No Grown Ups Allowed

I am in charge of keeping track of RSVP's for my boss's wife's birthday celebration. Not entirely a thankless job, as they are both very gracious people. As the responses are coming in -- all which have been "OF COURSE" thus far, as the party is being held at a restaurant where getting a table is near to impossible even when you're an heiress, I realized that the parents of the birthday girl were not on the invite list. When I asked my boss if the missing in-laws were an oversight, he responded matter-of-factly with, "No, no grown ups are invited."

I giggled to myself, because he was so serious and replied without any thought. However, once I started thinking about it, in my mind I have never aged. Which is something that has always been a little disappointing, not that I am wishing my life away, but I don't feel any older. I can remember moving my stuff into my dorm room my senior year of high school thinking that I would finally learn the secrets of being the big dog on campus; I would be gifted the wisdom which allows seniors to be impossibly cooler than everyone else. Surprisingly, the big secret was -- there is no secret, everything is the same. I did not feel any older, certainly not more mature and only more nervous about the real world.

Each milestone year or event has sort of been par for that course...and I still feel like the same long haired, gap toothed all knees and elbows that I was when I was 12. And my parents will always be grown ups to me. Probably even when I'm in my mid fifties I may want to have a party once in awhile with "just kids." Egh, growing up seems to be for the birds anyway.


(Here I am, the night before college graduation with my parents, the "grown ups.")

1000 Characters Or Less

My newest Website obsession is www.27bslash6.com which contains the musings, ahem, writings, experiences and thoughts from quite the entertaining group of people who I need to be friends with. One of the contributors has a collection of "essays" which are all 1000 characters or less. Thus the lightbulb in my head flickered on and I have decided to try the same thing. So here is the debut of my 1000 Minus Character Essays ...


My boss is one of the best human beings on the planet. He is entirely a genius, respected worldwide for his political strategy. Yet, technology eludes him; he thought computers would be a fad, so never learned use one. And this only makes me fonder of him. Once, when asked to “fire up his computer,” (it’s never on) I quickly realized that I was presented with a challenge someone with only the patience of God could work through. He needed to open an email, and knew he needed to double click to open it. However, his clicks were about five seconds apart. Thinking it would be easier for him to “right click” and scroll down to open, I asked him to do so. What followed was the curser moving to the right side of the screen and clicking. You can’t argue with that. He certainly did right click.

***

Why is Quizno’s so strange? The three times I have eaten there (once in an airport, once to be polite and once in a hung over stupor), I don’t think there have been more than five people inside, including the employees and me. Their sandwiches are completely bizarre-o and come in a multitude of weird shapes. And, when you try to personalize a sandwich, (i.e. no mayo), the sandwich “chef” seems to get offended, angry and confused all in the same instance. It’s like you asked them to board a plane to the Amazon, find a rare and nearly extinct type of lettuce, clean and chop to add to the mix. But really all you want is Provolone cheese instead of American.
***

Elle (short for Eleanor, after the former first lady, of course), is the name of my cat. She is a very intriguing and complex creature. Sometimes I really expect her to just start talking to me and when she does, I imagine it will be similar to an old aged lady who has smoked a pack a day since the age of six. My former neighbor is certain she holds bridge club in our house when we are not there, smoking her cigs out of a Cruella Deville style filter.

When we adopted Elle, she was the most precious kitten you have ever seen, except her personality was the exact opposite. She would defecate in the suitcases of visitors, scratch your arms when attempting to be held and once even peed on me. Yes, I said peed on me. And yes, she is still living. However, that stage passed and we are left with a prissy, loving, oddball pet. She picks her food up and eats with her paws, she sleeps more often than not, sprawled out on her back, she dips her paw in her water bowl and licks it for a drink and is scared of every living thing, other than her three legged brother, and terrified of the dark and rides in the car.

***

Have you ever known anyone who has sharted? My best friend, who shall remain anonymous, once did. And I know this, because she told me. For those of you who don’t know, that is when you fart and a little shit comes out. Disgusting, I know. After returning home from a trip to El Salvador, she found that the difference in food and climate were taking a toll on her bowels.

The girl who never swims and is terrified of water was also invited to a 4th of July pool party by her crush, who would later be her boyfriend and is now her husband, amidst these ummm, issues. So combine her anxiety of water, first date jitters and the issues sentencing her to the toilet and you’ve got a recipe for an accident. Or in my case, the cause of fits of laughter and extreme hilarity when she came running from the bathroom, five minutes before she was supposed to leave for the party screaming, “I just sharted in my pants!” Was she concerned that she was losing control of her bowel movements at the age of 20? No, she needed a suggestion as to what she should do if this happened later in the afternoon. We settled on wearing a maxi pad. It’s basically like Depends, right?

She has done it again...

Kate Spade has stolen my heart and soul. This time it's more than just her beautifully crafted and cleverly designed accessories. I really think her and I would be great friends. I mean, she's a Kappa and I have friends who are Kappas. She clearly has good taste, and so do I. Plus she lives on the East Coast...you guessed it -- so do I! Do I really need to keep going (because I can)?


So clearly I have a lady crush on Ms. Spade (who, did you know is David Spade's sister-in-law!), and she only keeps making it worse. For the next 7ish days, Kate Spade is hosting a promotion and three winners will receive an all expenses paid trip to Chicago, San Francisco or New York, PLUS a $100 shopping spree. Again, my kind of prize -- travel and shopping. The contest you ask? Now the contest may even trump the prize. It's that cool. 


You are given five descriptions of a "Kate Spade Girl" and must incorporate one, along with pieces from the collection into an ad. How much fun is that?! Click here to start styling...


"In the mood for a challenge?"


One of my creations :)
Night on the Town

Movie Review: Inception

Three words can sum it up: Go. See. It.

I expect this movie to win red carpet awards from acting, to screenplay, to special effects. Simply incredible. Back up off, Avatar, you may have been an incredible 3-D experience, but that is about where it ended; we all know how things turned out for Pocahontas. And clearly once the hype wore off, that is how the Academy felt as well. (Sorry your ex-wife wife stole the show, dude).

Remember the first time you watched The Matrix? And I mean the original Matrix before the seventeenth and eighteenth installments took it to a weird tribal level. The special effects that were unprecedented and the mix of tangible reality, technology and little whimsy, made it entrancing. Never mind Nemo was the part Keanu Reeves was born to play -- weirdly intense, little emotion and one blank stare after another.

It's rare a movie ends and the audience bursts out in applause, well this side of the Atlantic, at least. This is the sort of film that made cinema and movie going a glamorous outing. The epic adventure between these slides will have your mind reeling and your dreams, well ummm, it will leave you questioning your dreams a little more. An all start cast, insanely fantastic cinematography, adventure, a boggle of the the mind and of course romance... a recipe for success.

It really happened. I swear to you, I saw it.

Let me preface this posting with a bit of an excuse and a dash of explanation, because quite frankly, I'm embarrassed I saw this horror in my city. Washington, D.C. is a tourist trap for all walks of life. Not only that, but it's near to impossible to stop your world, or at least a tiny corner of it, from colliding with that of the touristing folks'. For the most part, I am fine with it. Well, I'm fine with it after I am home, in the air conditioning with a glass of wine and remembering that I too was once a visitor and my eighth grade starry eyes of wonder led me to right back to this squatty little town as an adult. But there are those instances when I can feel my blood pressure rising and the pressure building behind my eyeballs until they remain in their sockets by a miracle of God.

Families stopping in the middle of the escalators and causing a massive pile-up. Double decker buses stopping to unload for fifteen minutes on Connecticut Avenue in rush hour. Slow walkers and gawkers on the side walks that take up and unnecessary amount of space. And most of all, the buzzing, screaming, matching shirt wearing, bouncing off the walls, swearing, unorganized and chaotic overwhelmingly large groups of middle schoolers. Whoever thought that taking the most obnoxious age group of children, forcing them into even more obnoxiously worded identical attire, putting them on a bus for an insane amount of hours to pillage my malls and ransack my streets....whoever you are, you are in trouble. Now, I do have to say one-on-one I can deal with these mini humans -- my cousin is going to be a freshman in the fall and is my pride and joy, but I know she found out the hard way how terrible middle schoolers can be. And she is also highly educated on the do's and don't of social living. (Insert pat on the back here)

Phew, it feels good to have that off my chest! That tangent may not have been entirely necessary for explaining the sight I saw this morning, but as I can feel my inner voice getting more and more shrill, and I needed you, the reader, to understand my sense of utter frustration. I know it's not always pretty out there and I know what I am getting myself into as I walk out my front door each day, but I was entirely unprepared for what greeted me this morning.

It was a family. I think. A whole family clad in matching shirts. Why? I am not sure, because there were only seven of them -- yes, I counted -- so you would think they would be able to stick together. Maybe they weren't a family, you say, and yes that thought made it's way through my head too. However, this crew looked too eerily alike. And amidst the sea of fanny packs, over-sized ball caps and retina burning yellow shirts, was a personal assault on the word chic. Blame it on bad parenting or poor judgement on the part of her siblings or even the little fashion victimizing diva herself, but all accusations aside, it still happened.

Lopsided, unbrushed pony tail. Bright yellow personalized t-shirt. VELVET leggings, scrunched at the ankles. White crew socks with grey heels and toes, stuffed into the "pants." Flip flops. Yes, flip flops and socks. And some sort of bag, if you so dare to call it that, strapped across her chest and zipper nearly bursting at the volume of unnecessary crap shoved inside.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity I am sure of it. One that I had hoped to never endure, never the less, it's sightings like these when I wipe the sweat from my brow, sigh the temporary anxiety away and silently thank my mother for brushing my hair against my will and not allowing me to dress myself until I was old enough to comprehend the consequences that bad taste must face.

Cable Television...The Gateway Drug

For the past year and a haf-ish and until our recent transplant, a glitch in the matrix allowed us to enjoy the luxury of free internet. It also kept us away from the evils of cable television and the addictive habits that lead it into homes by the hand. There was no need to bring attention to our hijacked internet by signing up for special deals on Comcast bundles. Plus I thought maybe if we needed to get our cable fix we would go to the gym and watch TV from the treadmills; and that worked...twice.

I can't say that I have missed have eight million channel or that I even noticed that they were gone. Except perhaps Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons, when all broadcast television has to offer are strange cartoons that I assume you have to be on acid to comprehend, golf or D list cooking shows. I actually rather enjoy that we don't have another bill sucking the life out of my Kate Spade fund. 

But alas, all good things come to an end. And thus was the story of our free internet and life sans cable. Have you tried to live without internet access? Beyond my 2"x2" BlackBerry screen my Web connection ends when I leave work. And I feel like I have been temporary paralyzed. Like I wander the rooms in our condo not know where I am or what time it is or what I should do next. 

And so I began researching providers. The "deals" they offer don't even make sense -- $50 a month for internet or $60 for internet and cable...why do they push their TV channels on me? But I felt like should at least give the cable guys one more chance, especially a $10 chance, so come Thursday we will be well on our way to television addiction once again.

Sigh...when you can't reach me, I'll probably be on the couch, mouth hanging open, eyes glassed over, fully consumed by one of Bravo's newest fashion reality shows.

What About Birds?

My blog has undergone some serious cosmetic procedures in the past few weeks. There are more reasons than one for the multiple face lifts:

1. I was ignoring the half packed boxes crowding our old apartment, and purposefully filling my time with other unnecessary projects.
2. It's summertime in the nation's capitol and an election year on top of it -- let's face it, as hard as we try, not a lot goes on outside of happy hour.
3. I really want my blog to be professionally designed, but am saving my allowance for our upcoming vacation so trying on different blog styles has to be my fix for now. 

I'm sure you are all wondering why in the hell my newest template includes birds flying across the header...why oh why would I not only give them space in my own little corner of the World Wide Web, but such a pronounced presence? I'm thinking of it as a peace offering. Or as a facade smile concealing my hatred of their flapping nonsensical little lives. I don't want anyone confused -- I still think they are the most grimy creatures on the planet; just going with the "keep your enemies closer" motto, here. 


City Folk

It's official -- we are city dwellers! Not that Arlington is exactly rural, but our new condo is in the heart of the District. It seems like nothing is more than a couple of blocks away, including Dusty's office (see photo of the Hoover Building from our rooftop). Last night we walked to Tangy Sweet for fro yo, -- which that alone made me certain this move was a good one -- we watched the fireworks on the National Mall from our roof on the Fourth of July (see photo again) and my commute, at most, is a 20 minute walk. It is simply glorious. Even the pets seem to be enjoying their new urban surroundings.

The move was only slightly heinous, as the movers were two and a half hours late and cost double what I was quoted, and should I not get some sort of refund, they will quickly be reported to the Better Business Bureau, the new place wasn't quite in move in condition when we arrived, but our landlady is thankfully taking care of everything and we ate fast food for three days straight. Deep breath. BUT, it's over and we are well on our way to being settled. We even have groceries in the cupboards!

I can't wait to have the last box emptied, the house scrubbed to my approval and the wifi zipping through our computers, so I can take time to peek around the neighborhood and discover my new "go to" places. With everything seemingly at our doorstep, I am going to have a busy sleuthing schedule to discover it all.

The New Adventures of Old Abbi began last night when I unveiled a very well kept secret amongst our amenities -- our gigantor bath tub. With the move behind us, Congress on recess and the outside temperatures breaking a sweat from even MY skin, nothing seemed more appropriate than a bubble bath, which I'm sure I last enjoyed sometime in the fourth grade. Nook in hand, diet ginger ale close by and no pets, boys or BlackBerries to bother me, I found myself in my own little haven of bliss.

It's official. I love our new digs.

These photos were all taken mid tornado, errr um,  move.

Lean Cuisine = All Day Affair

I have been on a Lean Cuisine kick lately. Mostly because Target dropped the price to $2.09 and they are now preservative free, so worries of eating fly poop are a thing of the past. It also doesn't hurt their case that in my usual whirlwind of a morning routine, grabbing something out of the freezer is about all I have time for. Plus the butternut squash is pretty tasty.

However, when I purchase a prepared meal, I am only prepared to open the box and put it in the microwave. So please tell me when these lunches became so involved. I might as well bring the ingredients and whip it up from scratch! Seriously -- slit the cover, heat for 3 minutes, uncover, stir, recover, heat some more, stir for a while, let sit for 1 minute and 8 seconds. And they aren't even all the same! Each day is like a cooking adventure with the microwave. I think there is a Bernstein Bears book in the works, "The Bernstein Bears and the Lunch Mishap."

Just want to give a caution to other blind consumers out there -- these lunches aren't as quick and easy as they appear! (But I suppose they really don't take more that 6 minutes in the end.)
 
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