Thursday, July 14, 2011

Delicious Ambiguity...

OK want to hear a cool story? Duh. I know you do.

Lately I've really come to appreciate the unexpected in life--how you start off thinking the day will be one way, and by the end of your night you've met someone new, done something different, or been completely surprised in a way you didn't expect. Gilda Radner calls this "Delicious ambiguity," and I think this is going to be my new catchphrase for 2011.

So back at Christmas I was headed home to Boise. I was standing in line waiting to pass through security and grumbling as always about having to take my shoes off. There was a guy a few people in front of me, and when he turned a little to the right and I saw his profile he looked slightly familiar, like someone I went to my undergrad university with. Is that...? I thought to myself. He was just far enough that I couldn't yell at him without screaming, nor would it have been completely the right time to you know, stop and have a little chat. And it's always uncomfortable screaming at someone and having them not turn out to be that person you think it was. Additionally, I always "think" I see people I know when in a place they wouldn't possibly be. So for all these reasons, I remained silent. While normally I don't mind drawing attention to myself, I wasn't in the mood to make myself look like a complete looney toon (I want these people on the East Coast to like me!), which is always a good idea whenever TSA is around. Plus, there was no way that THIS guy would be in the Bradley International Airport. If it was who I suspected it was, he was a friend of a friend--we'd hung out quite a few times on and off my first two years at SPU. He was so far in front of me, that he would probably be gone before I even caught up to him--plus, it wasn't him!!!

After I rushed through security, I had indeed figured out that it was indeed him (shocking. That would be a horrible story if I just wrote..."And then I figured out it wasn't him")! I yelled his name, and he looked as shocked as me. It turns out that he was looking at a medical residency program at in Connecticut and was interviewing with them. Our paths had crossed for only a few minutes--he was flying back to Chicago and I on to Boise. WHAT WERE THE ODDS?! He told me he was interviewing at a few other programs, so I told myself I wouldn't get my hopes up, but let's be honest, it would be nice to have a familiar face all the way over here on the right side of the country. Plus, the school he was interviewing with was about 30 minutes away, and I probably wouldn't see him that much anyways.

Fast forward a few months, and he emailed to tell me that he and his wife would indeed be coming to Connecticut! And a few weeks ago they had a BBQ and I found out they live right down the road from me! Again I say, what are the odds!? Even better, not only have I acquired some new familiar faces, but have met new friends through them. We constantly marvel how insane it is that this small overlap of literally minutes in the airport led to so much--a new community, new friends, answers to prayer in times of longing for familiarity in a still very new environment.

I suppose I have to chalk that one up to God.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life Lesson #317

I don't have time to get into the other 316 life lessons, but I'll tell you the one I learned today. Make ABSOLUTELY sure to bring a tape measure and your room measurements to IKEA before you buy furniture. While this may seem like an obvious statement, even the most intelligent of humans have fallen prey to this error (ahem).

Two months ago I purchased a new armoire for my tiny apartment. Armoire is another word for "wardrobe," which Rob did not know and he has even been to France. I felt very classy whilst discussing this with him. My apartment was getting renovated in a few weeks at the time of said purchase, so I thought, what better then a nice new fancy armoire! I would have to wait to construct it (as you have to do with most IKEA furniture), but I am BRIMMING with patience (that is a big lie. I have no patience at all, but I didn't really have a choice). The one I was purchasing was PERFECT--not only was there a space to hang clothes, but also a separate set of shelves--the things I could put in there! Towels! Pants! Extra toiletries! My rubber duck collection! The possibilities were endless! I envisioned my nice new bedroom with my beautiful armoire, all neatly organized. Now, you should know for the purposes of this story that my apartment is pretty small, which doesn't bother me in the least bit (I actually have grown to prefer it given all the minimalist blogs I've been reading), but the thought of extra storage was very exciting because for the past two years half my clothes have been stored in my living room due to lack of storage space. And yes, I realize the irony that as a sort-of-minimalist I would even need more storage, but still. Even better was the fact that this armoire was only $50, and the model name was "Dumbas." Those Swedes have such a sense of humor. I had to have it.

The model name turned out to be great foreshadowing to what was to come. My friend and I stood there looking at the armoire, so beautifully displayed with its faux cherry wood laminate. Eyeballing the armoire, I thought it would fit perfectly in my apartment, or at least the apartment in my memory. "Don't you think it would fit?!" I asked her. "Totally!" she said. Barbara Ehrenreich, a sociologist, wrote a book called "Bright Sided" that talks about how Americans are overly optimistic in situations they needn't be. She is correct--optimism does not have a place in every life situation, and in this case pessimism would have been my best ally. We hauled the huge Dumbas armoire home. That beast was HEAVY. But totally worth it!!! I told myself.

Fast forward to today. I walked into my apartment to take a look at the renovation process. My bedroom was all painted and new carpet was laid! It was beautiful! It was almost perfect--it just needed the armoire! So I went to work. A few hours later, I called my friend Rachel to help me push the frame that was laying down on the ground into the upright position. So, remember how I told you my apartment is really small? As we went to move the Dumbas to its designated location in the room, I realized it was too big. Well, too big it I ever wanted to enter the bedroom from the living room (it blocks the door from opening all the way), or if I wasn't concerned about dying in a fire because I can't leave through the door that connects to the hallway (there's always the window). There's just enough space for it to fit by the bed if I never want to open the it is useful if I just want to put things in the armoire but never take them out. If World War III begins and I need to bunker down and keep everyone else out, I'm good. AND I can store food in the huge-ass Dumbas armoire!!! But I am practical. This will never do. Rachel and I pivoted the armoire all over the room, in a vein attempt that it might fit in some sort of way we hadn't thought of yet. Feng Shui perhaps? Nay. So after four hours of constructing the Dumbas armoire, it is standing in my room completely useless. Additionally, the thing with IKEA furniture is that, whence constructed, is it is very difficult to disassemble. While some may see this as a highlight (it's "sturdy," blah blah blah), it is definitely a con in this situation as I cannot simply take it apart and store it until I get a bigger space. On the other hand, a part of me wants to keep it assembled, because I'll be damned if I worked for four hours and have nothing to show for it.

My life is a comedy of errors.

This moment vaguely reminded me of THIS Friends episode (my favorite). I did in fact reference this episode as Rachel screamed "PIVOT!" at one point. It also parallels the fact that Ross's couch was way too big to move up the stairs. Oh my gosh. And I was with a Rachel--like Rachel Green!!! Well that just made things seem a little bit sunnier.

It also reminds me of when Joey built his entertainment unit that was way too big and covers Chandler's door:
That "Friends." Even so many years later I'm still laughin' away. Always a classic.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Work It Out Play List!

Lately I've been running quite a bit and I always enjoy good workout song ideas (mainly because when you eat a 1/2 dozen cookies per day due to a baking "hobby," you've got to do get movin'...but also because it makes me feel oh so a-l-i-v-e!). I tend to base my selections on how easily I can run to the cadence of the song, as well as songs that I feel like dancing to (which is a lot of songs I suppose...). Here's what's on my playlist to get me pumped up (like AH-WNOLD):

1. Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen a.k.a "The Boss")
2. Born to be My Baby (Bon of my fav vids)
3. Somebody to Love (the Glee version of course! Not ready to listen to the Biebs QUITE yet...there's something about running to the voice of a 12-year-old-sounding boy...not that there's anything wrong with it...I'm just not there yet)
5. I'm Still Standing (Elton John: prepare to be frightened but impressed by link)
6. Get Outta My Way (Kylie Minogue)
7. Raise Your Glass (also the Glee version)
8. Needle and a Haystack Life (Switchfoot)
9. Listen to Your Heart (Remix): DHT (also awesome when accompanied by hand motions)
10. Helena Beat (Foster the People)
11. Marry You (Bruno Mars)
12. Til the World Ends (Britney. Yup, don't even need the last name and you know who it is. I hope I'm that cool someday)
12. I Love New York/New York New York (Glee Cast)
13. Rock of Ages (Def Leppard)
14. Can't Be Tamed (Miley Cyrus)
15. Gonna Get Over You (Sara Bareilles)

Now get out there and RUN!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

“I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled.” —Amy Poehler in an interview for Bust Magazine.

Well said, Amy. Can you, me, and Tina all be besties? I'm really fun, I promise.
Check out this video--this is what I'm aiming for, though I have a looooonnngggg way to go.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Reads Thus Far

Summer is a time to D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read!--Elementary school anyone? Anyone?)
Disturbing (though not shocking).

On the docket:
One of my greatest life accomplishments was in fifth grade where I earned the most stars for pages read. I'm trying to relive my glory days this summer. Basically, back in the day you got a star for every one hundred pages (I think). The stars went up on nametags displayed in our classroom, and I had to start a second name tag because I earned so many (thank youuuuu Baby Sitters Club, or BSC as the fans called it). Oh and I also got a gift certificate to the book club every time I got so many stars--like a WHOLE $5.00! Which I then cashed in so I could read MORE pages! It was a vicious cycle. I lived to read more, more, more! My teacher said she'd never seen a child read so much--though I think she thought I was making my book reports up to be quite honest with you. I also think this officially confirmed my status as a nerd for the next 5 or so years. And nerds are cool! Sweater vests totally came back in style this year, and Tina Fey is bringing back the thick black rimmed glasses so...yup, totally en vogue even in the fifth grade. Or something like that. I think this is why I identify so much with Rachel Berry on "Glee" (minus the whole obnoxious needs-to-be-famous-thing). But I like her knees socks.


Some more easy to do projects!!! Pinterest, I don't know how to thank you, but you have changed my life eternally. Yup. FOR FOREVER. Went to a BBQ and thought, "Hmmm what should I bring to share?" PINTEREST YOU HAVE AN ANSWER. Ugly table, what can I POSSIBLY do with you? PINTEREST. Boring shoes? PINTEREST will teach me to bedazzle them. Riddle me this--I have a hankering for something sweet (like I do every day of my life). What shall I bake? Answer to be found on Pinterest. You are like the Magic 8 Ball of the crafting/food world! Anyways, here are some things you have inspired me to do!
EW. But wait! Because there is hope! You, Wee Little Table, are like a beautiful butterfly that I will help to unleash:
Ow ow now that's what I'm talkin' o' bout. All I did was create a stencil, painted it, and sprayed some finish on it to seal the deal. And Voila look at what we have here!

I went to a BBQ yesterday to celebrate AMERICA's BIRTHDAY!!! I wanted to celebrate America by bringing forth some delicious nutrition.
Fresh greens, strawberries, cucumbers, red onion, almonds and a raspberry vinegarette. The perfect summer salad. I was going to throw some avocado in there as well, but unfortunately the one I bought wasn't quite ripe enough (rookie mistake).

For my next project I wanted to jazz up some gross (and cheap!) flats...
And *BAM*! These suckers are ready to sparkle for the Fourth of July!!!

Find out how to make your own here! stinkin' EASY!

Finally, I made these today--I ate 3. Yum. K, totally stole this picture, but mine looked just like this without the very nicely placed Coca Cola jar in the back. Catch the recipe here. Like. So. Good. Whoever thought these suckers up should be in the running for some sort of award. When I open up a bakery I will make these. And yes the irony is not lost on me that I just posted about a salad and nutrition above. I can't even justify it, it just happened. These are really great if you want your roommates to love you even more then they already do.

In Michael Pollan's book "Food Rules" (you should read that book, it's awesome and changed my life), one of the rules is that you should make your own junk food. His principle is that the junk food will be made with more natural ingredients and you will know exactly what is being put in it-therefore less processed- (present Oreo excluded), and you'll most likely eat less because you probably won't feel like baking every day. Ha ha, Well, I showed HIM. I win.