up, which was SO GOOD. Like, REALLY GOOD. CAPS-LOCK GOOD.

Our story continues on Saturday! Allison (college roomie!) was in town for her friend’s bachelorette party, so she came over for lunch – we hadn’t seen each other in a year so it was nice to catch up! After lunch I went to Tara’s for a dinner/jewelry-making party with some of her coworkers. It was pretty fun despite my inability to make jewelry that doesn’t look like crap.

So that was the weekend. This week is pretty busy, and today definitely kick-started it; I spent all day at MLK Library downtown hanging artwork for Project Create’s month-long exhibit. Loading, unloading, inventory-ing, hammering, measuring, hanging, cleaning, rehanging, blah blah blah. The good news is that we had a break for lunch and we went to Nando’s Peri-Peri (on my recommendation, of course) and it was GREAT. I love that place. Anyway, I’ll be back in Project Create’s office all week working on stuff for the showcase next Monday. It’s like a job or something!

So no real job yet but I’m busy with friends and volunteering so it’s okay, and as I mentioned before, distracting. Which is a good thing. Plus I’ve got some more fun things coming up too. It’s always nice to have things to look forward to.

*Speaking of GH, my parents got it for me for my birthday! So, that has taken MarioKart’s place for now. Though I don’t have as much time to play it because I’m actually getting out of the house. Imagine that.


UM, Remember how I said I forget things if they were over a week ago – yeah, I got through writing this whole post and I forgot to mention SEANA’S WEDDING! Which was on the 23rd, so of course I would forget about it. Yeesh. So. The wedding! It was great! It was downtown and I drove, and managed to navigate things okay with Sarah as my co-pilot. Seana looked amazing and the reception was a blast. A day full of love and dancing and fun. Good times.



Taking a break from the melodramatic personal stuff to give you some personal silly info. Conan O'Brien is my favorite late-night comedy guy. Craig Ferguson is 2nd and getting closer and closer to Conan all the time. This helps.

Not sure if that one or this one is better... He's just so good when he's in the front, like above, but also shines in the background with his dancing and facial expressions like in the one below:

Also, I'm an American woman so I'm hardwired to love the man's (or any man's for that matter) Scottish accent.


in need of a distraction

You know how sometimes you're listening to a song, and all of a sudden it's like a line or two is almost audibly bolded? It's like your ears pick up on the way you've been feeling and they're like "PAY CLOSER ATTENTION, DUMMY" Was listening to Falling Slowly the other day, and this stuck out: "you have suffered enough, and warred with yourself, it's time that you won"....

Graduation was this weekend. I had an okay time. I think I was kinda weird all day Friday…I knew I was getting an award, and I also had to introduce an award. I can’t even be psyched about the award I got because literally 20 seconds of talking in a mic in front of a group and I get weird. I get really uneasy when I’m the focus of something; I really don’t handle it well when I know people are looking at me.

If I’m being honest, though, I actually am proud of everything I did while I was IN grad school. I did everything I wanted to do that I didn’t in undergrad. I achieved academically, I was involved in leadership in my program, my professors knew me, I studied abroad, I worked my ass off and made some phenomenal friends (I did this in undergrad, at least). The issue is that I hadn’t seen a lot of my fellow students in a while, some of them even since December before I really started eating my feelings and, when it was still sort of okay that I hadn’t found a job yet. But six months and an unmentionable amount of weight gain later, it was kind of hard to look people in the eye. Isn’t that sad? Yep.

I genuinely and thoroughly enjoy my fellow students and wish I could have found a way to enjoy it, but so much of it was about small talk. Small talk is the worst because you can’t be honest – which , for me, means updating everyone on how I’m upset with myself that I gained back ALL the weight I had lost (and maybe more, I don’t know) and look terrible, am completely broke, jobless with no prospects, and still living at home. So, honesty’s out of the picture, and I’ve got nothing else. It is REALLY deflating to have nothing in your life worth talking about, or to feel like you have nothing to talk about.

It just sucks that these times when I should be so proud of myself, are the times when I seem to hate myself the most. I can count on one hand (and have a few fingers left over) the things that make me happy right now; I need a few extra appendages to tally up of all the things and situations coming up that are going to make me feel awful, or more appropriately, that I’m going to let make me feel awful. This should be a really good month for me and I’ve never felt worse.

And not to go all meta on you, but to add to everything above, I know I’m being a complete baby about all this. I hate that all I can write about lately is whiny and self-involved and self-indulgent and all the self-hyphenated words that aren’t the good ones. I’m complaining about things that are in my direct control and an adult would just cowboy up and fix things. And everything I’m complaining about here is just the tip of the iceberg, of a mountain of shit. Mixed topographical metaphors included, I’m kind of disgusted with myself for it. So said disgust piles itself nicely onto the ever-increasing snowball of shame.

Maybe just getting all this out there is the first step in making it all better. I'm sick of dragging myself down, I'm sick of dragging everyone else down. I just need something to distract me. When I’m distracted from myself I’m happy. My friends distract me. A job would distract me. My dog distracts me. Sometimes my parents distract me. Diet coke distracts me (but I don’t think it distracts my tooth enamel, so, not good).

So, um, to give you some form of interaction on this one, what distracts you? The good kind of distractions, of course. Not, like, heroin.


…and so begins Operation BTPBSEFAI*

(*Bury the Post Below So Everyone Forgets About It)

Nothing major to report, just a bunch of little tidbits.

+ Volunteering is going well. I’ve been into the office a few times but I’m mostly able to work from home, which is nice. I went on Tuesday of this past week and almost got locked in the enclave of the church in which the office is located, so, that was an interesting five minutes. Add that to the list of “Places Laura has almost gotten locked into” right after Department Store.

+ A sweet funny thing I overheard the other day:

A little girl and her equally young brother are racing to the front door of the library with their mom, who is walking and not really participating. The kids arrive to the door first…

Little girl: Mommy lost! Mommy lost! ...no, Mommy came in third place. Nobody lost.

Which reminds me…Tara and I walked around Town Center two Saturdays ago, and she was telling me how apparently the new trend in physical education is all about non-competitive activities, so everyone feels included and special and nobody is a “loser”. On one hand I’m all for it, but wouldn’t you also feel ridiculous if you spent class jump-roping WITHOUT a rope? Yeah. Not to go all Depression-Era Gramps on you, but in my day, we had hula hoop contests, dodgeball, kickball, races, that fucking Presidential Physical Fitness Test (at least the Shuttlerun was kind of entertaining) and I think we all turned out okay - if we're forgetting what I wrote last time, which, I am.

+ And speaking of Tara, this past Saturday we had a fun day in DC, at Passport DC! It was nice enough weather-wise and we wandered in and out of a handful of embassies including Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Indonesia and a couple others. The were filled with food, music, dancing, culture, and lots of fun stuff. Fun times!

- SCARE of the CENTURY: So I recently applied to a job via USAJobs for this position with the National Gallery of Art. I was – I am – really really excited about it…and today (three days after the application closing date) I realized…I may not have sent them all the proper forms? I vageuly remember writing the requested information as part of the process, but now I’m second guessing it – did I really do it, or is my brain fabricating this memory to make myself feel better because I want this job so badly? The USAJobs application process is painful and kind of mindnumbing. I feel dumb. This is not good. I think I would be perfect for the job, and I really think it’s perfect for me…and now to not even be considered because of a stupid mistake, well, it stings.

...see how some of them are pluses and this last one is a minus?! See what I did there?! I'm sooooooooooo clever, I can't even handle it sometimes. So clever, that I fuck up great job opportunities. GAH I won't get a good night's sleep until this matter is cleared up. Erg.


live through this and you won't look back

I have deleted this because, I do what I want.


You’ll always remember…

…where you were (mentally or physically) in that moment, no matter what it was that changed for you – that maybe you didn’t know the world as well as you thought, the loss of innocence in a place or a person, the guilt of not being there, or maybe even if you’re lucky, a happy turn of events – whether it’s devastating or uplifting news, you’ll always remember.

Of course, we all have happy and sad moments that stay with us, but these particular events I’m talking about, these are different. It’s not just the event or the place, but that feeling. We all have them. I think a pretty common one is 9/11. I also have the following day I found out my childhood friend Tori had committed suicide, the night I found out Joe Gibbs was coming back as the Redskins head coach, and 4/16. I know the ‘Skins thing is a bit ridiculous, but I’m just grateful I have a good event in there.

On 9/11 I had been in college for all of two weeks. I remember waking up and like any other morning, reading friends’ AIM Away Messages...everybody knows what happens next. The day after I found out about Tori was the first time I dealt with the fact that the world keeps on moving even when you think it shouldn’t. Not everybody knew, but it was unfathomable to me that time wasn’t standing still. I honestly didn’t get it.

The night I found out Joe Gibbs was coming back as head coach, I was visiting Adam Temple and Bmo’s apartment (at the time) in Fairfax. Becky Porter, possibly Amy Rowland, and maybe a couple other girls were there, I can’t exactly remember. But I remember sitting in the living room, and Adam comes rushing in from his room with this look of unbelievable excitement. It still makes me smile thinking about it. He made the announcement, enunciating each word like he was even trying to convince himself, and we all jumped up and ran into his room to scour the Internet for more information. It was a good night.

Two years ago today, it was a regular Monday at work. I had come home the day before from a weekend trip to Blacksburg. That weekend was absolutely perfect and everything a weekend at Tech usually is. I was a little sad to be back at work, but still in that happy place that only VT can produce. Then my coworker Alpha (who is a VT alum as well) sent me an email with a link to a CNN web site detailing the events as they knew them at that time. The day went from there. Then came weeks, and now, years.

I debated mentioning something about today's anniversary, because I don’t know where to draw the line between showing I remember and care, and showing I remember and care by letting it go. If that makes sense. But I got an email the other day that my VT Filebox (the website VT gives you as a student to hold files, pictures, etc) is being deleted next month, and I don’t know. Going through those pictures makes me feel like this is a day worth remembering through recollection and celebration of a place that will always be home.

Remembering the time Lesley wouldn’t let me into her room until I said 23 nice things about her. I had to list the 23 to a seemingly uninterested door before I was let in. Or the utter ridiculousness that was everything about my participation in PSE, but that did give me the gift of some very special people that have a solid hold on my heart. Or the palpable energy of every single football game.

Anyway, this is all a long way of saying I love Virginia Tech. I am now and always a Hokie.


new link

So as you can see I finally got around to adding the ol' links back, after what people on the streets are calling "LauraisadumbassinregardstochangingherblogGate" and/or "Don'tthinkyouknowanythingaboutHTMLcodingforblogtemplatesbecauseyoudont 09"**

I just added a new one, 1000 Awesome Things. It's, well, awesome. Also, bonus, their links are great. So, win-win-win.

**It's clear no one on the street is very good at catastrophe-naming. I don't think either of those will gain popularity, nor will they get any press if for no reason other than incredibly non-catchy names.


late to the party

My latest topic o’uselessness on twitter was being late to parties. Not real parties, of course, but the proverbial ones. You know what I mean. As I was watching the last two episodes of Season 4 of The Wire today, I was thinking to myself how incredibly good this show is…and then I thought of how people were saying that seven years ago.

The more I thought about it, I realized I can’t think of a single TV show (with multiple seasons under its belt, still broadcasting or cancelled) that I love and have watched from day one. I think the closest I’ve come is 30 Rock, but even then I missed a good chunk of the first season. I was busy thinking Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was the good “behind the comedy sketch show scene” show*. Hm. But really, let’s examine this: Sports Night. LOST. How I Met Your Mother. Arrested Development. Family Guy. The Office. Flight of the Conchords. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. West Wing. Big Love. Some of these I jumped on a season or two in, some of them not even until they were over. For several years.

I make the specification of multiple seasons just because we don’t know how things will play out, and (*)clearly I have television judgement issues. Shows may start out great but then they start sucking: Desperate Housewives. Or shows that I loved only made it through one season, if that: Justice. Or a combination of both: The Nine. Six. Perhaps other numbered shows.

I don’t fare much better with music. I’m a huge fan of Ray Lamontagne, but didn’t discover him until right before his second album came out. I love Jimmy Eat World but I didn’t catch on to them until, geez, their fourth album, I think? Anyway I can think of very few bands that I have found without recommendation from others, or seeing them in a public forum considered to book successful artists. Though if Coconut Records (Jason Schwartzman) becomes more commercially successful, we can forget this whole paragraph. Or at least I’ll have one example to the contrary of the general theme I’m portraying here.

Though I guess it’s a little more difficult to say “you knew them when” for bands/musical acts. With TV shows, they are either made or they aren’t. You can’t have varying levels of “underground” with TV shows. I guess the closest you would come to such a thing is what they call a cult following? With music, you can argue you saw an act live before an album ever came out, or an independently produced album or record only had like 30 sales or some such craziness, or hell, you saw them on VH1’s “You Outta Know”. I don’t know.

I’ve only mentioned TV and music, but certainly there are books* and movies* too.

What I’m trying to find out is, am I the only one that is late to any and seemingly all pop culture parties? Or have you been the first and only guest to arrive at a party that sunk harder than the Titanic?

*Didn’t start reading Harry Potter until Book 4 had come out. *Didn’t see Shawshank Redemption until maybe three years ago.


shake it up

The last two weeks have been pretty excellent. Friends from out of town, some new experiences, and a completely overhauled, shiny, new resume. Shakin' things up over here. Likin' it.

For one, the last couple weeks' fantasticness (it's a word. look it up. er, wait. don't) has been due to the appearance of a certain Kristin Delo and Dan Myers, on a whirlwind east coast tour. Luckily we were all able to spend a solid amount of time together, with babies and friends and wii and all the things you need to make a good night o’ friendship. I heart us.

Also, the fantastic Kelly Obenauer came to visit! She was in the city for a conference, being an adult and what not, so I went into the city to visit. It had been two years since we saw each other, which is alllll sorts of absurd. So we walked around and saw the cherry blossoms, and Bob Ryan getting his on-location forecast on. And yes, I did geek out a little bit. Local celebrity, eee! HOWEVER, let it be said, he is no Doug Hill. We also walked up to the Lincoln Memorial, and then up to the White House, then on to Chef Geoff’s for dinner! It was an excellent D.C. day. I’m always up for being a tourist in my own city. Except for when I get irritated by the real tourists. Mostly on the metro. Moving on.

In other news, I have started volunteering with a not-for-profit, called Project Create. They coordinate and provide professional arts instruction for at-risk youth in emergency or transitional housing in D.C. In June, they have their annual showcase of art (made by the kids) in MLK library so I’m helping them do stuff for that. Should be pretty cool. Good for the resume, good for the organization and it’ll give me some real event planning/prep experience.

I’m happy to be doing something work-related while still looking for a position. I really can’t take unemployment much longer. I’m hoping the things I’ve been doing in the last couple weeks will have shaken things up and reenergize my efforts. We’ll see!


I have a confession to make..

I watch this video (still....it came out in October of 08) probably twice a week. And I can't hear the real version now without singing this version in my head.

My favorite parts are how high Will Forte's voice goes on the "vampire BUT with dogs" and then Amy giggling in the background at the end. Gets me every time. Still.


my day in noises

blerggg (don't want to get up)

awwww (didn't end up getting to see babies or Thomas fam today)

AGH (playing mariokart)

SHHHHH (wishing our next door neighbor's dog would STFU)

*&#(@&! (playing super mario brothers 3)

meh (making final changes to new resume)

sighhhh (applying to job whose deadline is tomorrow)

eeeeeeeeeee! (making/finalizing plans to see kelly obenauer tomorrow in dc!)


This is what happens when you try and fix something that wasn't broken. I lost the old layout in trying to Fancy-New-Beesley-ify things. WHY!?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I think it's back to normal. ARG. (sooo, how's everyone doin'?)


40 years

Mom trying to show Dad how to add Favorites to the computer we set up in the basement for him...

Mom: “Now say, you have a web site that you just love…”

Me: “You’re obsessed with it”

Dad: “Like eHarmony”

Mom: *glares at Dad*

Dad: “Oh, okay, so, not eHarmony. Let’s say ‘I’mHappyInMyMarriage.com’”

Mom: “how about ‘eYou’reDead.com?’”


random thoughts.

I watched three documentaries this weekend. I guess I’m watching so many because there are a ton of good ones available in the “Watch Instantly” section of Netflix, so…I pay for it, why not use it? Plus it was a rainy Saturday, perfect for curling up under a cozy down comforter and watching movies. You could say all three of these were educational in a non-educational sort of way. Which is to say, I was entertained more than I was educated. But that’s okay.

In addition to “Fuck” and “Jesus Camp”, as I indicated via twitter, I watched “Super High Me”. It was a sort-of spoof of Super Size Me, obviously. Doug Benson (comedian, usually on Best Week Ever slash all VH1 talking head shows) is apparently a big stoner, and he decides to stop smoking pot for 30 days, and then smokes pot all day every day for 30 days. He does all kinds of tests, gets a physical, etc etc before and after. It also goes into a lot of state/federal law issues that California faces. I was more excited by all the stand-up comedian cameos than I was the “message” of the movie, in all honesty. Arj Barker makes a brief appearance – I have a big crush on him. If you don’t know him, he plays Dave on Flight of the Conchords. I heart him. Paul F. Tompkins, Rob Riggle, and Zach Galifianakis also make appearances. I think I might be a stand-up comedy nerd.


I have this feeling that something is going to happen soon job-wise. I have no evidence of this. Something in the air, I don’t know, but I’m gonna embrace that feeling for a little while. My sudden optimism, I’m sure, will only be increased this week due to the following things:

*Frank, Blue and Parker return Wednesday night
*I got a haircut today.
*Because of FB&P’s return, I will spend the next three days cleaning the house from top to bottom. Not a fun process, but the end results always make me feel good.


Can I talk about OPI nail polish for a second? Can I talk about how much I love it, and it’s the only kind of nail polish I own now? I try to not be a snob about beauty products, but OPI is just so good compared to the other eighty billion brands I’ve tried. I used Revlon for a while because it’s what my grandmother used, but…it chips in three seconds. Sally Hansen streaks like a mofo. I won’t explain why I don’t use Wet n Wild. (hint: it’s because I’m not 13)

Nail polish has a weird effect on me; it’s such a mood-changer. A couple of weeks ago, after I picked my nails to death, I took a file to them and then put bright cherry red nail polish on them. I instantly felt kind of sassy, but a little 50s retro too, mixed in with a dash of gumption. ALL BECAUSE OF A NAIL POLISH. I don’t know if my mood is too easily influenced or what, but it works. Am I the only one?


Who needs enemies...

Last night I watched a documentary called “Crazy Love”. Has anyone else seen it or heard of it? It’s a true story about a man named Burt Pugach and Linda Riss. It’s your classic “boy meets girl, boy and girl date for a year, girl finds out boy is already married, girl breaks off relationship, boy becomes obsessed, boy hires thugs to beat up and terrorize girl to coax her back into boy’s arms, police won’t do anything to help girl, girl finds other love and becomes engaged, boy then hires other thug to THROW ACID in girl’s face and blinds her, boy goes in and out of jail and psych wards, girl's fiance leaves girl because he sucks, boy still tries to contact girl and send her money, girl says no, boy is on parole and still tries to contact girl, girl’s friends set up a meeting between boy and girl because they are worried that girl is 35 and single and doomed, boy and girl start up relationship again and get married” story.

YEAH. Here’s the thing. So the documentary focuses on the obsession/craziness of the guy, and the general “what the fuck!?” of the girl….no one points out THAT THE FRIENDS HOOKED THEM BACK UP. The women, “friends” of the girls, tell the cameras that they did it, and schemed to do it, but never at all acknowledge how fucked up it is. And they still talk shit about the guy and wonder why she is back with him….WHY, IN GOD’S NAME, DID YOU BRING THEM BACK TOGETHER!? Jesus H., that’s almost more disturbing to me than the fact that they actually got back together.

It’s also funny that the friends’ motivation was that the girl was 35 and single…spinster city, here she comes. How times have changed, for the better.

Epilogue: This is just too good…”then boy gets arrested again for having an affair with a woman half his age, and making violent threats against her but gets acquitted, boy still married to girl after all this”

Even though I kind of just told you the whole story, I would suggest renting/watching it anyway. It's good.


Win, Lose, or Draw

(This has nothing to do with that show. Remember it, though? Also, let's take a moment to remember one of the greatest game shows of all time, Supermarket Sweep. Seriously, how fanastic was it!? I hope they do a remake. As long as they keep the sherbert-colored sweatshirts, because, those were pretty much brilliant. )

Things that Win:

1. Playing Guess Who without asking about physical characteristics (ie you have to ask things like ‘Has your person been on ‘To Catch a Predator’, or ‘Does your person confide too much in their pets?’) (and hanging out with Meghan and her super sweet fam)

2. Having Jean, Lee, Missy, Franklin, and Kelley and the boys over Sunday night – playing host and watching the Oscars together. Put some much needed vibrancy into the house.

3. Seeing Kelley and her precious bundles of cute and love TWICE last week!

4. My parents and Parker will be home three weeks from today.

5. Tara got a job! …that means I’m next, right!? RIGHT!? :-)

Things that Lose:

1. Still not being good at feeding a baby and having a conversation at the same time. (Sorry Kel!)

2. Being done with Season 1 of the Wire and not being able to watch Season 2 fast enough.

3. Being sick of talking about unemployment, and the economy…and yet that’s all I am able to mention. I’m sick of sounding like a broken record!

4. Trying to get a normal sleep schedule again…forcing myself to get up early. SUCKS**

5. Paying for the cap, gown, and hood for my upcoming graduation. It’s expensive! I guess I’ll be a grad student for Halloween for all eternity.

Soooo, 5 things each, I guess it's a draw!


**Let’s remember who we are dealing with here – I’m talking about 9:30am. To most, that is sleeping in. To me it’s the ass-crack of dawn. How did I ever wake up at 6am every day? Ew.


This and That, Rock and Hard Place

Wondering what I do to pass the time whilst I have no job? Here’s a quick list: Baking. Watching The Wire on OnDemand. Reading the Twilight series (Thanks Miss!). Cleaning every room in the house OTHER than my room.. Giving not-so-nice sideways glances to the tax form sitting on my desk. Using my Ped-Egg, but resisting the urge to do it every day because it’s essentially a cheese-grater for your foot (that is officially the most disgusting description ever, but the thing works, people). Watching “They Said What?” on People.com (seriously addicted). Netflix.

So obviously I’m still without employment. Still wavering between optimistic and gloomy. Here’s something that doesn’t help: My M.A. I know my degree has given me a lot of benefits, but it’s just incredibly frustrating that in this moment, it seems to be hurting more than helping. Yes, I said it. Let me explain, little ones. I am still very much considered entry level in the arts management world. Despite my internships and previous real-life-grown-up-job, I don’t have enough experience to be seriously considered for managerial positions. But I’m overqualified because of my M.A. I don’t have enough experience for Experienced-level jobs, and I’m too educated for entry-level. That leaves “coordinator” and “associate” level positions as my best option (and even then, the tasks associated with these vary on the perception of the organization)…so I have to either specifically wait for jobs with those titles, or potentially waste my time applying to jobs that either won’t take me seriously based on experience, or assume too much about me based on my M.A*. Awesome.

Okay, rant/pity party over. Things will work out, and the right thing will come along, but it’s hard to stay patient.

This happened a long time ago, but I keep forgetting to mention it. Schmapp (online/iPone application Map-Guide) contacted me a few months ago to tell me that a couple of my photographs from London/Paris are being used for their guides! Nothing really comes of it other than a credit under the photographs. No compensation, but it’s still a neat kinda thing.

Here is the one for Bath: http://www.schmap.com/bath/sights_museums/#p=115754&i=115754_22.jpg

and for Paris: http://www.schmap.com/paris/sights_montparnasse/#p=18707&i=18707_71.jpg

Thirdly, this guy:

Please indulge me with these photos. I miss my doggy terribly. Also, for anyone that is just joining us, he isn’t in doggie heaven or anything. He’s just in Florida with my parents. I’m just melodramatic.

Speaking of melodramatic, I loooooaaathe Tatiana delSTFU from American Idol. But I love Anoop. Also, have you heard of that Stage 46 book? I’m curious to read it but I don’t really want to buy it. I love AI, but it’s totally rigged. Like, voting is a sham, winner is chosen by the producers rigged. Or maybe not, but I love a good conspiracy theory.



*Lest you think this is all in my head, this opinion/information is based upon a conversation I had with a friend of mine in our program, who went on an interview with a woman who essentially told her this. DOUBLE AWESOME.



My dad sent me this picture via text the other day. It made me squeal.

You can see our little guy is adjusting quite well in his new vacation home, complete with a porch in which to lounge and follow the sun on all of the furniture, and of course, a bone.

I miss him.

it posts it on the facebook, or else it gets the hose again

I did it on facebook, so I'm cheating and putting it here to get something new up without having to go into anything I'm doing lately...because, I'm not doing a damn thing. Oops I guess I gave it away anyway!

the 25:

1. I really like the word “clever”.

2. I like to learn. I like being in school.

3. The following things give me immense pleasure even though I can’t do any of them well (and I wish that I could): singing, graphic design, cooking, writing, photography. So, like, everything.

4. Everyone knows I hate tomatoes…but I love ketchup and tomato soup.

5. I alternate between feeling excited and out-of-my-mind-terrified about the future.

6. I’m more excited by having a similar sense of humor/pop culture tastes with a guy versus values and such. Maybe that’s why I’m single?

7. Two things that can make me stop in my tracks and completely lose focus: dogs, a song I love.

8. I LOVE to make lists. I would make a list of lists I have to make.

9. Sometimes I am so much like my dad that it scares me.

10. I cannot stand when people crap all over other people’s taste in music**. Just because someone likes something you don’t doesn’t make it bad. It’s subjective. (**except for when people hate on Nickelback, then it’s kinda funny)

11. I love DC and everything related to it, even though I love it here…I suffer from wanderlust.

12. I love to make my friends laugh.

13. I’m not good with money. I like to spend it. Especially at Target.

14. I have a hard time designating my favorite/least favorite things. I like options!

15. Until about eleven months ago, I thought the phrase was “for all intensive purposes”, as opposed to “for all intents and purposes”. I’m a little ashamed of this.

16. I only really feel confident in myself when I’m around my friends.

17. I am annoyingly indecisive.

18. I strongly dislike the word “panties”. It simultaneously creeps me out and makes me want to punch things. Say it with me, UNDERWEAR.

19. I haven’t found that thing I’m really really good at. I’d like to.

20. I’m not meant to be leader, #1, or top dog at/of anything – I’m just not good at it and I don’t particularly like it. I don’t mind being top-tier, though.

21. I like wearing my grandmother’s jewelry.

22. I'm still really irritated over #18.

23. I think hugs and handshakes should always be strong, and I don’t like when people don’t execute them as such.

24. I like adverbs.

25. After I made this list, I rearranged things so it would have some sort of balance between the one-line facts and the multi-lined ones. Yeah.


A great day.

Like many Americans, I can say I was there. Granted, I could see very little (even with the jumbo-trons) and part of my experience was more about listening than watching, but I can always go home and watch it over again. You can’t attend it over again, right? Right.

I wouldn’t even have considered going, but Mrs. Parnham’s father and his wife have a townhouse at 4th and G SW, and they were out of town. So myself, my mom, Taylor, Mrs. Parnham, and another family friend Julie drove in Monday night, slept there, got bundled up Tuesday morning and had a relatively hassle-free walk to the mall! Mobs and mob-mentalities can often times be annoying, but when you’re there for such an historic event, and everyone there loves and supports and probably voted for the guy, everyone is pretty civil and happy and considerate with each other.

We ended up standing right in front of the Smithsonian Castle, which is about halfway between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Our position was pretty good, but being short makes it difficult to see the jumbo trons when the people really start packing in and everyone chose to wear giant fur hats.

We didn’t stay for the parade. Once the Inauguration was over (we started moving when the poet started…sorry) we walked up the mall to head home, stopping only when the guy speaking the benediction busted out the “black won’t be asked to get back, brown can stick around, yellow can be mellow...” lines – we all stopped and started laughing, along with everyone on the mall. So then we cut through the Air and Space Museum, got a few seconds of warmth before heading back to the townhouse and watching the parade while eating a hot lunch and warming up. It was pretty perfect.

Surprisingly there was NO traffic when we drove in and out of the city. Like, less traffic on 66 than there are on normal days. There weren’t any restrictions for out-bound travelers so I really expected traffic going home, but there wasn’t any. Oh well, I’m not complaining!

Plus there were a bunch of cool little extras. Seeing Luke Russert taking pictures with everyone (I was too shy to do it, so I just stood and stared. That’s much less weird) and walking by the MSNBC tower and seeing Keith Olbermann! Then, if you were watching C-Span around 1pm-ish, you would have seen all of us! I was last in line to walk by, and you can hear me, like a total weirdo, go “yay, Virginia Tech!”. It was because I didn’t even think the camera was live, and the camera-man had VT gloves on. For some reason I expected some sort of acknowledgement or response from him…now it makes more sense. Oops.

I only took a few pictures, but I’ll get more once I steal them from everyone else :-)

Keith! I heart you.



(Sadly, not because of a job. Still no word, but I'm still trying and doing my best to stay positive even though that's not really happening)

If I haven't mentioned my obsession for Jason Schwartzman, well, then...now is the time to do it. Because he made me happy today.

First of all, I love him in the movie Shopgirl. Lurrrve that movie. Then my man goes and brings the world Nighttiming, one of my favorite albums of 2007, which, I still listen to all the time. Usually if I come across music I like, I'll listen to it non-stop for a couple of months then get sick of it. Still haven't gotten sick of Nighttiming, almost two years later.

Just in case I ever do, Jason has me covered. Today I discovered that he released Davy, his sophomore record! Hooray! I've got it on right now, I'm on track four. It has the same effect on me as Nighttiming. It makes me calm and sigh contentedly and smile and listen.

All three of those things are good to practice whether you're listening to music or not, so thanks to JS.