Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So very deja vu

The whole reason I started this blog was because I often found myself crafting blog posts in my head, yet I had no place to put them. 

The longer I have it (you know, all of 6 months) the more I find myself crafting the same post a second time. 

I'm traveling for work again this week and I woke up in my lovely hotel room this morning ready to complain about how the bed was amazingly comfy yet I got crappy sleep. Hmmm... that seems a bit familiar, no?

So I guess it's good I'm consistent, right? (Yes, I know, kinda a stretch.) I does make me laugh though, thinking about this post, where I complained that my business trips are all pretty much interchangeable. Right down to the comfy bed but crappy sleep equation apparently!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Feeling Conflicted

Yesterday was a big annual event in my neighborhood that I've been involved on the planning committee for since I moved here 3 1/2 years ago.

In the weeks leading up to the event I told several of my friends, "next year remind me that I just want to help day of - I don't want to help plan it."

During the day yesterday, which for me ran from 7 am until midnight, with a 2 1/2 hour break in the early afternoon, I kept telling myself this was it. It was too much effort to be out there all day. Too stressful. Too hot.

At 9:40 pm when we had done as much clean up as we possibly could before everyone left the event I was SO over it.

But then, at 10:10 as the headlining act, one of my favorites from my college/immediate post college years, closed the show with one of their most popular songs I made my way to the side of the stage to dance and sing along with some of the other event organizers.

And suddenly I was LOVING it and couldn't imagine anywhere I'd rather be.

Granted, even if I was just a day of volunteer I could have still been in that spot. So that doesn't justify the feeling that despite everything I said leading up to yesterday, I'll be right back there, in the midst of another 16 hour day again next June.

I think it's because I'm a people pleaser, and that event made so many people happy. Throughout the week leading up to it and all day yesterday we had people thanking us for putting it on. Saying how great it felt to live in a neighborhood that offered free activities that celebrated our community's talents and attracted young and old.

And for things like this to happen, there have to be people who volunteer to make them happen.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The quest for friends part II

Back in January I wrote about a book I was super excited about - MWF Seeking BFF. I read it and immediately related to the author and just loved her book. Tonight I fell in love with it again when I went to her reading in DC.

In case you didn't read my earlier post, the book is a memoir from a woman who moves to a new city and settles into a quest to make new friends, something that is quite a challenge as an adult. The author, Rachel Bertsche, read from her book and then answered questions from the predominantly female audience. The women ran the gamut of ages but the head nods and laughs where pretty universal as Rachel shared her struggles and her story.

Trying to make friends is awkward. There are no real words in our vocabulary that can be used to explain the process of a building a friendship the way there are for romantic relationships. You feel silly saying you want to make new friends.

I'm not really saying anything different than I did back in January when I wrote about this book, but after seeing that room full of people responding to the stories tonight, and hearing from the author directly I just had to give it another plug.

Have any of you read it? Are you intrigued and plan to read it?

(hint: If you answered no to #1 then I hope you said yes to #2!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I'm feeling kinda grumpy these days.

Not short tempered so to speak since I don't really have a temper, but easily annoyed and generally frustrated with the world.

So I'm staying quiet til I get over it.

Hopefully that will be soon.

In the meantime, to avoid being grumpers yourself, enjoy these absolutely adorbs polar bear twins:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happiness is...

The absolute best part of summer in Maryland.

If you ask someone outside of Maryland what the state's biggest summer delicacy is they'd most likely say crabs. Ok, if you ask someone in Maryland they'd probably say the same thing, but I think my favorite summertime treat would be a very close second among Marylanders - the snowball.

Now before I continue, let me tell you what a snowball isn't:

It's not a snocone. A snocone comes in only a handful of flavors and has really hard, crunchy ice. You just bite into it a giant block of ice and the yummy flavoring runs out, collecting in the bottom of your silly paper cone.

It's not a slushy or a slurpee or any other concoction that comes out of a machine at a convenience store.

It's closest comparison is shaved ice, though I am often disappointed when I try 'shaved ice' as it pales in comparison to my glorious snowballs.

So that covers what it isn't... here's what it is:

Super fine, powdery ice and your choice of probably upwards of 50 different flavors. Served in a big cup and most frequently topped with yummy marshmallow sauce. In Maryland you'll find them sold mostly from roadside stands. Not quite a lemonade stand - think a wooden shed set up in a random parking lot serving the absolute best, most perfect summer treat.

I may not live far from the Baltimore area, but it's far enough away that snowballs are hard to come by. My parents know that May through September my first stop when coming to visit is a snowball and that was the case yesterday. They put their orders in as well - spearmint for dad, chocolate for mom and I and mine with marshmallow. Yum, yum, yum!

I've been on the road a lot lately and have more travel coming up but after that first taste of summer I have a feeling I'll be making a return trip to the Baltimore area as soon as I can for another snowball!

Friday, June 8, 2012


The internet is filled with funny blogs and twitter accounts ready to pick you up when you need a laugh, but I recently came across a new one that, in my eyes, trumps the rest.

Meet Honest Toddler

It popped up as a twitter account in early May and yesterday I discovered there was a blog too. Written from the perspective of the toddler (Not a baby, not yet a big kid) you'll find posts about why Pinterest is Making You Dumb, the agenda for the Toddler Unification Conference, featuring sessions like "Stop & Flop" and Potty Avoidance, and my personal favorite, the Sharing post ( Why should I share? Do we live in communist Russia? Did everyone at the park chip in ten cents so that I could have these dollar store sand toys?).

Kudos to the mystery mommy behind this new site. Seriously funny, funny reads.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Goodbye for Now

No, I'm not going anywhere, that's just the name of the book that I got the advance copy of because the internet is a magical, magical place.

I finished it last night and wow, it was definitely thought provoking. Here's the description from GoodReads:

Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It's not supernatural, it's computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can't let go. 

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith's affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can't live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.

I was expecting a complete and total tear jerker from that, but it wasn't. I mean, yes, parts of it most certainly brought on the water works, but not cover to cover like I feared. And it definitely kept me thinking about technology and just because you can do something should you? At times I felt the answer to that question was a yes and at times a definite no.

This was SO different than the author's (Laurie Frankel) first book, Atlas of Love, that I'm already completely intrigued to see what she'll come up with next. Cause yes, I am the quintessential book fan - as soon as I finish one I want another. Now.

So anyway dear readers who are readers, I think this is one you should read. (Try saying that five times fast.) It doesn't come out until August but I'm happy to lend my galley out if you're interested - I just want to make sure I get it back because it's a pretty cool thing for a book dork like me to have.

I'm also happy to take your suggestions on what I should read next. I've been devouring books lately. This one was the fourth book I've finished in the first five days of the month. I'm trying super hard to be a library loyalist because all of this reading can put a big dent in the wallet for sure! I've got 15 books on reserve right now but I'm down to only one in the 'to-read' stack so any tips would be much appreciated! Especially older faves that are more likely to be hanging out on the shelves at my local branch ready to come home with me immediately!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Family Funnies

Over the past few months my father has brought up an old family recipe for rice pudding several times. Apparently it was his grandmother's and she passed it down to his aunt. His mean old aunt who rumor has it didn't share it with anyone. He asked both of his sister's about it and the one thought the other who still lives in the house they all grew up in might have had it.

I'm not sure how their conversation went, but I do know my dad told me last week that his sister had just emailed him a rice pudding recipe. He was hoping it was *the* recipe, but if not that it would be a good one.

On Friday night while my mom and I were at the grocery store getting ingredients I got a little suspicious. I couldn't imagine the old family recipe would call for jello pudding mix. My suspicions were confirmed when I picked up said box of pudding mix and found the exact same recipe written on the side of the box.

So much for great grandma's rice pudding.


Last weekend I went to sit in my parent's (newish) recliner and couldn't get it to recline. Later I asked my mom what I could have been doing wrong and she said it probably wasn't plugged in. 

Huh? Why in the world does a chair need to be plugged in. 

Well, it's an electric chair she replied. 

Yeah, mom, you might not want to call it that. 

She explained that the chair isn't a manual recliner, oh no, it's electric. So after you plug it in and press the button it moves for you. 

This is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. My dad defended the purchase, apparently when they were testing them out in the store mom just wasn't being forceful enough to uh.... (what in the world is the word you use when you want to say sit back up in a recliner? Is there a word for the opposite of recline? At least recline in this sense? I guess sit up will have to do.)

Anyway, I digressed. My mother wasn't forceful enough when trying to sit back up and she couldn't get a normal recliner back to regular position. So they bought an electric recliner. 

Friday night when we were having thunderstorms I kept begging her to sit in it because I think it would be absolutely hysterical if the power went out and she was stuck in her electric recliner. (Seriously, I giggled just typing that.) 

Unfortunately we never lost power (words I never expected to type) and she didn't find my suggestion nearly as humorous as I did. 

During said thunderstorms we were watching lots o' news coverage. In fact I learned that local news stations are required to stay on their air during severe weather to provide the public with warning and updates. Anyway, at some point something was annoying me about their coverage (I don't remember what) and I was arguing with the tv. 

My mom talks to herself all of the time and whenever I hear it I ask who she's talking to. She returned the favor, questioning why I was doing that. My dad came to my defense, saying at least I was responding to something someone else said and my mom comes back with: 

"Well, at least when I talk to myself then I can answer too and I'd be having a conversation"

No words. None.

This was a very good weekend. Filled with lots of laughter, lots of reading and absolutely no beach traffic! A total win all around.