Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
I think it's time for a fluffier, less emotional post. So, I think I'll share two outfits that I wore over the holiday weekend.
For dinner with my parents on Erve Christmas, a sweater dress from Forever 21 that I picked up a few years ago, along with super cute new boots that are, alas, not pictured:
For Sunday brunch, DVF Pella that was purchased last winter, but never fully appreciated until now:
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Back at work today, as one of four people in my department, I find myself pleasantly occupied... for the most part. I've said before that I'm the sort of person who would rather be busy than not, and that has certainly been the case today. Coworkers on holiday vacations (several in warmer climates, of which I am supremely jealous) means more work for me... and again, that's fine. Keep me busy, please!
But even as I'm working away, there's a nagging sense in the back of my head that I'm missing something. Okay, the obvious being holiday plans; my family will celebrate Hanukkah when we get together, and we'll go out for dinner (and maybe even a movie!) on Christmas. But it's hard not to think of the years that I've spent celebrating Christmas with others, in other places. Particularly last year, when I was in California for a whirlwind long weekend.... But whatever, that was last year.
And, while I'm on such an upbeat note, this nagging feeling includes the fact that I am likely overdue for a serious examination of friendships. I've been known to let people emotionally plow over me in the past, and to remain in unhealthy relationships with those who don't really have my best interests at heart. It may not be the most wonderful time of the year to jettison a worn out friendship or two, but it may be something I have to consider for 2010.
But enough about this emotional work that I have ahead of me. Right now, contemplation does no more than add to my Grinch-y attitude. No time to get emotional! I've got work to do, people. Making a difference in people's lives, et cetera.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
~ Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
~ That I can make myself heard at work, and should do so more often. Sometimes, I really do know what I'm talking about.
~ That dealing with wintry weather in DC is always going to be roaring pain in the ass, from now until eternity. Because every single winter, the fellow residents of my fair home town are shocked and terrified when it snows, the roads freeze, or the weather forecasters simply predict such astounding occurrences. It's awful and hilarious.
~ That I love having a cat -- my cat, this particular cat -- more than I had expected.
~ That I can't buy all of the shoes that I want, because there are people in my life who deserve holiday presents. Even if the shoes are all really, really cute.
~ That my lack of patience and need for control simply cannot extend to every single aspect of my life. I know this, I've said it before, people have told me this before, this is not really something that I've learned recently... but I still need to remind myself: There is a process. I have to do it one day at a time.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Luke Jennings; A Tyrannical Genius; The Observer (London, UK); Oct 25, 2009.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I know many Jewish families that have decorated their houses for Christmas, but mine was never one of them. My parents have a collection of menorahs and they stay out all year round on a sideboard in their dining room -- that's the extent of their holiday decor. My apartment building hasn't done anything in the lobby just yet, but I noticed that some of my neighbors have begun to decorate their windows. And I saw that there are other buildings on our street that are, as one would say, "decked out".
Baffled as to how everyone seemed to know that this was the time to start putting up Christmas decor, I posed the following question on Twitter: "When do ppl decide that it's time to put up their Xmas decor? Pls educate the Jewish girl"
The responses I received were varied, amusing and, in some cases, insightful:
"ASAP after Turkey Day is the normal goya [sic] tradition"
"usually 1 or 2 days after Thanksgiving = )"
"When kids beg you long enough, when you have a free weekend or whatever time was YOUR family tradition. ie: No fixed time"
"Whenever mom says"
"in my neighborhood it was the week before thanksgiving. I prefer after thanksgiving."
"When I feel like I have the patience to wrestle with the Christmas lights."
"we just leave it up all year...goes well with the siding"
"when my kids were little, we used to put up the tree after thanksgiving dinner. we are supposed to put it up 1st day of advent"
Okay, so either there is some rhyme and reason to when Christmas decor goes up - or there is none at all. But this is the time when everyone decorates, so I feel a little less out of the loop.
Monday, November 23, 2009
So, I'll take this opportunity to introduce you, fair reader, to my new cat, Stormy:
I adopted him yesterday! He came with that name, and I decided its short for Dark And Stormy. He's about a year and a half old, and so far has been very shy; he's found creative hiding places all over my small apartment and seems to find my overstuffed closet the best place of all. (He went back into that particular hidey-hole after this photo was taken.) But he did decide to be social around 5am, which was appreciated.... even if it was 2 hours before my alarm clock went off.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- List-making has always been a comforting exercise for me. It's part of the way my mind works, and it helps my ADD/OCD mind relax... a little.
- There are times when I still worry about what people think about me. As evidenced by my malicious self-editing and difficulty writing openly here, in a space about which I repeatedly say "no one reads this". (In contrast, I write pretty much whatever I want on Twitter.)
- Things I've been considering: Getting a cat, jailbreaking my iPhone, getting another piercing, chopping my hair. At the moment, the status of these items are as follows: I'm not ready to take care of anything other than myself right now; I don't know how much I'll benefit from that (and possibly void my warranty); the piercing I'm considering would be better done in warmer weather; and I chopped my hair just over a month ago, so I need to actually let it grow some more first.
- I really do have a closet full of nothing to wear.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Life has been crazy for me lately. There have been some overwhelming events in my personal life that I just can't seem to bring myself to write about at this moment...
I'm keeping busy at work and spending time with friends. Sleeping. Bonding with my parents and sister. Generally trying to take care of myself.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Research suggests they're more susceptible to dangers of tobacco
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Instead, I present a semi-complete list of my weekend's activities:
- Driving for approximately four hours in the rain on Friday evening to pick up my sister from Dulles airport, drive her to our parent's in the 'burbs, then drive back into the city, pick up my boyfriend at work and take us home for the evening.
- Dressing up with my sister on Saturday evening, with a bottle of iced-tea flavored vodka nearby, for her (first of several) birthday celebration.
- Cursing the torrential rain and my sudden lack of umbrellas.
- Unintentionally, and ridiculously, sliding around (and falling down) on the lovely wood floors at my boyfriend's apartment, because my boots had no traction.
- Texting and Twittering with various friends - including some who were at the party - about the party.
- Hostessing until 2am, at which point I fell asleep fully clothed.
- Having a late brunch with my sister over the Washington Post and mimosas.
- Going out to dinner with my family on Sunday night.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
~ Signed up 30 people for a password-protected area of one of our websites. (Each time I do this, the hardest part is coming up with unique passwords.)
~ Wondered if I'm ready for fall, and reminded myself that I really have no choice.
~ With a great deal of help from my colleagues in the PR department, I came up with a quote from our CEO for a press release. (Incidentally, it was a press release about the aforementioned website.)
~ Purchased Guerlain kohl eyeliner that my friends at Fashionism.org have been raving about.
~ Confirmed a reservation for a department retreat.
~ Canceled one happy hour and planned another.
~ Email, email, and more email.
~ Discussed why Chicago would have been a great place for the Olympics, and why Rio may be better after all.
~ Decided that these yellow heels really DO match everything.
Time for Happy Hour. Happy Friday, everyone!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
However, we managed to salvage our vacation by staying in the Bahamas for 3 nights, instead.
Poolside at the hotel:
The view from our dinner table at Compass Point:
I am a lucky, lucky girl.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Fast forward to the internship I had one year after college, at my first public health non-profit. I was warned once again of this magical quiet time in August; but this time, as my duties were not related to Congress, my work load was more effected by coworkers vacations, rather than an absence of lawmakers. This internship became a full-time job, but when I experienced a lapse in my workload the following August, it turned out to be because I was being "phased out".
Oh well, I moved on! My next two positions were completely, totally and utterly disconnected from the comings and goings of the Hill - in fact, August was probably the busiest time for me in both of these jobs - yet I was still warned by supervisors and colleagues alike of this mythical August slump.
This will be my third summer at my current employer. Not once has anyone mentioned the slump of August. When I've asked my colleagues in the advocacy and outreach department about this so-called quiet period, they have looked at me as though I'm out of my mind. (More so than usual, okay.) My own work load ebbs and flows all year round.....
... I had to stop working on this post yesterday because I was handed a large assignment out of the blue. And the point I was slowly making my way towards was that this may be the first summer that I've had a quiet August. Guess I was wrong. Carry on!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Some side conversations were held between members of the advocacy team and those of us who are less educated in some areas of Health Care Reform.
Then the Assistant Secretary said that the American health care system should be changed to one of "sick care" to one of prevention, which includes community health education. And that particular areas of concern included tobacco cessation and asthma education.
At that point, my coworkers and I were cheering at the TV, giving each other high-fives, and clapping. He'd just listed most of what our office is all about.
Nothing like health care dorks who love their jobs!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
(Minus the broken (but now fixed) air conditioning. Not fun in the DC early summer heat.)
I had the pleasure of caring for my friend's cat this past week. I was nervous about the responsibility, anxious that I might have lost my touch with cats in the years since my family's own furry beasties passed away, but ultimately, it was wonderful to have a cat in my home. Even if he does weigh just over 20 pounds. And woke me up by lying on my torso this morning, purring (and drooling, which he does when he's happy) kneading his claws into my chest, fur and pudge draped over my sides. (I emailed a terrible iPhone pic to my family and a friend, saying "I'm TRAPPED!")
Here's Gatsby, not looking quite so plump, in my bathroom:
His mom took him to another foster family this AM, as I'm off to a conference in Phoenix for a week and the cat can't quite be returned to his family -- they're waiting to find out if their kids are allergic -- but I might end up fostering him for a while upon my return. I hope he can go home soon, though.
So, I leave for Arizona on Sunday. I expect the conference will thoroughly exhaust me, but I expect it to be a great experience overall. I'm leading a discussion with a smaller group on one day, but the trip will be mostly be about attending different sessions and networking. And taking extensive notes on EVERYTHING.
I also have tentative plans to meet one of my boyfriend's sisters -- which, surprisingly, I'm not anxious about at all -- and hope to see some of my friends who live in the Phoenix area. There will be cocktail hours, receptions and meet-and-greets after the official sessions are over each day, but I do want to get out of the hotel and conference center at some point; those places can get tedious, as well as really cold. (Oh, note to self: pack a few more cardigans.)
I hope to have some interesting stories to tell after this trip, although, since it's a tobacco control conference, they may only be of interest to MOI.
I'm off to a National's game with some coworkers. Lets hope the game isn't too awful and that the seats aren't completely soaked!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In the past week, I've been told "30 is the new 17", "your 30's are the new 20's", as well as "are you SURE you're ready for 30?" (I realize, too late, that I should have responded to the last one with - "Do I have a choice?")
Seems like a lot of people (women, actually) found turning the big 3-0 traumatic. Brilliant public health professional that I am, it has only really begun to dawn on me that the emotional trauma that women experience with aging is a social and biological issue. But this hasn't been the case for me -- I had never been the kind of gal who needs to get-married-have-kids-settle-down-in-the-suburbs (although my mother and sister do remind me that I did have some strange baby angst towards the end of high school, which I really can't explain).
Edit - I realize that I did say "had".
Having spent most of my 20's in a difficult relationship and only really focusing on the whole "what I want to do with my life" issue for the past three (or is it four? man, how long was I in grad school?!) years, I feel that my life is much more focused now than it ever has been. One of those "growing up" things, I'm told.
I feel as though my achievements of the past two years are a big part of the reason why my 30's will be fantastic:
~ Started working at my current job, where I have flourished
~ Made the big move out of the parents house - and became acquainted with the true meaning of "personal fiscal responsibility"
~ Ended the aforementioned relationship and learned the joys and terrors of dating in DC
~ Finished my Masters thesis under extreme circumstances (and I've said it before and will say it again - I thoroughly believe that the broken foot was bestowed upon me in order to finish that thing)
All in all, I'm damn proud of myself.
Here's to my 30's being amazing!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
~ Tom Hodgkinson
I think this quote is appropriate for the vacation I'm going on tomorrow, as I expect to be napping a great deal in a (tropical) paradise. I'm accompanying my boyfriend to a wedding in St. Kitts and I can't wait... I expect to have fun pictures and stories to share upon my return!
Monday, May 11, 2009
"Women may be more vulnerable than men to cancer-causing ingredients in cigarettes, according to a new study ... Swiss researchers found that female patients tended to be younger when they developed the disease, even though they tended to smoke significantly fewer cigarettes than men ... The results add to growing evidence that smoking poses greater health risks to women than men ..."
Considering the number of young women that insist that they are "just social smokers" (i.e. they end up smoking much fewer cigarettes than their male counterparts), and the fact that the tobacco industry knows that women are so eager to smoke in order to conform to social norms, this study both infuriates and depresses me.
In other news: I think Mother's Day was a success. The weekend was delightful overall (even though the Caps lost to the Pens - an extremely frustrating game to see in person!) and it would have been lovely if the beautiful weather could have continued. Although I'm not sure if I would be any more bright-eyed and busy-tailed at work this AM if it were bright and sunny...
My 30th birthday is approaching, with more speed than I realized. But considering that I'm more excited than depressed about this event, I suspect I won't write much about it here until after I've celebrated this milestone. Some people say it's lame and/or uncooth to throw yourself a birthday party; but I say "If I don't throw a party for myself, who will?" So arrangements are being made, friends are coming from various locales to join me, and I expect a grand time will be had by all!
Monday, April 27, 2009
"You can't have a pandemic AND a grant proposal in the same day!"
Ah, the joys of working in public health... But I will be quite interested to find out what we have to say about Swine Flu. I know that the CDC has released information regarding this outbreak (20 cases in the US so far) but I'll be interested to see what my office has to say.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
~ In the past week, I've attended two of the Stanley Cup Semi?Quarter?I'm not sure? finals to watch the Washington Capitols get pounded; nonetheless, I'm excited to go to the game on Friday.
~ Spring has fully descended upon DC. I love it, even if my allergies have been terrible!
~ So have the tourists - which I do not love. I really wouldn't care -- or complain -- so much if they could just remember that there are quite a number of us who actually live and work in this city. It's not just picturesque monuments and impressive museums, people. And I need to get to work, so please don't try to hold the Metro doors open like they're elevator doors, okay?
~ I realized this morning that I have only dissed female footwear decisions, and not paid any attention to the fashion travesties committed by the men who walk amongst us in DC. That was quickly changed this morning when I heard a jangling sound in sync with the foot-falls of the gentleman who was walking next to me. It was like a chain was attached to his shoes, or, as I realized when I glanced down... Spurs. On business shoes. Oh, how I wish I'd had the chutzpah to take a photograph! I was intrigued and baffled and tried not to laugh. Then I thought: Perhaps this was not as much of a fashion disaster as a fashion statement that I simply did not understand. I just hope someone (else) got it.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We've had a loving relationship... until the past few days.
On Thursday afternoon, all of my music vanished. Several of the 3rd party - but still absolutely necessary, like Twitter! - applications that I'd downloaded refused to operate. I determined with a quick Google search (Safari was still working, thankfully ... what, I was out with friends) that removing and re-installing a few of these apps would fix the problem. Which it did, and I re-installed my music on Friday morning. Happily, I went off to enjoy the holiday weekend.
Yesterday, I was syncing my phone at work, as usual. And noticed that the "Other" memory was signfiicantly larger than it had been before. I didn't think much of it. But when I synched again this afternoon, I realized that this "Other" category was growing.
Another quick Google search (yeah, I love them) proved that the losing-music-growing-"Other" phenomenon was not rare. And that it could become a serious problem. An email to the Mac-Addict friend who got me hooked on this toy in the first place confirmed my greatest fear: the only fix was "restoring" the phone to original settings.
Which I did. And I stayed late at work in order to take care of this process, and then re-sychronizing so that I could leave the office with my contacts, calendar, and life as I know it back in the palm of my hand. Except for my music - but, since I was able to sync my little electronic darling at two computers before, I assumed I could get my music back when I got home.
But no, this is not the case. After much research (props, Google!) I'm relatively confident that the fix is a simple one: Make sure the right switches are flipped, as it were, at my office iTunes to make sure music is only synched at my home computer. Just like before.
All of this is to say: I have been sitting at my apartment and thinking about going back to work, to reboot my computer, check the iTunes settings, change them, sync the iPhone, and then come home to put music back on my iPhone.
But I'm not going to do it. Thinking about doing it is silly; actually doing it could be considered crazy. No -- I'm pretty sure it would be crazy.
Oh, iPhone. You've resulted in my creating a new tag for my blog: crazy ideas. Pitiful that it's my favorite piece of electronic equipment that has resulted in this tag -- not a boy, not a shopping frenzy, not a trip to Tokyo on the last few grand on my credit card, but my iPhone.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I love springtime - if only it would really get warm and actually become spring...!
P.S. We went snowboarding the weekend before last. It was not a success. But at least I tried!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
One of many little purple flowers that were blooming through the March mud and last fall's leaves. It wasn't sunny, but it felt and looked like spring.
I love the colors of these houses, and the vine growing up the yellow house. I really like how parts of Georgetown feel a little like a suburban neighborhood, even though it's in one of the busiest parts of the city.
We agreed that "playing tourists" in DC (perish the thought!) may be something that we will have to do as it continues to get warmer.
Friday, March 6, 2009
While not a fan of Uggs, I will admit that I'm rather jealous of what I imagine are the wearer's warm feet. I'm not sure how I feel about rainboots, style-wise, but I do know that they're not good on ice. I personally wore hiking boots to brave the DC sidewalks, and I'm sure I'm committing a worse style faux-pas than others.
But the most ridiculous thing I've seen this past week: Women wearing heels with no socks or stockings.
Maybe these women don't want to schlep an extra pair of shoes to the office. Maybe they don't have to be on the frozen tundra of our sidewalks very much. But shoes with no socks when it's below freezing? Maybe the answer here is that I'm more of a Jewish Mother than I've realized... but this seems absolutely, utterly and completely ridiculous.
Anyhow. After two days of the cold (and ridiculous footwear, natch) the Boy and I decided to stop talking about him teaching me to snowboard, and actually make a day trip this Saturday to a ski resort for my lesson. We started assembling gear of his that I'd borrow, talked about what I should wear (long underwear, absolutely; fleece would be better than wool; are cashmere socks a bad idea?), and looked up prices for board rentals.
But now, we have to postpone our plans: It's going to be almost 75 in DC tomorrow, and not much colder than that at the mountain. Trust me, I am the last person to complain about nice weather -- when it gets to be spring, I will spend hours rhapsodizing about the warm weather, sunshine and flowers -- but this is insane weather for March.
I suspect the tourists will descend upon us once again. Cherry Blossom season is approaching, and this weekend could be a sneak preview.
I bet they make ridiculous footwear choices, too.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
My sister has a tumblr account, which is fascinating and beautiful, and after browsing through other users pages, I was quite tempted to sign up for my own account. But since I have this little corner of the internet to myself (not mention a rarely used LiveJournal account, along with my frequently updated Twitter and Facebook), I decided not to do it. Instead, I shall use this space more creatively, and with less self-consciousness.
To wit: I'm sharing some images from a new collection of amazing pre-1960 color photographs online, courtesy of the The Library of Congress and their new Flickr page
I am just blown away by these (sorry, gonna be cheesy) "captured moments". Maybe it's nostalgia of some sort, maybe it's simply respect for the artistry, maybe it's a combination of a few things. But I am just amazed by these.
I used to imagine myself quite the amature photographer. In 7th or 8th grade, I had a photography class at camp and was given a secondhand Minolta. I treasured that camera and would take with me everywhere, even after the class was over, using up roll after roll of film as I took photographs of the most mundane aspects of my daily life. I know my parents weren't exactly thrilled about processing all that film.
In high school, I took a chunk of my savings (mostly Bat Mitzvah money) to contribute towards a new Nikon. And I was taking photography classes again, so my shutterbug habit was less expensive, and more focused on completing class assignments.
And now, I'm addicted to my digital camera. I have so many random pictures and and videos from my daily life... perhaps I will have to start sharing them more often.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
In the meantime, I am fascinated with this article from the American Journal of Epidemiology, about a potential correlation between smoking and HPV:
Is Smoking an Independent Risk Factor for Invasive Cervical Cancer?
The strong correlation between smoking and exposure to oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) has made it difficult to verify the independent role of smoking in cervical carcinogenesis. .... The point estimates increased with increasing age at diagnosis and increasing cotinine level. This study confirms that smoking is an independent risk factor for cervical cancer/SCC in women infected with oncogenic HPVs. These findings emphasize the importance of cervical cancer prevention among women exposed to tobacco smoke.
Evidence that demonstrates the negative consequences of smoking just keep piling up. And when I see how tobacco uniquely effects women, I get more anxious for my friends who smoke. And angry at the tobacco companies ... but I won't go down that route just now.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
My friends and I walked from Dupont Circle to my office on Pennsylvania Ave. At first, we were amazed at the quiet and empty streets:
Then, once we got into my office and joined my coworkers on the balcony, we had an incredible view of everyone on the street below:
I was amazed at how many people had poured into this city, impressed at how smoothly the Army and DC Police were managing the crowds... but ultimately, grateful that I wasn't stuck in those crowds. It was enough for me to watch the President and Vice President be sworn in on CNN, because we could then stand on the balcony to watch his motorcade make its progress from the Capitol to the White House:
We stayed for hours, watching as much of the parade as we could until our faces got too cold to stand outside. Just amazing.
Only in DC ...!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Instead, I will share this amusing news tidbit from Chicago: Extreme Makeover - Ossama's Hair Salon Now Obama's. "Business is better when your name evokes one of the nation's most popular figures, not one of its most hated..."
(Perhaps I'll come up with something more creative to share later this evening...)