Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Day 2 of the respite between the former bane of my existence (first job out of college) and the onset of my new lip-lock with employment. The best part about not working – staying up late. Really late. So late that you are awake during the transition from one day to the next.

I’ve introduced muffins into my cage-free week. I love muffins; they call to me. And with the excusable feeling that I’m on vacation, I’m enjoying muffins without the guilt typically felt from the consumption of cake (that’s really all it is) for breakfast. Yesterday’s muffin was titled “Zucchini Bread Muffin” in the grab-it-yourself bakery at Whole Foods. How could anything be bad for you at Whole Foods, anyway? This morning’s oat bran muffin, purchased and enjoyed on the spot, was from a local café. The thing was loaded with whole grains and nutrients. Who am I kidding – I should have had two.

As I was nibbling on my oat bran muffin and sipping a soy café au lait, one after the other so as not to multi-task with food, save for dipping muffin pieces into the coffee, I read The Late Bloomer’s Revolution, a borrowed read from my sister. I was reckless in my consumption of oats and words, and muffin crumbs fell into the crease between pages 46 – 47. Story of my life.

“[Expletive!]” I muttered to myself, thinking that my sister was going to kill me. Did I mention that named book was also resting in a pool of soy infused caffeine just moments before, when I attempted to squeeze myself into a chair sandwiched between the table and a ‘slippery when wet’ floor sign. The sign wouldn’t budge, so my au lait took a fall. Better it than me.

Yesterday, Day 1 of unemployment, began with a Baptiste yoga class in Georgetown. Then, my sweaty self and plum colored yoga mat went shopping in the pretentious commercial district that is Georgetown. I anticipated a relaxing shopping atmosphere in contrast to a tourist-ridden Saturday spent browsing in Anthropologie. The shops were mainly empty, and while I didn’t have to concern myself with knocking over anyone (except maybe a mannequin) with the plum colored yoga mat slung across my back, I did have to contend with profoundly annoying salespeople.

I don’t like to be approached when shopping; I don’t like it one bit. It’s like a movie – please don’t speak to me during the show, not even the previews; I’ll explain what happened when the lights have come back on. Though, if I have a question, I feel completely justified to pose an inquiry with my movie companion, unless I’m cinematizing solo (best thing ever).

I almost became violent in the GAP. Five people greeted me and three wanted to start a fitting room for me. Why can’t I just hold my things? I just held my body suspended in chatturanga countless times in a room heated to 95 degrees. Dude – I can handle my own khakis.

On the way back to the Dupont Metro station, I ran into a co-worker who said that between me, her, “and the lamppost” she had just gone on a job interview. She then went into a monologue about her gripes with the company, motivations for wanting to leave, and other tidbits I would have paid money to not have to listen to. My first day of freedom and I’m locked into a visit with a former prisoner mate. What did I ever do to you (‘you’ could be a multitude of people/spirits)?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Ode to 23

It’s been one week since I turned 24 years old, friends (many) and lovers (not a one). No longer of an age that falls in the odd number category, I’m left wondering if I can still lay claim to feeling “odd” at times. My soul is European, so I don’t always mesh with mainstream circumstances – not that that’s my goal. Did you know that I went on a yoga vacation? Me, myself, and my yoga mat.

24 just has this serious/my-head-is straight-on-my-shoulders/I don’t emotionally eat overtone. Well I’m a new member of the 24 and over club, and I’m playful/my-head-was-tilted-toward-my-right-shoulder-squeezing-a-phone-while-I-typed-at-work-for-two-hours-today/I’m eating obscene amounts of granola (story of my life) as I birth this momentary memoir.

Does 24 suit someone who calls her mom on her lunch hour and says that she doesn’t know what to eat for lunch and what does she (mom) suggest?

Would someone who is “even” still argue with her older sister about who sits in the front seat when they’re spending the day with their mom? I swear she starts, though.

Back in the good old days when I was 23 (sigh for seven days ago), I felt like the healthy two year distance from 25 was a validation of my widespread confusion over grad school, meals, selecting produce at the grocery store, and deciding if playing on a kickball league was really something I wanted. Now that I’m itching closer to 25 with each passing day (making a squeamish face), maybe I’ve got to use speaker phone at the risk of upsetting my skull’s posture while multi-tasking at the office and perhaps I should alert the manager at Trader Joe’s that I am not to be allowed to purchase anything suitable for consumption on a hike (trail mix, granola, the like).

If anyone asks my age, I think I’m apt to say that I “just turned 24…like really recently.” For how long can that be an honest statement?

And when does the quarter-life crises set in? Is it right at 25, or can I look forward to anxiety and dissatisfaction during the months leading up to 25?

Even numbers are a bitch; they just are.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Strawberry Locks Forever

My AOL screen name, conceived of soon after becoming a double-digit youngster, includes the word “blondy” to capture the natural hair pigmentation of my locks from childhood through high school. As soon as I turned 18, my roots decided to darken and I turned to foil. Yeah. Yeah, I did.

The past six years have included experimentation with highlights – some thin and subtle and others chunky and side-stepping boldness.

New job, new hair, new beginnings – my motto for the summer of 2007.

Poignant, no?

I’ve been contemplating a rendezvous between my crown and shades of red for some time now (my grandpa only dates red-haired women), and I thought that with a new job on my horizon (and a failing dating life), I was ready to go ruddy.

My grandpa often proposed marriage to me as a kid.

“What do you say we go to Vegas, Jackie baby?”

I’d laugh and say that I wasn’t ready and he was silly. Boy was I a dumbass.

Had I known the dark shades of dating, I would have enthusiastically accepted and changed my hair color way sooner.

And we’re red…

Four days after my hair changed color (via an obscene amount of money), my grandpa was to arrive for a visit (damn I plan well). We were to spend my birthday together - worthwhile usage of the ever-prized PTO. Grandpa didn’t feel well and cancelled his visit.

“Mom, wait a second…did you tell him I’m a red head (strawberry blonde) now??”

I don’t get it; I’m finally ready to commit and he gets cold feet. Story of my life.

I want to say that the switch from blonde to a shade o’ red or any darker hue is indicative of maturity, good character, individuality, a step on the salon pathway less traveled – and that the switch from dark hair to blonde is easy, customary, exuding the familiarity of the red/white/blue striped rotating cylinder typical of barber shop storefronts. (How soon one forgets where she came from.)

People with strawberry pigmented locks are mysterious creatures poised for creativity and capable of anything – attempting to seduce their own grandfather, publishing books, leaving footprints all over the world, and helping others to find peace in their own circumstances (contemplating an MSW one day) – or at least I hope so (I’ll let you know in a while.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Love in Translation

I volunteer as an English teacher (no training) for non-native speakers. This summer, I’m leading a book club (Tuesdays With Morrie) on Tuesday evenings. Don’t you just love when things turn out like so?

My summer camp counselor habits, namely playing favorites, are also characteristic of my teacher self. If you saw hombre (Brazilian student I like a whole lot), you’d understand. He’s a tall, painfully attractive, quadri-lingual beauty with a soccer player’s physique (he plays) and an ability to make me question if I need knee replacement surgery.

During this past Tuesday night’s class, I instructed the students to partner up for an activity. There were seven in attendance, so I advertised my availability to be someone’s partner – “Who wants me?”

“I want you,” says hombre.

Yes, I need new knees and a back brace if I’m to remain vertical.

The activity involved making a timeline and noting pivotal life events from birth through the present that shaped who they are today, in an attempt to demonstrate Morrie’s belief that you are every age up to your own; a 78 year old man still has parts of his 5 year old self intact inside.

Ok, then this evening I’m unearthing my boy crazy adolescent self with a surplus of hormones. Not to much the story of my life.

When hombre reached age 25 on his timeline, I noted, “you beat me,” as that evening I was two days shy of turning 24.

He said that we were 10 years apart – a healthy distance, I affirm in my head. Hombre also said that I was the same age as his younger sister.

Ohhh no. Don’t do that to me. Don’t put me in the little sister category; I’m your teacher and I can tell you what to do. If only “Kiss me now” was an appropriate pedagogical command.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cold Nuts

If you know me, you know I have a proclivity for eating peanut butter out of the jar, annihilating the plastic treasure chest in just two sittings, sometimes within the same day. Yeah, I know I’m ill.

I give myself breaks between ransacked jars, thinking two months is enough time to heal and I won’t consume the next jar as rapidly. Here looms over my head the saying, “You’re only kidding yourself.”

Sometimes I tell myself that when consuming the crunchy variety (really the only way peanut butter should be made; as in, there’s no chocolate other than dark) to just eat the crunchy parts and avoid the butter. That turns my wrist and forearm into a sticky mess, as I wipe the excess butter on the jar’s rim and then get into trouble as I dig in to violate the jar’s bottom.
Story of my life.

I write this vignette with a jar of peanut butter to my left. All natural peanut butter. The kind that has to be refrigerated after opening. I didn’t think cold peanut butter would be tempting. Once again, “You’re only kidding yourself” resonates loudly and visibly (I think I just got peanut butter on my keyboard. Story of my life.